There’s a certain fascination around sadness (and other
tragedies; anger, boredom, alienation and nostalgia) amongst
millennials. In a world where emotion is often performed on social
media, sadness has become an aesthetic commodity that can
be used for self-expression, but also mined to gain likes.
People are beginning to recognize the artistic validity of this
form of expression, which manifests itself across various media.
Online, the words sadness and aesthetic have found new life, evolving
the meaning through digital platforms and internet subcultures. The
subcultures heighten these words and these emotions, looking both at
references in the past and transforming it for the present and setting
trends for perhaps the future.
For some, aestheticizing sadness and negativity into an art
form allows revelation; from music and art to cynical conversations
and nostalgic memorabilia, the aestheticization of sadness
isn’t a search for utopia, but rather a joyful celebration
of sadness itself.
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