Chains, TikTok, beanies and more

October 30, 2019 — by Jonathan Li and Joann Zhang

“Oh my god, he’s so hot,” sophomore Harshini Velchamy said, passing us her phone. On it played a video of an average-looking teenage boy, Ethan Gregg, standing in front of the camera tousling his hair. “Runway” by Stunna Girl played in the background. As the beat dropped, the boy did a little hop and transformed into a black-clothed, chain-accessory-wearing, curly-haired creature: an e-boy. 

TikTok celebrities like Gregg often embody the emo and grunge “e-boy” aesthetic. They are some of the most unusual influencers, and we wanted to see what it would be like to live the life of a social media influencer. What better way was there to experience the influencer life than to become a TikTok e-boy or e-girl for a week? So that’s what we did.

Joann: To prepare for our e-boy/girl escapades, I purchased some chains from Brandy Melville. To my dismay, I discovered that my partner lacked actual pants like jeans and cargo pants and only owned Adidas sweatpants. I thought he was joking and would pull through with some jeans but apparently not. 

Jonathan: We also borrowed a chain and beanie from a kind classmate — thanks Annissa — and our e-boy week began.


Joann: We had no school and I was out of town, so we decided to dress up on our own and take pictures. I wore a black cropped V-neck and miniskirt, a silver chain belt and a matching chain necklace with a lock charm. ONE of us didn’t take pictures — or dress up — but since there was no school that day, it didn’t matter that much.


Joann: I forgot to dress up.

Jelli: I forgot as well.  

Joann: The first day of e-girl-ing at school! I woke up an hour early to pick my outfit and do my makeup, and honestly, it was surprisingly fun and exciting. I wore plaid gray pants and a black tank top with chain accessories, drew a heart on my cheek and prayed that Jonathan would remember to dress up. If I was going to get bullied, at least he would suffer too.

Jonathan: I woke up 15 minutes before school but didn’t have anything that really clicked with the e-boy persona, so I decided to just wear a chain. No one really called out the chain, bullied me or even really cared. 

Joann: While I received judgy looks and a few unexpectedly rude comments, Jonathan wore the same fake Off-White hoodie and sweatpants like EVERY OTHER DAY. 


Jonathan: As usual, I had nothing special to wear except for the chain Annissa gave me. I honestly didn’t even try, so during journalism, we decided to find clothes so I at least looked somewhat like an e-boy.

Joann: I wore a velvet tank top, a skater skirt, a large black button-down as a jacket and the same chain accessories. Once I got past how horrendously underdressed Jonathan was, I let him borrow my chain belt — which we had to hang from the waistband of his sweats — and my necklace. We drew a cross on his cheek, and finally, he was dressing the part. 

Next up: making the long awaited TikToks. While making one, fourth-period Falcon members joined in on the TikTok, and we posted it along with a “meet the newspaper” video featuring Jonathan, myself and a few editors including junior Amandu Zhu.

Jonathan: After the period, I felt bad for Joann, so I decided to keep on my e-boy outfit for the rest of the day. I wasn’t exactly complimented.


Joann: I wore a black bodysuit and black skater skirt with the usual chain accessories. I’m not going to lie, I was a little burnt out that day. 

Jonathan: Yup, I forgot to dress up again.

After our week of embodying e-boys/girls, we found that fitting into a certain aesthetic was substantially more difficult than we had thought. We also felt self-conscious and vulnerable in our unusual attire, especially when we were relentlessly teased even by people we normally didn’t talk to. Our week gave us a newfound appreciation and respect for e-boys, who undoubtedly deserve their popularity for their dedication to the aesthetic. 

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.


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