From acne positive body art to electronic tattoos, fashion futurist and trend forecaster Geraldine Wharry peers into the looking glass and imagines the future of human appearance
Unpredictable at the core, the future is shaped by the choices of the present. As we hunt for future truths, here is what the next hundred years of beauty trends has in store for us and the creatures you spawn(ed). The next four decades will release the unhinged future humans along charismatic beauty trends turning the skin into the ultimate pathway to the next nature human.
2018- 2028 The Founding Decade
Pay attention, as what happens during this decade will plant the seeds of the next century.
Acceptance of all beauty types is the norm, as the mass market embraces inclusivity as seen in the recent Asos and Superdrug collaboration. Coloured hair will be so 2015 that hued body hair will be the new beauty norm. Acne positivity will inspire body art whilst Vitiligo and other forms of skin pigmentation will be aspirational.
The goal posts in the fight for gender equality will shift once again as men become the highest ranked beauty vloggers and it will be common to see men breastfeeding with faux-nipples devices as exemplified by a Wisconsin Dad in July 2018.
Avatar influencers and digital humans will be social leaders and reject unnatural lip, breast and butt augmentations causing the Kardashians to struggle to stay in the game. Injectables will become the procedure of choice according to leading plastic surgeon Dr Lancer, with a more natural look leading the trend, doing away with bad memories of botched surgeries and toxic implants. New injectables will come to the masses. They will offer the convenience of fading away and the option of trying out different looks, thus completely changing the plastic surgery industry by 2028.
Meanwhile the rise of E-sports, with talks of them being included in the next Olympics and Bio Tech will bring our best selves, extreme colours. We’ll also see a rise of already established glow in the dark tattoos as well as holographic pigments.
2028-2038 The 4th Industrial Revolution is truly here
Wellness beauty will focus on brain function as we race to become super humans. But we suffer from a dilemma. We have grown to love our imperfect selves. First created by a Harvard research lab, the rise of bio-sensitive smart tattoo inks that change colours according to our health metrics (including diabetes and allergies) have created new skin tones, unleashing new community bonds.
Our skin is the new status and luxury with gold noses, ears, diamond infused skin freckles and precious contact lenses takeover classic jewellery.
As our perceptions evolve, we also reconnect with our animal instincts. The planet is drastically changing due to global warming tracked and documented by NASA. So beauty innovators in a nostalgic move look to wild animals, feather or fish inspired brows, pointed ear pieces and animal print hair. This remains analogue and emerging, but takes over a few decades later.
2038 – 2048 The Aristocratic Decade
To seek comfort from the throes of climate change we tap into the 1700s French Aristocracy (pre-beheading) for hair style inspiration, spearheaded by drag beauty icon of the 2020s The Arseniek. In times of socio-political instability when visionary thinking is needed, fashion trends lean on the eccentric types, this also reflecting a need to escape and indulge. Think the twenties Post War era with its glitter, luxury and decadence. In 2038, we will experience tense separatism between the haves and the have nots, and it will manifest in nostalgic over the top beauty trends.
Electronic tattoos, once an experiment, takeover and they now transmit data into real time as we seek a seamless digital experience to rid ourselves of phones. The skin becomes the new screen and shows our heart rate. No longer able to hide our emotions, we will lose some control but it will facilitate our dating experience. Skin emotions become the ultimate form of data through animation and augmented reality.
By 2038, our brain functions will be enhanced with micro-dosed psychotropics, popularised by the Nootropic market a few decades earlier, in our makeup to enable a hyper focused state whilst we hack the human genome to create the Super Human. This leads to the hallucinogenic beauty trend with cartoon-like exaggerations of aristocrat dos and drag queen makeup.
2048-2058 The Tripped Out Decade
Tripped out on makeup and nostalgic for a world once filled with scented natural flowers long gone due to global warming, this decade will focus on nature and reconnect with the emerging animal inspired beauty trends of the 2018-2028 period.
Perfect timing as we run short of natural resources and begin to need nutrients. We develop skin cells able to harvest essential vitamins and if lucky, flowers.
Tattoos are bioengineered to release a floral scent as the superhuman looks to become the avatar of a flower. The lines will be blurred between nature, virtual and human, as we use augmented reality tattoos to mimic orchids and more. And for extra cash, our augmented skin includes advertising for the next e-sports world championship.
Meanwhile our beauty standards normalise the entrance of baby androids in our society. Building upon the 2018 success of growing a premature lamb in a synthetic womb, we will have developed human incubators the following decade, setting the stage for android manufacturing by 2048. To ease the acceptance of androids into society, we will introduce them as babies matched with human families who will raise them with dreams and dysfunctions much like any other human citizen.