A deep dive into a booming economy where TikTok’s “uglycore”, awful-looking NFTs, ugly vegetables, chaotic cakes and more unesthethicaly pleasant things now take centre stage — and why people are genuinely enjoying, consuming and celebrating them.

Then, what’s new? Well, for starters, the magnitude in which ugly is manifesting itself these days is just mind-blowing. And it just keeps growing. Like, really fast. Like, 5.5 billion views on TikTok fast. Diving into the hashtag on Gen Z’s go-to platform reveals that ugly might even be too weak of a word to describe this phenomenon. From the “Normcore” aesthetic elevating unremarkable or unfashionable casual clothes to must-haves, to the “uglycore” and “weird girl aesthetic”, where mismatched patterns, bold colours and as many textures as you can possibly have in one outfit are all the rage, “ugly” has definitely become the coveted aesthetic of the younger generation, never short on surprises.