Aesthetic nowadays is more simplified, at least in the eyes of the people that most use the term. And according to Urban Dictionary, those people tend to be Tumblr users. Aesthetic is, apparently, “Something that tumblr weirdo’s say way too often and use it for every damn thing under the sun. A generally annoying word.” Of course, Urban Dictionary is not an academic source nor should it be taken at anything other than face value. However, while overgeneralized and disrespectful, it has some truth to it. “Aesthetic” has become a common term on Tumblr, often being used by users for anything they find beautiful or “aesthetically” pleasing to the eye.
People have dedicated blogs to specific aesthetics like nature aesthetic, floral aesthetic, indie aesthetic and any aesthetic you can think of. It has become a joke to simply see something pretty and say “aesthetic”. The “Tumblr Aesthetic” has become something akin to Pinterest, which is also another example of today’s aesthetic. The entirety of that website is a culmination of images and DIYs that appeal to individuals. I, myself, have a pinterest that is dedicated to indie fashion (which is beautiful if I must say). Aesthetic has become that simple. This day and age, people can find something pretty, put it somewhere others will see, and tell them that it’s beautiful.
All is not lost, however, when it comes to the more theoretical and refined side of aesthetic. There are associations and foundations dedicated to the study of art and architecture like the American Society for Aesthetics. Though, these societies may be viewing aesthetics as simply something beautiful as opposed to older Aestheticians who viewed it in regards to who was viewing it.
Regardless, with this onset of social media and different platforms to show an individual’s aesthetic comes the “New Aesthetic” which takes current technology and blends it with images and photographs. Whether it’s with filters or warped photo editors, the new aesthetic movement is a unique offset of classic aesthetics mainly because it brings attention to a new beauty. This beauty is slightly odd yet just as interesting with a focus on computer editing or modifications to images. The images themselves could be digital or photographs taken by people. They are then changed and modified. This type of beauty is saying that people see the world differently but also that the things that we created (computers, phones, etc) see us just as differently. Its a kind of metaphysical beauty that makes you scratch your head a little.
The drastic changes in technology and media and communication have also changed our view of beauty and of how we define it. Viewed from one end like Tumblr, one could say that modern humans have lost the meaning to “aesthetic”, turning it into some oversimplified definition of beauty. However, with the rise of the New Aesthetic, it is seen very differently, showing that there may be depth to this new “beauty”.