The Teen-Girl Aesthetic on Tumblr

by Alicia Eler and Kate Durbin

21-year-old Elisa Lam made national news when her body was uncovered in a water tank on the roof of the infamous Cecil Hotel, near Skid Row in Los Angeles. Not long before that, she was just a barely-no-longer-adolescent girl visiting the United States from Canada, exploring the city of angels whilst on spring break. In the Internet land of immediate responses, reactions, and reprimands via text chatter, reblogs, deleted comments, likes, and unlikes, hearts, and de-hearted emotional Tumblr affirmations, Elisa Lam’s 19-year-old friend Jialin began Tumblr blogging about her friend’s death. Was she a bad friend? How could this have happened to Elisa?

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