Alt boy is a term referring to an alternative subculture that consists of teenage boys who dress and behave contrary to the common, popular normatives of western society, typically found on TikTok and Instagram.
These youngsters carry resemblance in their aesthetics to their cultural predecessors, the goths and emos, who were prominent from the 80s up to the late 2000s. Typical features of their looks include: using makeup on their eyes and sometimes face, dark, painted hair, and piercings
The term “emo boy” or “emo kid” would see a change to alt boy after 2016 and the popularization of TikTok.
Alt boys feature on what is called “Alt-TikTok,” which stands in contrast to mainstream or “Straight-Tiktok.”
The phenomenon initially spread on TikTok but eventually reached all major social media platforms after 2020.
Many famous alt boys are also so-called “e-boys”. “E-boys” are part of the internet subculture that developed in the late 2010s and which features short flirtatious video performances by online stars.
Alt boy aesthetics has infiltrated the fashion community as well, with many pinterest pages featuring collections of alt boy fashion and clothing.