Pop culture is in the middle of a several-years-long witch moment — an only occasionally ironic, girl-power-inflected, “we nostalgically watch Hocus Pocus” witchcraft moment.
Lana Del Rey is casting binding spells on Donald Trump, Tumblr teens are curating witch-vibe aesthetics, and Broad City has embraced witches as a symbol of female power. It’s a moment that is, as Mikaella Clements wrote at the Establishment, “tied up in intersectional feminism, in a desire to reclaim power, and to laugh as [one] does so.”
And every pop cultural aesthetic needs a celebrity avatar, somebody to perform the aesthetic and thus embody all of the contradictions and fantasies and anxieties the aesthetic creates. For the pinup aesthetic of the ’50s, and its attendant obsession with sex and virginity and innocence, that was Marilyn Monroe. For the witch aesthetic, it’s New Zealand pop star Lorde, whose sophomore album Melodrama is up for Album of the Year at this Sunday’s Grammys.
Lorde’s career arc parallels the rise of the witch aesthetic
Lorde emerged into the pop cultural consciousness in mid-2013, releasing her smash single “Royals” and debut album Pure Heroine right around the time the witch aesthetic was getting off the ground. The ’90s revival had brought interest in The Craft and Buffy back with it. Witches were more popular than Congress. Think piece after think piece emerged about the sudden and enormous presence of witchery. And when Lorde arrived, she was immediately lumped into the trend.
There was the penchant for dark, tentlike dresses and dark lipstick that Read More Here