Who is the soft girl and why is everyone seemingly charmed by her? These days, different types of aesthetics and personalities pop up one after the other. Largely thanks to social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter, today’s teens can better express themselves and their preferences in ways not seen before. So, shall we get to know the soft girl and the soft boy better?
What is a Soft Girl?
The popular #softgirlchallenge on TikTok has had more than 1.1 million views and counting, showing just how popular this particular aesthetic has become. For the unfamiliar, both the soft girl style and terminology first gained popularity on TikTok. It’s safe to say that the social media platform has become a way for today’s generation to fully express themselves and play with different personas in the process.
So, what defines the softgirl? Some might describe “softies” as a mix of your sunny VSCO girls and the creative egirls. However, they are also very different when it comes to aesthetics. The soft girl and the soft boy tend to sport rather childish fashion, often incorporating popular characters such as Sailor Moon, Disney Princesses, or those from Sanrio into their looks. In a way, there’s also a sense of nostalgia to their style.
Aside from this, the soft girl aesthetic exudes a sense of romanticism. It is not unusual for them to don vintage clothing and accessories. This is mixed with maximalist jewelry and lots of shimmer. As for color, you’ll often find pastels and neutral tones, though vibrant pinks are also a common sight. Unlike the VSCO girl aesthetic, however, the “soft style” is genderless. There are no rules that dictate what’s considered feminine and masculine.
The Soft Girl and Breaking Gender Norms
When you think of what’s traditionally seen as feminine, what comes to mind? More often than not, different elements of girlhood and similar forms of expression are seen as weaknesses. Character traits such as being sensitive, enjoying the color pink in all of its hues, and openly expressing one’s emotions are things seen as unattractive simply because they are “girly.” However, the soft girl and the soft boy embrace all of these things. They don’t shy away from something just because it has been deemed as either childish or hyper-feminine.
So while some might mock its cute aesthetic, there’s no denying the fact that it takes a degree of fearlessness to pull it off. On top of that, it has also allowed people of all genders to tap into another side of themselves. One that they might have been afraid to show or haven’t really expressed as much before. Popular phrases such as “Fight like a girl” or “Let boys be feminine” can help summarize what the soft girl aesthetic is all about.
Soft Girls vs. Egirls and Pastel Goths
Huffpost once described the egirl aesthetic as a cross between Harley Quinn and Kurt Cobain. They’re grungy, but not averse to playing with color. The look is feminine, but with an edge. The same can be said for the pastel Goth, whose style is derived from Japanese street fashion.
Soft girls, on the other hand, tend to be very feminine with a healthy dose of “Kawaii” mixed in. While they share the same love of color with the egirls and pastel goths, their preferences lean toward pastels or neutral tones. Unlike the grungy undertones seen in both the egirl and pastel Goth aesthetic, a softgirl would also opt for something cozier. This means big hoodies and comfortable but cutesy clothing.
How to Achieve Soft Girl Style
If you’re not used to being deliberately cutesy, the softgirl style will certainly be a step outside of your comfort zone. That said, it can be quite the interesting challenge. Think of it as a way of tapping into your feminine side and getting over the stigma attached to all things “girly.”
Soft Girl Clothing
This cute aesthetic isn’t brand specific, which is great if you’re on a budget. One of its key fashion staples is oversized hoodies or jackets, which would make the wearer appear smaller and cuter. Hygge plays a role, too, as many softies choose cozy clothing. Think back to Ariana Grande and her extra-large sweatshirts, which she often styled with thigh-high boots or knee-high socks.
While “softies” do love their oversized clothes, they aren’t averse to wearing something form-fitting either. This includes ruffled summer dresses, skater skirts, cropped “lettuce” tops, and pastel-colored baby tees. The soft girl aesthetic maintains a sweetness to it, however, and isn’t meant to be seductive in any way.
Key elements of soft girl outfits: soft and fluffy hoodies, pastels and shimmer, light wash jeans, cropped tops and cardigans, pinafores, floral patterns, doll shoes or mary-janes, and chunky sneakers.
Soft Girl Makeup Looks
There are a variety of soft girl makeup styles that you can try. The most common, however, highlights the person’s natural features while adding cutesy details such as extra blush. When it comes to this style, it’s all about keeping a neutral base with neutral tones for both eyes and lips. Don’t forget to add a touch of blush to the tip of your nose!
Soft girls can also be quite glam with their makeup. You also don’t need to have a fair skin tone to pull off this look. Remember, sparkle and shimmer are two essential elements of the soft girl style so don’t be afraid to add it to your makeup as well. For this look, the shimmer comes in the form of subtle cheek highlights. You can also opt to add glitter to your lids or create ultra-glossy lips.
If you’re looking for something more creative, with elements of “Kawaii” incorporated into the makeup look, then this could be the thing for you. It might not be fit for daily wear, but it certainly is fun to try! When doing this makeup, you can exaggerate your features and create larger or wider eyes. Faux eyelashes, drawn-on freckles, and face glitter can also be added.
Soft girl makeup brands to try: Milk makeup, Freck Beauty, Too Faced, Glossier, Etude House, Tony Moly, and Hard Candy.
Soft Girl Hairstyle
When it comes to the soft girl aesthetic, it tends to be on the simpler side in terms of color. That said, unlike the egirl or the pastel Goth, most soft girls stick to their natural hair colors. Instead, they inject more fun into their look through hair accessories and hairstyles. For them, it’s all about loose waves and face-framing curls. You can also do an Ariana Grande high ponytail or add colorful bows to your hair. Here are a few more easy styles you can try to achieve the softgirl look.
Soft girl hairstyle essentials: hair bows, scrunchies, barrettes, hairbands, and hair glitter.
Soft Boy Outfits
A Soft boy or softboy is the male equivalent of the soft girl. These guys are not afraid to show off their more artistic and sensitive sides when it comes to both their fashion and hairstyle. For the soft boy, they can either wear pastels or darker, muted colors such as greys and blues. Given the similarities in style, they are also often associated with the Art Hoe aesthetic.
Thrift stores are the best places to shop for soft boy outfits. Much like their female counterparts, it’s all about being fearless yet playful when it comes to mixing and matching. Try mixing vintage knits with light wash ripped denims and classic soft boy footwear such as Nike Air Forces or neutral-toned Converse sneakers. To top off your look, don’t forget to don horn-rimmed glasses or give your locks a slightly bedhead appearance!
Popular Soft Girls in Media and Fiction
There are many soft girl names that fans of the aesthetic would easily recognize. Among the most popular is singer Ariana Grande, who many consider to be the “blueprint” for newer fans of the style. However, since her fashion tends to change often, let us introduce you to some of the most well-known figures for softies.
Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon)
Some might argue that aside from being one of the original “magical girls” in anime, Usagi Tsukino is also an inspiration for the soft girl style. She was introduced as a carefree schoolgirl who is well-meaning, if a bit of a “crybaby.” Suffice to say, she isn’t the type to hide her feelings, which is true to who the soft girl is. Usagi Tsukino has many stereotypically girly interests and is a hopeless romantic. In fact, one of her greatest dreams is to someday be a bride!
For fans of the Harry Potter films, Luna Lovegood is certainly one of the most memorable characters. While she was not explicitly labeled as a soft girl, she certainly has all the hallmarks of one. In the movies, she is shown as being quite dreamy, enjoys unique and often child-like hobbies, and has a very feminine style. Luna Lovegood is also fearless when it comes to the things she likes, not minding those around her who have deemed her and her interests as strange.
Lily Uaua, better known by her online persona DouxFairy, is as sweet as can be. You can look to her for inspiration when it comes to soft girl style, including makeup and hairstyles! At present, she has over 400,000 followers on Instagram and over 200,000 followers on TikTok. Her cute aesthetic also lends itself to room and home decoration so you can truly live out the soft girl fantasy.
Blackpink isn’t just one of the biggest girl groups in the world, they are also fashion icons in their own right. Among the foursome, however, it is Rosé who has the soft girl style down to a science. A quick glance at her Instagram page will provide you with plenty of inspiration for easy, everyday soft girl outfits. Rosé loves her oversized sweaters and is often seen in neutral tones. The music video for her solo single “On the Ground” exudes femininity and playfulness that will certainly charm you.
Why settle for one or two soft girls when you can have 12? Meet the girls of IZ*ONE, a former South-Korean and Japanese girl group. They may have since gone their separate ways but they certainly left plenty of inspiration when it comes to soft girl fashion. Their concept, even from the beginning of their careers, is feminine and romantic, but also fun and colorful. If you’re looking for wearable soft girl makeup and outfit ideas, check out their music videos!
Being a Soft Girl is a Lifestyle
Some might wrongly assume that soft girls are all about aesthetic outfits and cute makeup. However, this isn’t quite the case. While fashion does play a significant role in it, being a soft girl also means expressing oneself openly—even if it means appearing vulnerable.
Remember, soft girls fearlessly embrace everything that is considered as “weaknesses” for girls. Allow yourself to be feminine, not just in appearance, but also when it comes to dealing with other matters in life. There’s nothing wrong with being gentle or sensitive, after all!