Delving into the enticing world of DARK ACADEMIA

Hey there. This is melaidback again shamelessly writing a blog after disappearing for months, but being irresponsible is in my gene code. Cant change that

Currently I started reading a book that is extremely popular a layer below the usual mainstream book community. You might have heard of it and if you cant recall, this is how it looks

Uh, I have clicked it myself

So, because I am only done with 266 pages out of the 544, this isn’t going to be a book review. But the book’s significance lies in today’s topic of deliberation- The Dark academic aesthetic.

Aesthetics aren’t something I would take heed of, other than the sense of contentment and satisfaction they provide to my eyes. But this case is more than just the outfits and jewellery. The aesthetic for today’s topic concern is a system where something as bright as education is deemed as “dark”


Surprisingly, I never questioned this myself until recently, when my dad told me to explain aesthetics as this term is frequently used in my speech.

The philosophical sense of aesthetics draws a line between it and the new, more known, “social media aesthetics”. The chasm between both is evident, but somewhere, it all boils down to one thing- pleasing to the eyes.

According to a source, at its core “aesthetics asks what is valuable in life, what is valuable beyond mere survival, and specifically, how art and beauty are defined”

Even though social media’s take lacks the original depth, it too describes the way of living and expressing your life, whether it may be in the terms of the outfit worn, the school studied in, the songs listened to etc.


Dark academia has been a “thing” for quite some while and the idea has been lurking around for ages. It became concrete with the emergence of, as previously said, books like The Secret History. What really though made it sprung into everyone’s for you page was Tumblr and its mid-2010 phase. The pandemic resurfaced this and now we have a blog dedicated to just a life-style.

The Mysterious, Dark, Elite Lifestyle

Dark academia romanticizes the idea of education, in prestigious institutions like Yale and Oxford etc. The lifestyle revolves around not having classical education, but something that is deemed not so practical by society. Heavy emphasis is on Literature, Poetry, Ancient languages, Greek-Roman cultures, in a nutshell- Humanities

Coming to its internet sphere, outfits lie within the colour spectrum of black-grey-brown-burgundy sometimes with a tinge of green.

Story Pin image

It all seems fun, comfortable and nice. Being one of the m ost popular internet aesthetic, Dark academia has received ample limelight for its cosmetic, glamourous side. But there is a reason why this aesthetic doesn’t sit well with a lot….

The “DARK” of Dark Academia

After reading quite a few articles, I found this flaw common in most of them, something I agree with, and that is – the euro centricity of this aesthetic.

The topic of discussion is originated from ancient Rome-Greek and the authors, the characters, setting, the topic of discussion- all revolve around present-day Europe. The lack of cultural representation and diversity leaves the reader surrounded with white, white and more white.

Next. The most obvious by now. You cant be anywhere below upper class. You HAVE to be rich. I mean just take a look at what maintenance of that aesthetic asks for- tweed coats, plaid skirts, rich, indifferent parents who can afford to send you to ivy league

One more thing I noticed while reading books and watching DA films is the romanticizing of excessive drinking and smoking and how it has been portrayed that supposedly, all elite people devote their evenings to drinking away all of their “intellect”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am head over heels for this enigmatic, elegant and elite aesthetic. But it is our birthright to get to see both sides of the coin, plus it’s fun to find “negatives” about something you have adulated for ages. This was more like a “case study” on something that has fascinated me from the day I laid my eyes upon that Pinterest post, with a girl wearing a dark, black robe with books in one hand, standing in front of a vintage-looking structure, supposedly the “high-level” institute

This was just a rambling session, nothing too concrete, but this is ALL that this blog is for – splurging thoughts of all shapes and sizes for everyone to read, relate OR oppose

So signing off, meet you next week

(hopefully, if I don’t end up under a rock again ­čÖé


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