What is cottage core? And why do I love it?

By : Maheen Ahmed

Online spaces have always places where people could come together to find a sense of community, identity and belonging. It acts as a visual archive that has seen both the rise and fall of fast fashion, fads and creative output of all kinds.

Over the years it’s only become more entertaining, aesthetic and uplifting, and where some communities have been short-lived like the ‘E-girl’ trend, the aesthetic fashion and vibes of Goths and Cottage Core reign supreme.

What is the Cottage Core Aesthetic?
The ever so popular aesthetic and community has been around for a while and it similar and interchangeable with several interest and hobbies. It is a general appreciation, admiration and wanting of a simpler and more rural time.
Notable images of the community are pictures of literal cottages, gardens, and open fields, clothes that are loose, pastel, feminine and timeless.

They evoke a feeling of natural beauty, oneness with nature. They also bring up older times, like castles, fantasy and very literary kind of romance.
Flowers! And lots of flowers.

It’s is effectively nostalgic but is not ashamed of the present and in proof that we can live all of those fun fantasies and aspirations of bookish fantasy that was sold to us. Unlike other communities it’s very diverse, and because the whole vibe is peaceful and pristine no scandal or drama has come out of it.

A Respect for Hobbies and Femininity

Beyond just being about lovely photography and inspirational images, Cottage Core has introduced hundreds of people to hobbies that were otherwise lost and not considered cool for a long time.
These activities include baking, painting, stitching, singing, gardening and self care and enjoying nature.

A lot of women specifically were glad to have found acceptance for talents and past times, which they were made to feel bad about. The skills in cottage core are also effective for dealing with stress and personal development. Another factor that plays in is that these activities were already on the rise due to the pandemic which allowed people to catch up with thing they always wanted to try.
I’m pretty sure everyone has tried their hand in baking a cake and bread baking now, and have likely gained and new skill.
There is also the benefit that these activities are not associated with some capitalist gain, it’s just for the sake of art, a feeling that was otherwise lost in the rush and performance of hustle culture.

Why Do I love it?

For me in particular watching people be happy and living the way they want to live, made me want to live out my artful life also. This is at the end of the day an ethical kind of performance art.
It has this sense of self affirmation and truth that we can recreate nostalgia and make life beautiful and that we should aspire to be skilled, active, involved and self sufficient. I made mood boards, cakes and thought of my future and work on meditating.

Having gone through a depressive phase through this pandemic it’s easy to let go, and all the indications lead there, but seeing something simple but of true beauty really makes you want to be better and do more, without judgment or urgency.
It is perhaps just another fad, but that’s okay. It is up to us to live our life the way we want and create content that lets us feel better and has a positive impact.

So in conclusion if there is any, cottage core is a way for many to be the art they want to make, and to create not a statement but a feeling of freedom, that we think is gone, but it’s in us.

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