Born on TikTok, the e-girl’s male counterpart has quickly cemented itself as an iconic aesthetic and subculture.
Combining “electronic” and “boy”, e-boy denotes a guy with a large online presence as well as a certain aesthetic. The origins of term show an emergence from the e-girl, which was originally a misogynistic, derogatory term. Although both date back as early as 2009, the e-boy has flourished into a subculture of its own through TikTok. Gen Z’s thirst for and celebration of male beauty and laxed attitude towards traditional masculinity paved the way for this new brand of ‘pretty boy’.
The look is essentially cyber-grunge, taking strong influences from K-pop, goth, and skate culture. E-boys can be seen rocking t-shirts over long sleeves, paired with skater jeans and 90’s Leonardo DiCaprio locks. Naturally, it’s heavy on the jewellery too – hip chains, layered necklaces, and asymmetrical cross earrings are essential.
Not to be confused with the softboy, the sensitive twink-like cousin embodied by Timothée Chalamet. While the two share a slightly 90’s aesthetic, softboys are characterised more by their round glasses and comfortable clothing, and gentle, ‘soft’ nature.
The E-boy’s signature pose? Hands through hair, tongue stuck out and almost always a jawline flex. Their mirror selfies shoot for an effortless, hot mess look. Although, cute and edgy edits are just as popular.
E-boys are not exactly adored the internet-over; having garnered a reputation for d-bag behaviour combined with the vanity and self-centred nature of social media influencers. While they may be subject of ridicule for inducing cringe, it’s more than likely that they’re experiencing the same backlash every new style receives. No one remembers this better than millennials – does “hipster” ring a bell?
Nevertheless, we’re eager to see how e-boys will evolve and if the iconic aesthetic will outlive TikTok.
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