Meet The Influencers Leading the Size Inclusive Y2K Trend Revival (2024)

At this moment in the fashion and beauty industry, it feels like we’ve all unknowingly stepped into a time machine and landed in 2002. It seems like every day a new trend from the decade is returning, including butterfly clips, chunky highlights, and even stretch comb headbands. From Bella Hadid’s skinny eyebrows to Rihanna’s new horizontal highlights, to everybody in bucket hats. Y2K style is back in full swing. And while many trends have been generally fun to see again, others come back accompanied by mixed emotions. Some trends, like low-rise jeans, are equally as divisive today as they were 20 years ago.

The glittery and bedazzled nature of the 2000s, makes it easy to forget that the decade had an enormous issue with glamorizing pro-anorexia body standards. In fact, Y2K nostalgic content on Gen Z platforms is already once again falling into the trap of associating Y2K culture with extreme thinness. With eating disorders currently on the rise, it seems like the revival has the potential to set back some of the progress the industry has made in regard to size inclusivity. So is it possible to celebrate the decade without perpetuating thinness? 18-year-old Y2K beauty influencer Tiaynna McClyde says so.

McClyde is one of the many plus-size creators reclaiming the Y2K revival, with over 80-thousand followers on Instagram staying up-to-date with her creative takes on 2000s beauty trends like two-toned hair, thin eyebrows, and blue eyeshadow. “I remember seeing how popular Y2K aesthetic was becoming but not seeing one plus-size person,” McClyde told NYLON. “It was so unsatisfying because it made me and others I know feel like we have to lose weight to buy Y2K clothes.”

McClyde is purposely carving a space for other plus-size people to take part in Y2K trends, so they don’t feel the same way about the generally noninclusive era’s fashion revival in 2022. “I love so much to see a black, phat (pretty, hot, and thick), fem people in Y2K looks because the aesthetic is not just about putting on layers of clothes, it’s about being confident and wearing so many accessories,” they say. McClyde’s favorite Y2K beauty trends are “cyber-punk” and “the auntie hoochie mama” (think glammed-up and in a micro-mini skirt) because it reminds her of the ’90s and ’00s television shows she watched growing up. Drawing outfit inspiration from the past, McClyde’s Instagram shows off them wearing mesh tops, fluffy hats, and miniskirts with large hoop earrings and colorful eyeshadow.

Tamara Malas, the founder of her eponymous plus-size clothing brand, says she’s seen many customers looking to engage with more inclusive Y2K trends. “When I think Y2K my brain immediately takes me to childhood, spending weekends at the local mall browsing Limited Too and watching Zenon Girl of the 21st Century,” she says. “But that time period celebrated the polar opposite of inclusivity. These days I’m so thankful that individuality is a lot more celebrated and embraced.” Malas is most excited about Y2K nail art, saying she is “obsessed with the process and love the concept of wearable art on your fingertips that takes 2-3 hours to apply.” Her Instagram is full of plus-size creators and models rocking colorful throwback prints and elaborate nail art.

Emma Zack, the founder of size-inclusive vintage store Shop Berriez, says she’s also witnessed more plus-size people reclaiming the nostalgic trends, despite being excluded during the decade. “I can see on my corner of the internet, fat people are encouraging each other to wear this style despite us being told it's not ‘flattering’ on larger bodies,” she says. This, says Zack, needs to be reflected by brands and casting directors. “If you’re doing a Y2K photoshoot, hire fat models to show people that you can be fat and trendy,” she says. She leads by example, showing off her colorful clothes on models of all sizes. “Created the imagery I wanted (and needed) as a young fattie and the clothes I want now as an older fattie,” she wrote as a caption on recent campaign imagery. She’s also a self-proclaimed “glitter girl” and shares many a Lisa Frank-esque eyeshadow looks on her Instagram.

While there’s no denying that 2000s trends were rife with pro-ana content and blatant fatphobia, by reclaiming the trends on bodies that were historically excluded from taking part in them, plus-size influencers are bringing the best of the decade into the new more inclusive area. After all, what makes the Y2K aesthetic so fun are the wild pattern combinations, the glitz, the shimmering accessories, and the experimentation with heavily pigmented eyeshadows—not the extremely thin bodies we initially saw these looks on.

Meet The Influencers Leading the Size Inclusive Y2K Trend Revival (2024)


Why is Y2K fashion making a comeback? ›

Today, the Y2K look is making a major comeback. It has cross-generational appeal that attracts both those who experienced the trend the first time around and younger generations who are captivated by its boldness and nostalgia. You can't stroll through a city without spotting a hint of Y2K in today's streetwear.

What is the Y2K trend? ›

The Y2K aesthetic, born in the late '90s and early 2000s, blends bold, playful, and futuristic elements, drawing from the era's digital and societal progress. Influenced by the dot-com boom and the rise of the internet, fashion embraced futuristic designs with a casual spin.

Who brought back the Y2K trend? ›

Everything Y2K (around the year 2000) is making a comeback in the world of fashion, and it's mainly thanks to TikTok.

What was Y2K fashion influenced by? ›

Pop culture and celebrity obsession enormously influenced Y2K fashion for men in the 2000s. It still does to a degree, but stars in this era specifically had trends by the chokehold. The goal was to fit in, not stand out; you wanted to assimilate with all the other denim-and-frosted-tip-donning J-14 cyborgs out there.

Why is Gen Z obsessed with the Y2K aesthetic? ›

While millennials witnessed the advancement of technology, Gen Z grew up with a smartphone in hand, so the desire to look back to technology manifests as a search for authenticity. For Gen Z, the early 2000s marked the beginning of modern technology, a time of collective excitement for what's to come.

Why is Gen Z obsessed with Y2K? ›

For many Gen Zers, '90s and 2000s were their formative years, a time of social progress and prosperity. It might also represent an escapist desire for simpler times, especially when people put on nostalgia glasses looking at a distant but noticeable reality.

Why was Y2K scary? ›

When complex computer programs were first written in the 1960s, engineers used a two-digit code for the year, leaving out the "19." As the year 2000 approached, many believed that the systems would not interpret the "00" correctly, therefore causing a major glitch in the system.

How long will Y2K trend last? ›

José Criales-Unzueta, writer, Vogue Runway

Y2K won't die, in my opinion. It will eventually hop off the trend cycle and likely jump back on at some point, and some people will continue to dress like so in the same way there's folks who are obsessed with dressing like they're in the '70s or '90s.

How to dress for Y2K Day? ›

The Y2K look actually spans from the late 90s to the mid-2000s and was typified by scarf tops, boot cut jeans, velour tracksuits, pastels, metallics, cowl necks, pedal pushers (aka capri pants) and showy accessories, from furry bucket hats and trucker caps to bowling bags and butterfly clips.

What does Y2K stand for? ›

Y2K is the shorthand term for "the year 2000." Y2K was commonly used to refer to a widespread computer programming shortcut that was expected to cause extensive havoc as the year changed from 1999 to 2000.

Is Y2K still trending in 2024? ›

The resurgence of Y2K fashion in 2024 is driven by a mix of nostalgia, sustainability, and the influence of social media.

What is Y2K aesthetic? ›

In recent years, Gen Z has set its retro-gazing sights on another era: Y2K. The Y2K aesthetic is a retro-futuristic fashion trend that emerged during the late 1990s and the early aughts (memorably called the “noughties”). It is characterized by bold colors, shiny materials, and unique textures.

How did Y2K impact the world? ›

Simply, the problem with storing only two digits for the year is that a year written as “00” might be read by a computer as the year 1900 instead of the year 2000. If left unfixed, computer hardware, software, and communications worldwide could have malfunctioned.

What did people think about Y2K? ›

While nearly all remember being aware of the Y2K problem and a majority recall most other people being concerned about it, few say they personally were very worried about it, and few believe it caused major disruptions.

When was Y2K aesthetic? ›

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, beauty trends such as the Y2K beauty aesthetic emerged as one of those captivating blends of maximalist vibes and nostalgia. This aesthetic has found its roots in Nigeria against the backdrop of a vibrant cultural and social environment undergoing rapid transformation.

What is Y2K fashion and why is it getting popular? ›

Y2K fashion brings back the biggest trends of the late 1990s and early 2000s. It blends millennial pop culture with bright colors and tacky aesthetics, creating an apologetic minimalist appearance.

What is 2000s fashion like in 2023? ›

Trends throughout 2023 have involved a plethora of born-again, solidified, 2000s-era staples, like ballet flats, low-rise jeans, ribbed tanks as statement pieces, unbuttoned pants, chunky belts resting on hips, and peekaboo bras.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Domingo Moore

Last Updated:

Views: 6193

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Domingo Moore

Birthday: 1997-05-20

Address: 6485 Kohler Route, Antonioton, VT 77375-0299

Phone: +3213869077934

Job: Sales Analyst

Hobby: Kayaking, Roller skating, Cabaret, Rugby, Homebrewing, Creative writing, amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Domingo Moore, I am a attractive, gorgeous, funny, jolly, spotless, nice, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.