What is ‘cottagecore’ and how it came to be so popular

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During the past year, more and more influencers have started to promote country living and especially the ‘cottagecore aesthetic’. This phenomenon has taken social media by storm, promoting a simpler, more laid-back approach to life. So the question is: should you buy a cottage and start wearing layered, loose-fitting dresses to hop on the cotagecore train? Well, not exactly.

What is cottagecore?Cottagecore

Cottagecore is an aesthetic centered around a romanticized rural life. It has gained notoriety on social platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Tumblr and is particularly popular with the LGBTQIA+ community (most notably, bisexual women). The community started the aesthetic and helped it gain a following fast. Cottagecore illustrates a carefree, fairytale life led in a cottage in the countryside while baking, embroidering, reading classical literature, strolling through the wildflowers dressed in flowy dresses and wandering through nature. It has evolved to become both a fashion aesthetic and a way of life.

Cottagecore’s impact on society

Cottagecore’s most notable contribution to society has been promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Growing your own food, mending your clothes and tending to a garden are few of the eco-friendly activities cottagecore incorporates. As this aesthetic stems from people’s need of escaping the busy, hectic life we are forced into nowadays, its main purpose is that of turning back to the beginnings and renouncing modern conventions. Too much anxiety, technology and a fast-paced lifestyle are driving most people mad. This is precisely why finding pleasure in simplicity and focusing on the main joys of existence, all tenets of the cottagecore aesthetic, have helped people grow contented with their lives.

The aesthetic has also played a big role in helping people identifying as LGBTQ+ embrace themselves and take pride in being part of the community. Many members of the community feel desolated,  alone and shunned by their birth communities. As a result, they have managed to find solace in picturing a world where there is no prejudice, only a slow, blissful life where they can be themselves without feeling ashamed.

The bad and the ugly

Cottagecore has also come in for a lot of criticism. It illustrates a life that just doesn’t exist. Life for most farmers in the countryside is hard and, as demand for cheap, off-the-rack products grows, making ends meet turns increasingly difficult for them. This trend hardly makes their situation known. I hate to break it to you, but not everything you see on social media is true. Most people living in the rural environment around the world can’t afford to walk around in expensive dresses, go on picnics and take life lightly. On the contrary, they help their parents with work around the farm from a young age and once they mature, they are faced with the heart-shattering choice of leaving their ancestral home and heading for the big city or leading a life of struggle and shortcomings.

So what remains to be done?

The way I see it, you don’t have to leave your life behind and buy a cottage to hop on this trend. It is more about coming to terms with our world and embracing the simple pleasures of life. You can start buying locally, cutting your spending and valuing quality over quantity. Additionally, the most important thing is building the life that you wish to have and romanticizing your everyday activities. In short, reach harmony and happiness through taking life into your own hands and tending to the garden inside your heart.

Interested in trends? Check this article out!

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