Anyone else noticed quite a few seemingly new aesthetics arising, in the last year or so? One of these being cottagecore. I mean what is there not to love about the flowy dresses, craftsmanship and rural landscapes, far away from the hectic lifestyle which we are all to familiar with. But there’s actually a darker side to this, which we are probably not aware of. And it’s important to consider this before asking ourselves the question of “does it matter?”
All About CottageCore
Cottagecore is an aesthetic which focuses on traditional agricultural life. The fashion resembles the bygone era, not relating to a particular time frame, but rather to a time “long ago.” Activities enjoyed include baking bread, embroidery and gardening; to name a few. Think flowers, the countryside, picnics, Jane Austen Movies, Cottages (oh the irony) and possibly a special kind of mushroom…
It shouldn’t seem strange that people are dreaming of this rather old fashioned, simplified life, when we contrast this to the hectic lives most of us live today. While the pandemic has probably exasperated the desire to escape. It’s speculated that cottagecore is as a response against capitalism, as the life focuses far less on the fuel which capitalism provides to us. And while cottagecore certainly wouldn’t be described as a “political movement”, modern cottagecore promotes leftist and progressive views. For instance, those who have recently taken to the aesthetic are likely not to be too keen on capitalism, while it is known for the expansive LGBT+ community within it. However there’s another branch of cottagecore, often known as the “tradwife“, who seeks to reclaim traditional values which seem to have been lost within the 21st century. Often rejecting feminism, seeking out cottagecore to reclaim the traditional, conservative housewife, aesthetic.
The Problems Within This…
For a start, the contrasts between the two main branches are likely to cause conflict, and may be upsetting toward the modern fans of it. Meanwhile some cottage core imagery has been utilized by far right groups, such as eco facists, who believe that immigration and multiculturalism has led to the environmental exploitation of the lands, and the only way to resolve this is to deport anyone who isn’t ingenious. However I certainly don’t recall accidentally coming across any right wing cottagecore content myself. But there are issues with how the aesthetic may have came about. So cottagecore of course resembles rural life and in-spite of what Eco-Fascists claim, the Americans and the Australians actually took over the rural indeginious land, encouraging white settlers to move into the apparently “large empty space”, during Colonialism. And while cottagecore actually reflects European agricultural land, the nostalgic desire for these past traditions, has meant white supremacist propaganda has become a problem within cottagecore.
How This Could be Tackled?
Saying this, if you are attracted to the aesthetic for what it resembles now, then should some of the speculated origins not be forgotten about? Because as it is now almost owned by a progressive group of people and enjoyed for different reasons, the origins shouldn’t matter… However that doesn’t mean we should ignore them, as it is important to acknowledge it to ensure that it can be as inclusive as possible. One way of doing this would be by promoting the modern values this holds, and following a diverse range of cottagecore influencers.
Now of course we cannot do anything to remove history, but it is true that many of us, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender etc; sometimes just long to escape to the country. Therefore whilst this shows that it is crucial to be attentive toward the issues surrounding racism, and work toward overcoming them; it doesn’t directly mean that cottagecore as an aesthetic should be removed. Instead we should enjoy it for what it is to us now.
Finally I just want to mention that it has been quite difficult to write this post, therefore please correct me if you feel I have left something out or if I haven’t expressed something in the best way.