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Rare Aesthetic Posting

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Rare Aesthetic Posting refers to a trend on TikTok and Twitter in which users detail very specific lifestyle aesthetics, typically through pictures, that few people can relate to. The trend began as a way to show off genuine lesser-known lifestyle aesthetics before becoming a way to show off made-up, more comedic aesthetics. The format is similar to Starter Packs, in which a number of images stereotypical to followers of the trend are shown for comedic effect. The trend is collected largely under the hashtag #rareaesthetic and the original sound "crimewave by crystal castles"[1] on TikTok. It's unknown where or when the term "rare aesthetic" first became popular.


There are a number of popular lifestyle aesthetics practiced across social media, each one defined by specific fashion trends, lifestyle choices, locations, and more. Some of these include Dark Academia, Cottage Core, and the VSCO Girl aesthetic. On TikTok, some users post regular videos detailing different aesthetics both rare and not, including users like moonlitdxze, who started uploading aesthetic videos on February 16th, 2020 (examples shown below).


In an effort to highlight lesser-known aesthetics, TikTokers began making videos highlighting rare aesthetics. One of the earliest examples of this was uploaded on February 18th by TikToker rissaduh, who highlights aesthetics like "retro-futurism" and "witch house" in her video (shown below). The video, tagged with #rareaesthetic, gained over 2.3 million views in 8 months. Another example of an authentic rare aesthetic video was uploaded on February 27th by beepbopbails, gaining over 242,000 views in 8 months.


As the trend continued, TikTokers started applying the term "rare aesthetic" more broadly, attaching it to videos describing specific situations, looks, or life events as aesthetics, often for comedic effect. An early example of this was uploaded on March 16th by savsilby, garnering over 233,000 views in 7 months (shown below, left). Some of these bank heavily on nostalgia, and are more-so vibes than aesthetics (example shown below, right).



Around September of 2020, the hashtag #rareaesthetic saw an increase in use as more TikTokers began making both authentic and parody Rare Aesthetic videos. On September 5th, TikToker swagner365 uploaded a parody Rare Aesthetic video detailing "the Spanish teacher" aesthetic, garnering over 1.9 million views in just under 2 months (shown below, left). On September 22nd, TikToker bucketheadd uploaded the first in an "aesthetic A-Z" video series detailing ultra specific "aesthetics," garnering over 807,000 views in just over a month (shown below, right).


During the week of October 26th, #rareaesthetic started trending on TikTok. As of October 29th, 2020, videos under the hashtag have gained over 122 million views.

Rare Aesthetic Twitter Posts

Around March of 2020, Twitter users began posting Rare Aesthetic photo collections on their feeds. Many of these are comedic in nature, not representing actual aesthetics. On March 2nd, draintard[2] posted an early example of a rare aesthetic Twitter post (shown below, left). Another was uploaded on March 15th by 2manynathans[3] (shown below, right).

smartest man on earth @draintard · Mar 2 000 Welcome to my rare aesthetic: old-McDonald's core McDonald's VIA 9GAG.C Nathan @2manynathans · Mar 15 Rare aesthetic ravaged Costco aisles where everything is sold out, employees are working 11 hour days and there is a ton of boxes to bail. MMUTS PERNUTS

The trend saw an increase in popularity in late September through October of 2020, with more users creating posts detailing specific rare aesthetics (examples shown below).

x Madison × BLM × wear a mask and wash your hands @... · Oct 26 000 Rare aesthetic: early 2000s Seaworld Orlando SeaWorld Serld SeaWorld Alexa Mills @champagnemillzz · Oct 22 rare aesthetic: my apartment parking lot full 00

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