The ‘succubus chic’ aesthetic takes fashion and beauty to the dark side

Is the corpse look back in style in 2023? Since the beginning of last year, beauty and fashion trends have been moving away from the clean, polished Clean Girl aesthetic to channel a darker feminine energy. Following the runaway success of the Netflix series “Wednesday” and the explosion of gothic chic looks, the succubus chic trend continues to transform and reinvent itself.

Simply put, the succubus chic look is characterized by thin, barely there brows, outrageous black smoky eyes or exaggerated eyeliner, pale skin with hollow features, and gothic-inspired clothing . Many women who wear this seem to top it off with blood red lipstick or liner.

The hair is jet black, straight, sometimes pulled back, highlighting this pale, almost deathly skin. It’s no longer about looking sexy, but about exuding a mysterious and enchanting air. The succubus chic look is very specific, even down to the pose you have to strike: head tilted, pursed lips, and a cadaverous gaze that is both a siren’s call and a deadly warning.

A trend recovered from the 2000s

The word succubus comes from the name given to a female demon who seduces men and makes out with them while they sleep. In the early 2000s, the look became popular thanks to actress Angelina Jolie, considered the best “bad girl” at the time.

Proof can be seen in her “Born to be Wild” photoshoot for Elle magazine, which features the “Tomb Raider” star looking into the camera, head bowed, sporting the look that became signature chic succubus.

With her thin eyebrows, prominent cheekbones and puckered lips, dressed in leather and covered in tattoos, Angelina Jolie is hailed as the spiritual mother of today’s stylish succubus girls.

Years later, around 2019, an influencer/model/singer named Gabrielle Bechtel, who goes by the handle Gabbriette, revived the legacy of this aesthetic and democratized the look.

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Like other models who adopt this aesthetic, such as Cara Delevingne, she has very thin eyebrows, hollow features and a mullet. But it’s only since the end of last year that the hashtag “succubus chic” has really taken off on social media, with a total of 411.5 million views on TikTok.

Proof of the popularity of the look, Kylie Jenner, the instigator of many trends among the new generations, has taken this underground vibe in one of her latest posts on Instagram. Far from her usual polished look, Kylie Jenner sports gray eyebrows, a tousled bun, dark-rimmed eyes, sunken cheeks and stares into the lens with a deadpan stare.

Kylie Jenner
The succubus chic look is increasingly prevalent in the aesthetic of influencers, such as Kylie Jenner | Photography kyliejenner / Instagram © via ETX Daily

The media has been quick to pick up on this new beauty aesthetic, and not without causing controversy.

A look seen as unhealthy

At the beginning of January, the American magazine Dazed addressed the expansion of this aesthetic on social networks. The article was soon picked up by thousands of social media users criticizing the harmful and unhealthy lifestyle the story evokes.

From the opening lines, it says, “It’s Wednesday Addams if he grew up, got a job in Milan, and picked up a Coke habit.” The description continues with “the cheeks are hollow and the cheekbones are prominent.

There’s not an ounce of lip fat in sight.” In response, TikToker Yves Saint Laurel decries not only the lack of diversity in the images chosen for the article, but also the way the magazine subtly promotes consumption of drugs and flab.In fact, this notion of thinness seems to have returned to the forefront with cosmetic surgery procedures, such as liposuction, highlighting the unhealthy side of the succubus chic look.

On Twitter, users are mocking this new aesthetic, pointing to the trend of thin eyebrows, which was originally attributed to Latina women. “Succubus chic? You mean copying Angelina Jolie’s face and wearing 2000s Latin makeup? Lol.”

Others, meanwhile, complain about the overabundance of aesthetics on social media: “Soft girl, Clean girl, Luxury girl, High level woman, and now Vanilla girl and Succubus chic?! ?? !! At first it was cute, but now they’re exaggerating… that’s enough.”

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