what is this dark academia? a haphazard defense of its origins and the love to books

July 15, 2020

dark academia is an aesthetic with it’s origins in the deep admiration towards classic and gothic literature, curiosity and history. so the basic idea of it is the love to all things academic, the fine arts and gloomy days.
that actually doesn’t sound like something that needs its own fashion style or an aesthetic itself. however, I feel like people, especially on instagram, are focused more on the visual parts of it lately. which should not be surprising, considering instagram is a platform that lives from photos and the immense consummation of them.

you have no idea how happy I was when I first heard of DA:
I was normal.
out there there are others who have a passion for literature and studying.
other people who rather stay in and hang out with their cats listening to 17th century music than go out with friends and “have a jolly time”.
I don’t want to be a gatekeeper here, but what the fuck are you doing with dark academia if the most important things for you aren’t books and the satisfaction of your curiosity?! what do you think the academic stands for if not the complete devotion to words and perfectionism?
instead you (we) turned this community, that should be the last one that cares for looks and the first, that is actually created by introverts into yet another shallow Pinterest moodboard. (I’m one to talk here, having like six Pinterest boards devoted to DA)
screw tweet trousers and this unnecessary Eurocentric fandom. be yourself instead of yet another copy.

be yourself?

for me, one of the most important DA essentials is, that you don’t fucking care about other peoples thoughts about you.
did Henry care what his fellow schoolmates thought about him? no. otherwise he wouldn’t have been wearing that turtlenecks we all love so much. the secret history is set in the 80s. everyone else probably wore bright purple and turquoise.
so do what you want. if that’s linen shorts and Oxford shirts that’s cool. if it’s a vintage band shirt and high rise jeans that’s just as fine. just have fun.

don’t be a slave to your aesthetic

my favorite laura (@geminnourum on instagram) wrote:
thirsty, curious, open-minded, imperfect, not always productive and forever wondering people are the ones that fit dark academia perfectly. not the most fashionable, the ‘so hard working that there is no time for being a human,’ ideal feed owners, ignorant and pretentious ones. what I would like to see in dark academia is real, honest people who share their passion for knowledge and beautiful, haunting thoughts on life, history and so much more. because now it is just full of copies; copies that want to show off the knowledge, forgetting that it should be like sharing a piece of bread with the hungry ones – out of pure kindness and sense of humanity. it became too superficial, like beauty with no meaning, beauty for the sake of pleasing the eye and not feeding the soul. i see huge accounts stealing photos from creators on this platform or posting a painting without mentioning the artist – because it’s for the aesthetic, nothing more. i see people asking questions of the sort: ‘can I have short blonde hair and still fit DA?’ reminder: you can do whatever you please, read any book you like, dress in what makes you feel comfortable and good and yourself. never DO anything for an aesthetic. find the things that already MAKE you a part of this community. do not fit into dark academia but rather observe how dark academia fits you. 

and I think especially that last part is so important!
maybe dark academia (the idea, not the aesthetic) doesn’t fit you. maybe you like brown tones and not books. and that’s cool! don’t be ashamed–please be everything but ashamed! (also try to be not dead maybe).
perhaps think about why you like “dark academia” and maybe call it brown aesthetic instead. or call it nothing. I don’t care. just be yourself (whoever that is.) and stay hydrated.
you’re beautiful and extraordinary and unique and you really don’t have to fit other people’s idea of you.

well well well :)) hope I didn’t hurt anyone since I was often rather harsh — but I solemnly swear it came from a good place.
stay safe, brave and cosy;

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  • Reply herlibraryofspells July 16, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Unfortunately, people always care more about the outer part instead of the inner part, and not only in aesthetics. But daily… Another aesthetic example is the witch one. Most of the people think that witches are girls with dyed hair. dark makeup and dark clothing. But what about a real witch who wears comfy clothes and tries to look as natural as she can? And a daily example would be the people who are criticised for looking different. But they are also criticised for having an improper behaviour when maybe they have a kind heart or a sharp mind, while ‘normal’ people , as they call themselves, are empty.
    Anyways, not the way we dress, the way we look etc., but the love for learning new things should bring the dark academics together.
    Thank you for reading this.♡

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