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beauty is pop culture // sex rules the world 

  • Arianne Obi

Are the beauty aesthetics of the 60's Back in full Swing?

How are the leaders of the girl economy bringing retro beauty aesthetics to the present day?

Credit: Pinterest

If there’s one thing about Zendaya, it’s that she can turn a look. She has gone from strength to strength on the sartorial front, blessing us with her swag era of the 2010s and a champion of method dressing. With the help of Law Roach, Dune and Challengers have both taken us on a whirlwind journey in cinematography, but equally the actresses' looks have brought inimitable steez to the red carpet. 

It’s been said that many of the looks have been influenced by Matthew Williams' Loewe and Athena Gibson, an African American tennis player who rose to prominence in the 1960s. 

Between Z’s metal suit — an out-of-this-world Mugler creation — inspired by Barbarella, her mod-inspired Louis Vuitton look at the Paris preview of Challengers, and a retro bouffant at the LA launch, it’s fairly obvious that — at least in her world — the sixties are in full swing.

Credit: WWD

It’s not just Zendaya that’s feeling the magic of the sixties: this year has given us many tastes of a time that once was. We've seen pocket-rocket Sabrina Carpenter fuel vintage aesthetics with spidery lashes, pastel shadows and bold eyeliner in a way that can only be described as reminiscent of a digi-age pinup (see TikTok earworm, Espresso). The same can be said for Mother Supreme and Coachella headliner Lana del Rey, who’s coquettish mug has withstood the test of the decade and become quintessentially, well, Lana. It doesn’t stop there — Sophia Coppola’s Priscilla, Apple TV’s Palm Royale and the Biba Exhibition at London’s Textile Museum all tell us one thing. Even braids are getting a nostalgic spin as short and flicky Dolly Braids reminiscent of a sixties bob becomes popular among girls rejecting the buss-down middle part aesthetic.

Credit: Pinterest

It all makes sense though, given that sixties beauty and fashion trends often find themselves be rooted within a ladylike elegance or girlish flirtatiousness. Gen Z is living in a girl economy where hyper-femininity reigns, all packaged in a blush box with a bow on top. Women are reclaiming their womanhood through aesthetics and treating their bodies as a canvas for self-expression. Not only that, but we’ve slowly been injecting a bit of joy into our looks through to dopamine makeup and dressing. Essentially, it's a rejection of the clean girl aesthetic and Gabriette-like vampiness. Browns and blacks somehow don’t always cut it in our dreary existence, so why not embrace a bold eyeliner or romantic blush (we hear some new Pat McGrath has just dropped, did someone say support Black Women?).

 Are you passionate about exploring the intricate worlds of beauty, sex, fashion, wellness, and culture? Do you belong to a marginalized community and have unique perspectives and stories to share? If so, Nightstand Service is eagerly seeking contributing writers like you! Get in touch:


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