By Camille S. Campbell
What aesthetic do I have to be to make you fall in love with me?
I create each facet of myself to draw you in,
When I study alone at night, I imagine our dark academia romance
Cobblestones, libraries of wood and old literature,
Boarding schools, lake houses full of Ivy League legacies.
In class, I daydream of our vintage love:
1950s vinyl, milkshakes and roller skates,
Leather jackets, 1980s, rock’n’roll, drive-in movies,
I will morph into the aesthetic you choose.
If you glance at a grunge girl,
I will paint my nails maroon and ebony.
Ask a soft-girl to prom
and I’ll show up in a gown of pastels.
Talk to the teacher’s pet in art class,
and I’ll be your artsy queen.
How many Pinterest boards and bullet journals do I have to make for you to see me?
How many times do I have to go under metamorphosis to finally be a butterfly?
When will our aesthetic love be more than just my dream?
Because I am inspired by various aesthetics that are gaining popularity, such as the “dark academia” aesthetic and “vintage” aesthetic, I wanted to create a visual poem that would invoke images of each aesthetic and tell a love story. This idea turned into a poem called “Our Aesthetic Love.” It is a coming of age story about someone who alternates “aesthetics” hoping that the person they have a crush on will return their feelings. By scrolling through Pinterest boards and researching the subculture of aesthetics that are popular amongst teens, I wrote the love fantasy story that exists only in a person’s head, everchanging, just like the aesthetics themselves.