We're Calling It: These Were the 4 Worst Trends of Summer 2023

Summer Trends Barbie Dua Lipa
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From mermaidcore to color-changing marshmallows, we’ve certainly been known to jump on the trend bandwagon from time to time. But something about the summer that saw Barbie parties, cottage cheese filled artichoke hearts and, oh yeah, having to wear a mask to shield yourself from the air, made us want to say goodbye to trendiness in general. Here, four summer 2023 things we could never get behind in the first place. May they rest in peace alongside cold shoulder tops and unicorn Frappuccinos.

1. Dipping Things in Cottage Cheese and Mustard

Gen Z is hardly the first cohort to realize that you can lose weight by eating vegetables slathered in low-calorie condiments. (Our college roommates spent a good portion of 2004 filling mushroom caps with Grey Poupon.) But they have certainly hit the TikTok hard this summer with evidence that such diets are not only effective, but (allegedly) delicious, with thousands upon thousands of videos detailing raw veggie and basic protein spreads, accompanied by a tiny pile of mustard and/or cottage cheese. And while we certainly wish these ladies well in their journey to the perfect “girl dinner,” we’ll be eating cooked foods that employ actual seasonings, thank you very much.

2. Quiet Luxury, Barbiecore and Other Trends Made Up by Publicists

Yes, we love Succession. Yes, Greta Gerwig is a cinematic genius. But do people actually want to wear $1,200 turtlenecks or outfit their bedrooms entirely in hot pink plastic? Yes, if you listen to the publicity and media juggernaut that dominated the summer of 2023. But not really if you actually listen to, um, consumers. In fact, and has been widely reported, the media’s coverage of Succession and the adjacent trend of “Quiet Luxury” was entirely out of whack with the show’s actual ratings. Similarly, while hot pink has undoubtedly been on the rise in the fashion and beauty worlds, it’s unclear if this is actually because of Barbie mania or simply a natural progression away from millennial pink and towards a more saturated hue. Bottom line: we could do without another headline calling this the summer of Barbie everything. (And yes, we know we’re personally guilty of this.)

Dua Lipa Sheer Dress Barbie 1
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3. Totally Sheer Clothing

If your name is Dua Lipa disregard this entry. If it is not, we bet you too are not exactly dying to sport a see-through chain mail dress and crystal thong to your next night on the town. And yet…this was the summer that saw just about every female celeb (and the outline of her nipples) rocking the trend—a look which both exacerbates unrealistic body standards and just seems…uncomfortable. Is this the outfit you’d want to eat soft serve in? Methinks not.

4. Checking the Air Quality Index

Remember the blissful days when you had no idea that AQI 150 was very, very bad? Welcome to summer 2023 when extreme heat, devasting floods and harmful air from the Canadian wildfires upended the way we live. From summer camps moving indoors to a non-Spanish embrace of the Spanish siesta, climate change acutely changed how we operate in hotter months. And while, sadly, these climate events don’t constitute a “trend,” we’d be remiss not to mention the way they’ve barreled their way into our lives these past few months. Let’s just hope this rude awakening results in actual policy upheaval—a trend in lifestyle and government we’d very much embrace.

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