Sad but Hot is the New Hot: How to Look Perfectly Beautiful While Deteriorating Emotionally


As Tumblr circa 2014 trends make their comeback, everyone is slowly arriving at the truth that some of us have always known: Sad is Sexy! Fans of literature, pop culture and that magazine by the toilet in your mom’s bathroom tell us that everyone loves a little tragedy. I mean, let’s take Juliet. She’s basically the ideal woman, right? Besotted, beautiful and bawling. That scene where she finds Romeo’s dead body, your heart just breaks. Sitting there, lonely… you just want to scoop her up, draw her a bath and like, take care of her for the rest of time. 

That is her power, and it could be your power too! You are Juliet. You are the object of that tender affection. You are that beautiful main character. 

You may be saying to yourself right now: who is going to write a woeful but super hot, totally a nine at least, if not a ten, memoir/expose/therapy-style lyric about me? I mean, do people even write plays anymore?

Not to worry, my friend, let me introduce you to the new way to become everyone’s most lusted after character: The Internet. Success stories can be heard from far and wide of the sad girl (can someone please recommend her to a therapist) to Sad Girl (oh wait, she’s really sexy) pipeline. Lana Del Rey, Phoebe Bridgers, Sara Bareilles, Elah Hale, Lorde (Melodrama Era), Mitski, Olivia Rodrigo, Norah Jones, the list goes on. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who can make perfectly shaped tears roll down their cheeks. 

To be honest, half of the reason they’re so hot is the fact that they’ve let you witness that pain. That’s the key: exposure. People want to be witnesses to your tragedies, your innermost thoughts and feelings. There are no boundaries, no in-person glimpses, no forgotten moments. These days, the way to really be a catch is to display yourself, in all your crying glory, on your crush’s Twitter timeline. Then they’ll know you’re special. You’re a pretty princess of sorrow and you have a fucked-up backstory, but no one really asks about that, even when you’d like them to. 

So, if you want it, here’s my advice: slather on that mascara before your psychology exam or monthly phone call with your mother. And when you eventually break, snap it all up, your own personal photoshoot. Every angle and tear. Later that night, when you’ve wiped it all away, find The Picture, where your eyes aren’t red or puffy and your shirt is dry. Color correct, just a little, make sure the tears glitter. And when you hit post, and the comments come in, telling you you’re perfect and offering to take you on an all-inclusive vacation to Montana, let yourself revel in it. This: your very own little manic pixie dream girl moment. ‘Cause if you’re going to be sad, you may as well be beautiful, too. Give the people something to look at.

  • June 7, 2022