What EXACTLY Is Cottagecore & Why Is So TRENDY in 2021?!
Cottagecore (also known as Farmcore and Countrycore) is a social media movement fostering the idea of living a simple rural lifestyle; local food, artisans, animals, forests, gardens, flowers, and no technology.
The meaning of Cottagecore is extracted from the two words composing the term: cottage and core.
The prefix cottage describes a country house or a small village house.
The word core relates to the 80s hardcore punk music scene and is used to delineate a new category or genre.
The Cottagecore movement was started by early 2017 mentions of the term on Instagram and Tumbler.
Eventually, thanks to influencers promoting the Cottagecore lifestyle on TikTok, the term reached global recognition in 2019.
As such, the bucolic scenery of the rural, countryside, and real country life that had proliferated social media platforms over the last five years were christened with a name.
Nowadays, Cottagecore is everywhere online and offline, from social media to design, fashion, outfits, and even politics, as you’ll see below.
Evienne Yanney, a 16-year-old in California, says that she discovered Cottagecore on Instagram during a period where she wasn’t sure if she liked the way she dressed.
As a lesbian who felt the world was not accepting her for who she is, Yanney thought the idea of running away to a cottage was “soothing.”
Another politically infused aspect that influences the current Cottagecore aesthetic comes from social media accounts that fight for ‘Black Lives Matter‘ and similar social justice events.
Like it or not, politics shape societies, and societies construct and wear aesthetics.
To that, the Cottagecore aesthetic is no exception at all:
“Unlike other reactionary movements such as ‘Trad Wives’ — a right-wing mommy bloggers subculture who advocates a return to regressive gender roles — Cottagecore offers a vision of domestic bliss without servitude in the traditional binary framework,“
explains Isabel Slone in the New York Times.
Many Cottagecore followers express dissatisfaction with the gender roles and expectations that exist in a heteronormative society.
As such, the current, digital-based Cottagecore community rejects heteronormative gender roles.
Above all, it seeks to remove traditional life stigma and stereotypes from the aesthetics’ cultural past.
For this reason, Cottagecore enjoys niche popularity within the LGBTQ+ community, particularly among lesbian and bisexual women.
In their views, Cottagecore is a movement where people are free to express queerness in a rural space, contrasting the homo/transphobia faced by those living in small towns.
4. Political Debates
Despite the Cottagecore proponents seeking (and having) a more equalitarian outlook on life, the movement is criticized for what it seems to stand for.
For example, the Cottagecore aesthetic is not an organized political movement with stated goals or leaders.
Yet, almost all conversations around Cottagecore have a political nuance.
The opposition to modern life – shared among Cottagecore adherents, regardless of their political spectrum, is seen as an ideology that advocates for the restructuring of society.
As such, the Cottagecore movement is associated with two directly opposed political groups.
And, despite a shared frustration with modernity, these groups have radically different outlooks on life and directions.
On the one hand, the LGBTQ+ community sees Cottagecore as a movement that lets people express queerness in a rural space, contrasting the homo/transphobia faced by those residing in villages and small towns.
At the opposite pole is the progressive Cottagecore community proclaiming opposition to modernity based on a loss of conservative values and fondness for a pre-capitalist economic system.
For example, TradWife subculture members often recourse to Cottagecore imagery, fashion, memes, and similar aesthetics to promote their views.
The group supports the revitalization of traditional heteronormative gender roles, a popular aspect of the right ideology.
Cottagecore imagery is also used by the Eco-Fascist and Eco-Nationalist circles that uphold western colonialist and eurocentric views.
As such, Cottagecore gets a lot of heat for promoting and romanticizing the idea of farming life as a celebration of colonial aesthetics, especially in the context of North American and Australian social constructs.
What are the KEY Cottagecore Aesthetics?
But, above all political influences, Cottagecore remains an aesthetic based on certain visual elements.
Early Cottagecore analysts assumed that the aesthetic was inspired by fairy tales, cute fantasy stories, speculative fiction, and fascination with tiny animals.
However, a deep look at the early 19th century stories such as Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, or Cinderella, reveals an equal amount of grotesquery, horror, rape, and cannibalism scenes.
Most of these stories were often taking place in scary forests and cottages that were death traps.
It wasn’t until later in the century that these stories were modified to appeal to children.
Thus, Cottagecore is a re-shaping concept building on a blend of nature idealization and profound nostalgia for a medieval past.
Add a healthy dose of historical inspiration from old-time farming (think Laura Ingalls Wilder books) and some of your grandma’s vintage dishware, and you’ve got the picture.
There are also traditional Cottagecore aesthetics that refer to a white colonial era and old European village looks.
The aesthetic uses images of slim white women holding wicker baskets filled with apples, farm eggs, and linen towels wrapped around freshly baked bread.
Overall, the Cottagecore aesthetic triggers a nostalgic yearning for times of simplicity, free from technology and stress.
Some of the most used visuals and aesthetics in Cottagecore include natural elements such as:
outdoor visuals, open fields, forests, wildflowers
pics of farms, farmhouses, cottages, gardens, and animals
handwritten letters, handwritten poetry,prints of fairies, old books