The Magic: the Gathering community has been enjoying the rollout of new preview cards for the upcoming set Kaldheim. But those aren’t the only images capturing the community by storm! Back in October I highlighted the stay-at-home cosplay fun being showcased online—and guess what? The latest exciting trend in Magic online cosplay is here: e-girl planeswalkers! Have you seen the e-girl trend taking over?

What’s an E-Girl?

An e-girl or e-boy is not a gender-defining term but an aesthetic. The “e” means “electronic” and refers to online social networks, which are the natural home of the e-girl aesthetic. Spend enough time on social media apps and you’ll come across the e-girl aesthetic. The vibe is attention seeking, with a mix of alternative fashion and kawaii (Japanese for cute) with layered accessories, a mix of soft and hard, and outward sexual poses and expressions.

You’ll find makeup with large, colourful eyes alongside chunky black cat-eyed liner and blush across the bridge of your nose. A recent song released September 2020, “E-Girls Are Ruining My Life” by Corpse, has continued to perpetuate the styles on the social platform TikTok.

Who started the e-girl/MTG mashup?

It all started from two friends Jessica & Chantelle creating videos for amusement. Jessica begins, “I wanted to make TikToks with my friends, so I asked Chantelle Campbell if she was to do some silly e-girl planeswalkers! We ordered some stuff, and just had fun.”

Once they shared the initial looks on Twitter the interest burst into flames. Chantelle shares, “Chandra’s look is pretty fire (pun intended) and everyone loved seeing her e-girled out! The reception to the TikTok duets I posted on Twitter was also absolutely lovely—people love shipping the Gruulfriends!”

From there Laura decided to give it a go. She had already been doing a few casual cosplays in the form of street wear interpretations, and she was happy to get involved as Jessica suggested others participate in her original post. Laura picked Tamiyo because her hair is white and easy to adapt. “I think it’s important to remember how to play as adults, and even more so in lockdown, so I wanted to show people that cosplay doesn’t have to be grand scale and high cost to be fun—anyone can get involved!”

Gaining Momentum & Becoming a Trend

As an active social media consumer, I saw the fun videos on TikTok from Jessica and the Tweet from Laura on my feed within the first day they posted. I loved the concept so much that I spent an evening I put aside for working on feathers for my preview card Raven Wings, instead applying star-shaped eye stamps and fake freckles to become e-girl Serra.

Within hours I saw more MTG community members doing the trend like Arielle, Zabs, Annabel, and Meghan. Everyone from cosplayers and streamers, to artists and players, began joining in.

From there, people participating continued to increase—even as I was collecting quotes and was writing this very article I saw even more join such as @JanaAmari, @ManaCurves, & @PKP_Magic. There’s a large chance I have missed some who have participated since! Some of the later posters have started adopting the hashtag #mtgegirl. I encourage everyone who has done a look or will do a look to use the tag so we can all enjoy this fun aesthetic/Magic mashup!

How to Achieve the Look

To get the e-girl look, use whatever makeup or face paint you might have on hand. If you have eye shadows with strong pigmentation—like the James Charles palette Jessica used or the Colour Pop palette Chantelle used—that can help create accents to match your character. Black liner is a key element: lay it on winged, thick, and use it to apply a stamp, typically a heart but could be another shape, below one eye or both. Dark lipstick will also tie look to the alternative trend, however for Serra I went for something more sparkly to vibe kawaii. Remember the interpretation is up to you. Chantelle emphasizes, “it really encompasses a wide range of looks, from more grunge-y to super bubbly!”

The e-girl aesthetic also has certain mannerisms and poses associated with it. Sticking ones tongue out, winking, and a combination of both are common. Hand signs like peace symbols, the bird, or anime inspired gestured around the face are also popular. Laura reminds, “you can sell a lot of the concept with your posing” so you don’t have to rely on your clothing or makeup being exact.

Should You Try It?

Why not—especially if you’re stuck in another lockdown endlessly scrolling? Laura insists, “You don’t have to be an e-girl to pull off an e-girl planeswalker—and it doesn’t have to be a planeswalker if there’s a cool legend you want to try, and nor does it have to be a femme look if you want to do an e-boy aesthetic instead riffing on the same styling!” I find the community is excited to celebrate fans who are showing their love of the game through freedom of expression. After all, it all started with two friends having fun.

Jessica sums it up: “I don’t know if I started a trend per se. But just have fun, and welcome everyone. ^_^”

Join me next time after the full set of Kaldheim is spoiled for a special look into characters to cosplay from the newest Magic: the Gathering expansion.

Zenaide “ZBexx” Beckham is an Oregon-based cosplayer, gamer, and MTG judge. Her favorite format is Legacy, because just like performing in dance or cosplay she gets to Show and Tell.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.