What’s Monster Energy green, checkered and sk8er boi all over? It’s the “older brother core” aesthetic currently making the rounds on TikTok, defined by stereotypical objects and traits associated with having an older brother in the early 2000s to 2010s.
The aesthetic is especially linked to a skater or “punk” older brothers — think classic ’00s items like Monster Energy and Mountain Dew drinks, original Xbox and Playstation systems, CD towers, giant televisions, flip phones and all the baggy pants and shorts topped with side-swept bangs.
The trend is part of Gen Z’s seemingly larger obsession with the 2000s, which includes everything from sharing 2000s fashion to being fascinated with “time capsules” of the era. The @4blue_moon4 account broke down the older bother core trend, pointing out that it includes “hyper-specific” details, such as a “really specific shade” of lime green.
The Bluemoon account also acknowledged that not everyone’s older brother in the 2000s would have acted or looked like the trend — for instance, @antrex_ commented on a video by @exelyox that the aesthetic primarily reflects “white older brother core” — but that most teen boys in the 2000s likely would have interacted with at least some of the “elements” portrayed in all of the videos.
A favorite amongst older brother core seems to be flames on everything, from the stiff wide jeans of the era to T-shirts to somewhat inexplicably, ceiling fans.
On the Dark Horizons (@sono_raoul_di_lorenzo) TikTok, which advertises itself as an “older brother core” account, those who actually lived through the 2000s are expressing nostalgia for the way life used to be. The actual 2000s teens may not have realized that they would one day become a trend in the future, but now that they’ve moved on from their blow-up chair and heavy metal days, some young adults say they miss what felt like simpler times.
“I MISS THE MID 2000S,” wrote an emphatic @scatarow.
Some commenters on the same account also shared how the older brother trend is hitting them in the feels, because it reminds them of having an actual older brother in the 2000s.
“Ugh I miss my teen brotherr now he has his own lil family. Sadly his room doesn’t look like this anymore,” added @01.joc.
Those sharing the older brother core aesthetic also include those who didn’t actually live through the 2000s but say they wish they would have.
“Forever sad I was only barely conscious for 2008 and 2009. I want THIS,” added @acovertoperation
The trend also highlights the beginning of technology in everyday life for teens, with real-time footage of the start of personal computers and video games that once took over teens’ entire rooms.
Some TikTokers have also sparked a movement towards “older sister core,” again leaning more towards older sisters in the 2000s who were more “edgy” or “punk.”
History lesson or just a trip down memory lane, older brother core joins some of the other core trends on TikTok, from humancore to cottage core to euphoria core, that seem to reflect Gen Zer’s attempt at defining and filtering the world around them in a way that best reflects their own personalities.
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