Who is the Y2K girl and why is she the coolest person on TikTok right now?

Ok but why do they always do that leg thing?


The year may be 2021, but girls on TikTok are firmly stuck in the year 2000. Low rise jeans, butterfly clips, blue eyeliner and is that a pair of crocs I see? It’s now the time for of Y2K aesthetic to make a comeback and unlike 20 years ago, the Y2K girls are even cooler, have colourful wardrobes and more TikTok followers than you could ever imagine.

You already know the girl I’m talking about – she’s young, probably in her last year of college or first year uni aka she’s got a lot of time to work on her lewk. She is in a constant outfit rotation of colourful jeans, crop tops, crocs and plastic jewellery.

TikTok has given birth to a lot of fashion trends, but none more so than the Y2K girl. Whereas other trends come and go, she is constant. Literally every time you open your For You Page there’s a new girl doing an Urban Outfitters haul whilst rocking her space buns. And there’s no sign of her disappearing. There are multitudes of Y2K hashtags on TikTok and the Y2K fashion one has nearly 100 million views so far.

@andrae30Ootd ##style ##foryoupage ##fashion ##fyp ##fypシ ##ootd ##streetsyle ##london ##y2k ##outfitidea ##outfitinspo ##xyzbca ##jadedldn ##juicycouture ##fy ##kawaii♬ bubble POP – Soot

But who really is the Y2K girl and where has Gen-Z’s appreciation for banging 2000s fashion come from?

What is the Y2K aesthetic?

For the uninitiated Y2K fashion is all about the clothes and accessories from the late 90s, early 2000s. Think Destiny’s Child, Paris Hilton and Regina George in Mean Girls.

The clothes you would have died wearing five years ago – low rise jeans, slogan tops, mini skirts and Juicy Couture tracksuits are now the vibe.

@y2kbarbiedolli just want to be one of them 😌💅🏻 ##fyp ##y2k ##y2kaesthetic ##bimbo ##y2kfashion ##bimbofication♬ GIMME MORE SLAYYYTER REMIX – For the Children

And it’s not just the clothes, it’s the accessories as well such as butterfly clips, coloured square sunglasses, chunky plastic rings and beaded necklaces. There’s also the beauty trends to consider. The Y2K aesthetic involves colourful eyeshadow, space buns and pig tails.

When put together in a look girls are looking like human Bratz dolls.

Who is the Y2K girl?

Ever since TikTok had a surge in popularity last year, hardly a day goes by without opening a For You Page and seeing a Y2K girl. So who is the Y2K girl? Well her personality isn’t what makes her the Y2K girl, it’s all about the aesthetics.

However she probably is pretty well off and is a student either at college or uni. She’s studying something like psychology or geography, but spends the majority of her time working on her Depop shop.

@tatianamekY2K styles are backkkkk!!! ##y2koutfits ##y2kfashion ##outfitinspo ##ootd ##xyzbca♬ Can’t Get You out of My Head – Kylie Minogue

Speaking of shopping the Y2K girl shops exclusively at Urban Outfitters, Bershka, The Ragged Priest and ASOS. She will occasionally shop “independent” retailers on Depop aka vintage jumpers sold for double their worth.

When it comes to the actual clothes she wears colourful jeans, Juicy Couture sweat jumpers, sweater vests, silk scarves worn as bandanas or tops but never actual scarves. They’ll accessorise with shoulder bags, crocs, bucket hats and beaded necklaces.

And you just know a Y2K girl  from their TikTok videos – it’s exclusively hauls, thrifting and day in the life videos. Oh and of course they do the signature foot grab to show off their crocs in a video.

@kylar0xHere’s your sign 😎 jk I bought fake ones on shopee ain’t no way I’m paying 2k for slippers HAHAHA♬ Call me – 90sFlav

Emma Chamberlain is their goddess, they only drink iced coffee and they always zoom in on their eye makeup during videos, doing a mini pout but not really cause that’s not cool.

Everything is covered in butterflies, they always have brightly coloured nails and rotate their time between Pinterest and TikTok.

Are there any problems with the Y2K trend?

A fashion trend is surely harmless right? Well not according to Twitter. A quick search reveals a few consistent criticisms about the trend. Firstly that it focuses on a slim body type and a big part of the trend is having a “flat stomach”, making it exclusive and not accessible to every body type.

The other pressing concern with the trend is how white washed it has become. The clothes made popular in the year 2000 were predominantly worn by black women, who at the time were called “ghetto” for their looks.

And now over 20 years later when white women are wearing the signature items they’re being called “fashionable” and lauded for the trend without paying reference to the origins of the look.

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