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A Guide to TikTok’s Coquette Aesthetic

It’s time for the soft, pink, and feminine era to take over. Introducing coquette, Tiktok’s growing obsession.

Illustration by Sophia S

Before the girlies got their hands on it, the word ‘coquette’ came from the language, French, and meant “a woman who flirts.”

Thankfully, TikTok creators and Gen Z have taken it a step further and pushed this aesthetic into something so much more. Starting with the pink bow that people are tying on everything they can get their hands on. 

What is Coquette?

Throughout the year, the era of soft pink and feminine has been on the rise. Coquette is a piece of this. Tying a pink bow to everything is just the icebreaker to coquette. Coquette includes frilly bows, soft white and pink fabrics, heart-shaped items, and lacy. Overall, the emphasis is on the hyper-feminine. This emphasis on the hyperfeminine doesn’t discourage the original definition of coquette. Instead, it encourages people to feel in touch with their feminine side. Each person does this in their own way.  

The coquette aesthetic includes soft pinks in both wardrobe and furniture, heart-shaped objects, frills and pearls. Like any good aesthetic there are subcultures within the umbrella topic, things like dollette and bubblegum coquette. Each of these focuses and emphasizes one of the main facets of the coquette aesthetic. Often, the best way to spot this is the dainty, girly elements.

The Origins 

The coquette aesthetic got inspiration from a Japanese subculture, the Lolita look. This aesthetic, named after the book of the same title, includes people who dress in Victorian and Rococo-era fashion. This Lolita aesthetic often goes by the Nymphet aesthetic as well.  The current coquette rise takes these styles and interlaces them with current beliefs of self-care, embracing beauty and love, and reclaiming femineity. 

The hyper-feminine and the influence of the Lolita subculture have caused a bit of fuss when it comes to the coquette aesthetic. While the Lolita and Nymphet aesthetics focus on the age and sexuality of the girls practicing these aesthetics, Coquette doesn’t. Therefore, it’s easy for people to confuse the looks of these aesthetics. Often, people criticize Coquette for its “over-sexualization” of girls. This isn’t true at its core. Most coquette lovers see the aesthetic as a love of girlhood in all its forms. 

The Love of Girlhood

The importance of this trending aesthetic is how quickly it’s becoming cool to be a girl. Throughout previous eras, people often diminish the idea of being a girl down to the “tomboy” girl, the “cool” girl, or the “downtown” girl. So many of these trends focus on putting women in more manly styles. Coquette is the direct opposite of that, taking simple items and trying to feminize them with pink bows. Often, society sees the act of making something feminine as negative. Coquette goes to encourage people to emphasize and love their more feminine side. 

In a world where being a girl can often be seen as a negative, coquette rebels against that. The emphasis on girlhood is the main aspect to this aesthetic; anything can be girly as long as a girl gets their hands on it and ties a cute little pink bow on it. It encourages child-like playfulness within its practices. The daintiness of it all isn’t being equated to weakness instead, to the beauty that it holds. 

Sounds of Coquette

Coquette videos use feminine audios as well. Lana Del Rey is often put over videos to convey the soft, airy feeling the aesthetic is going for. The artist has captured coquette without even knowing so many years ago with her “Born to Die” album, and it is coming back because of how well it does it. Lana Del Rey’s music captures both the feminine softness and any flirtatious vibes that most coquette folks try to balance within their videos. Alongside the music, voice overs typically include girl characters, like Euphoria’s Cassie Howard outburst about loving Nate Jacobs. 

These voice overs are important because they typically represent a side of girlhood that people do not discuss as widely. Although people still feel this side through being a girl. The Cassie Howard example displays how lovesick a girl can be. There is no good or bad within these audios; instead, the listener gets to embrace their own definition within them. 

During the era of the Barbie movie, the Mean Girls revamp, and so many other moments of embracing girlhood, the coquette aesthetic fits in perfectly.

Written By

24 year old writer. Denver based but always found with my nose in a book.

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