What Even Is Cottagecore?

What Even Is Cottagecore?

Cottagecore – the trend that has been taking the internet by storm. To be completely honest I had never even heard of cottagecore before this summer. For those of you who are still unaware of this marvelous trend, let me enlighten you. Cottagecore is an aesthetic that has been growing in popularity primarily on the app TikTok; it emphasizes a more pastoral style of living, involving gardening, animals, and mild paganism. In terms of its aesthetic, Cottagecore entails the donning of flowy dresses, long skirts, bandanas, headbands, and a style of dress that hearkens back to the 1800s. Many of the Cottagecore tagged videos on TikTok involve girls in long, pretty dresses going foraging in the woods, making jewelry, or showcasing their rock and crystal collections. This trend has mainly become popular amongst women and the LGBTQIA2+ community; however, the Cottagecore community is accepting of everyone. 

While I do not adhere to all aspects of the Cottagecore trend, I have started adding some of the more environmentally conscious and meditative practises that it promotes in my daily life. One of the main facets of the Cottagecore lifestyle is having a connection with nature, whether that be through spiritual practices or just by spending more time outside. There is quite a lot of overlap between the Wiccan religion and the Cottagecore trend, as both involve practises such as foraging, focusing on sustainability, and meditative activities; however, Wicca is a religion, while Cottagecore is a lifestyle that involves certain non-religious elements of Wicca. Over the course of quarantine, I have become curious about both Cottagecore and the Wiccan community and even purchased books on self-care spells and herbs. I started going for long walks in the forest, looking for herbs, bones, or anything that seemed interesting. During one of these walks I managed to find what appeared to be some kind of bone and frantically texted my boyfriend, extremely concerned about whether or not it might be human.

While following trends started by those in the Cottagecore community, and some Wiccan practices, I have felt myself growing more environmentally conscious by adopting a more plant based diet, storing all of my pantry items in glass bottles that I have saved, and abstaining from buying clothes from fast fashion companies. Although some people might dismiss Cottagecore as just a fad, I believe that it promotes behaviours and routines that everyone should practise, such as being environmentally conscious, shopping sustainably, engaging in mindful exercises, and spending more time in nature. Furthermore, by spending more time outside, meditating, and practising more self-care, I have noticed a significant positive change in my mood. I am extremely surprised that what I thought to be a fleeting trend actually enacted positive change upon my life. 

When examining the Cottagecore trend, it is interesting to note the time in which it began to gain traction on social media. TikTok has been popular amongst teens and young adults for the past year; however, it was in about March, during the start of quarantine, that the app really took off. The past six months have been an extremely turbulent time: We have endured a global pandemic, we are in the middle of a civil rights movement, and the United States is on the precipice of an extremely pivotal election. All of this has been extremely stressful, especially on young people, when you factor in the prospect of a mass economic depression. 

It makes complete sense that a trend that promotes meditation, simplicity, and mindfulness has gained popularity during this stressful time. My friends and I often joke about wanting to throw our phones away and move into a cottage in the woods, which, when you factor in the political climate, sounds pretty nice. For the majority of young adults, we never really experienced a time without the internet or this constant need to be connected to one another. It can feel so overwhelming to be on social media all the time and have your life and views on display for everyone to see. Furthermore, due to social media and the internet, we are constantly aware of everything that is going on in the world, which, right now, isn’t very inspiring or comforting. I think that a lot of people in their late teens and early twenties crave the stress-free and simplistic environment that the Cottagecore trend promotes. 

I strongly urge any of you who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by our current political climate, or even just by your own personal life, to go for a walk, try meditating, or even write a bit in a journal. While none of these practices will solve your problems or the world’s for that matter, we all deserve a break and a chance to recharge. I understand that many of you might not want to don a flowy white dress or call upon the goddess Freyja, like many of those who follow the Cottagecore trend do, but I firmly believe that all of us would benefit from a chance to take a break from our chaotic and stressful surroundings.

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