With the rise of platforms like TikTok, we see trends come and go very frequently, but there’s a consistent pattern that has been developing for a while now. A lot of trends begin within marginalized communities and are looked down upon or criticized by outside communities. However, once rich people start participating, all of a sudden they become popular and desirable.
There are countless examples of this phenomenon, even before TikTok. I personally first noticed this on YouTube, with the rise of thrift shopping. Growing up in the early 2000s, I went thrift shopping not because it was cool, but rather because it was the only affordable option for my family — even though I grew up in a low-income area, it was still extremely looked down upon if you couldn’t afford new clothing. However, in the late 2010s, we began to see the rise of thrifting when YouTubers like Emma Chamberlain and Hannah Meloche started posting videos about it. After that, it was almost as if the floodgates had opened: Now there were countless creators that were posting thrifting-based content. Thrifting became a trend, as it was suddenly widely recognized as a way to shop sustainably and find cool vintage pieces. Though both these things are true, before thrifting became popular, it was looked down upon based on thrift stores’ connotation of low-income customers.
However, with platforms such as TikTok, we see this phenomenon happening more and more frequently. The most recent case of this involved Hailey Bieber at the helm. Not too long ago, Hailey Bieber posted a TikTok showing how she gets her signature pouty lips. All she used was lip liner and gloss — she coined this look as a “brownie glazed lip.” At the very beginning, she was praised for showing such a simple fall lip combo. But it soon started to get backlash, and she soon deleted the TikTok.
So why is this garnering so much attention? Because “brownie glazed lips” is not a new thing — women of Color (WOC) have been doing this for years. I cannot speak for the history of lip liner within other communities of Color; however, I can in terms of the Latino community. Dark lip liner was a staple of the ’90s chola subculture, which was created by low-income L.A.-based Mexican-Americans. What people have an issue with is not necessarily that Hailey Bieber is participating in the lip liner look, but rather the fact that people are acting as if this is something new and that she somehow created “brownie glazed lips.” Considering that many WOC, specifically Black and Brown women, get called “ratchet,” “ghetto” and/or face backlash for wearing the exact same look, Hailey Bieber getting called “chic” is infuriating.
Many people still fail to understand why so many people are mad and fail to see this topic as anything beyond people being dramatic. The reason is that this is not the first time something like this has happened; rich white people do this all the time. They take something that has been a trend in marginalized groups for years and then act as if they created it. We saw this with box braids in the late 2010s — Black women are constantly criticized for anything they do, honestly, but when women like Kim Kardashian do it, they are praised. This is not exclusive to aesthetics, as we have seen this with cultural food as well: In July, a woman coined the traditional South American dish Ceviche as “cowboy caviar.” Needless to say, rich white people need to learn how to leave good things alone.
Daily Arts Writer K. Rodriguez-Garcia can be reached at email@example.com.