The Barnard Effect: Becoming An Art Hoe

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A hoe, in art

Having been previously been interviewed by The Eye for her aversion to art hoes, Bwogger Idris O’Neill just really, really wants to set the record straight: she is not one of you. 


You’re beginning to see a pattern among the girls here. They all really like Mitski, prefer to use Instagram’s story feature, tote around those ugly Swedish bags in those ugly cork sandals (probably also Swedish), are trying to be the Leslie Knope of everything they do, and really want you to know they’re just “smol bbs,,,,,” It’s almost unsettling to know one of them is going to read this and say “that’s me !!” It’s like an epidemic here. You’d definitely heard of them before, made fun of them before, but it’s still an overwhelming volume at Barnard. I mean, how many people can actually afford this lifestyle of purely La Croix, Urban Outfitters, and pastel wardrobes? More than you thought, apparently.


It couldn’t be you, you say. You’re content with the sort of “aesthetic” you have going on, as the art hoes would call it. You get complimented for the things that are pretty art hoe-adjacent, like your pink glasses and silver braids, so you get rid of both of those. You’ve never been a particularly reactionary person, but the moves you’re making right now qualify. You are going out of your way to avoid all the things they do. Ask who Michael Scott is when they talk about The Office, then ask if that’s where they plan on working this summer. Say you hate getting your picture taken when they pull out their Instax. Throw your Stan Smiths away.

You’d take the Vineyard Vines-wearing, Morgan Stanley-employed prep school kids over this shit.


Really, it isn’t your fault your wardrobe is slowly morphing into theirs. This is only happening because most of the clothes you buy nowadays are from Buy Sell Trade, but even thrifting is an art hoe hobby now. You own a shocking amount of mom jeans compared to three months ago. You bought the round gold rim glasses because of Migos, goddamnit, not because of them. Yes, there are succulents on your windowsill, but at least you haven’t named it. You accept that there are aspects of your life that seem art hoe, but you would never claim the title (besides the fact that the current art hoe movement was co-opted from women of color, but that’s different beef).

Resistance (Reprise)

You went home for winter break and all your friends made fun of your cuffed mom jeans. Reeling from the shame of this, you’ve more than resumed your normal aesthetic; you’re balling out. It’s only grind from here on out and in the exact opposite direction of whatever the art hoe is. So you bought more lifestyle sneakers, the ones that art hoes could never pull off. You set aside all your American Apparel to sell on Buy Sell Trade later. You go through your Spotify and remove anything in your recent listening history that isn’t a certified banger. You didn’t even watch Lady Bird.

Reluctant Acceptance (or Resistance House III)

And after all of that, you still cut yourself bangs. I know about that tattoo appointment too. Good luck with your floral tattoo that six other girls at Barnard have. Have some pride, for God’s sake.

So maybe you’re a self-hating art hoe now – you can work with that.  You decide to take the ultimate assertion that you do not, in any way, endorse the art hoe lifestyle. You could tattoo “NOT AN ART HOE DO NOT TALK TO ME” in Helvetica (Jenny Holzer’s Truism font). It’s the perfect scheme. They’ll assume it’s an art hoe tattoo, but it’s an ironic rejection of that lifestyle. This is the perfect application of the master’s tools and the master’s house.

Or you could settle for something still permanent, but less dramatic, and be interviewed by The Eye.

Man with a Hoe by Jean-François Millet via Wikimedia Commons

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