I’ve always preferred living in the countryside, and visiting cities occasionally for exciting days out. On a daily basis, the noise and busyness of a city are all too much for me. I like the sound of birds, and not cars honking at each other. I like seeing trees and fields outside my window, and a garden stretching behind a cozy cottage or terraced house somewhere that’s peaceful and quiet.
For the last few months, an aesthetic trend known as “cottagecore” has been taking the internet by storm, and it was as though my dream lifestyle had suddenly become a popular (and very possible) way of actually living. I’ve seen it in magazines, on Instagram, on the internet, and maybe that’s not a bad thing?
Before I go on, I just need to clarify a few things: I’m vegan, so raising farm animals for dairy, eggs, or slaughter isn’t my thing. And yes, I’m obsessed with my phone, social media, and Netflix like any other young adult in the twenty-first century. But, that doesn’t mean the cottagecore lifestyle wouldn’t be right for people like me. Now, onto the great debate: Is cottagecore a fad trend, or a new way of life?
What is cottagecore?
Put simply, cottagecore is a kind of lifestyle based around a pastoral aesthetic, meaning it’s all about baking your own bread from scratch, growing your own fruit and vegetables, and just trying to reconnect to nature in a more sustainable way. It’s also a lifestyle that encourages you to take up hobbies that don’t revolve around social media or the internet, so knitting or sewing, reading more physical books, and taking walks in nature just for some fresh air, or even to forage for berries or mushrooms. #Cottagecore is related to #fairycore, #grandmacore, #goblincore, and a dash of #JaneAusten and #LittleWomen. It’s a heady mixture!
Is it here to stay?
I hope so! Trends come and go, arguably a lot faster nowadays than they perhaps had before (thanks to the likes of TikTok and Instagram). But, I really hope it does. Cottagecore sounds like the ultimate sustainable and peaceful way of living. Although again, as a vegan, I’ll have to pass on the raising of animals for consumption. There’s also the question of whether at one point it will lose its appeal and its following. Then again, some trends are here to stay for good!
So, is it a new way of life—or just a fad trend?
Cottagecore has struck a nerve among urbanites who have been particularly hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. After being cooped up in a 500 square-foot apartment for three months, living in a quiet cottage in the woods sure sounds appealing. People are leaving big cities in droves, trading “traffic for chickens,” according to The Washington Post. Others are flirting with the concept without making a commitment.
Personally, I’ve always been one of those old souls who love vintage, French country cottages with an amazing herb garden and vegetable patch. I would definitely see it as a new way of life, and with the younger generations becoming more concerned with the environment and global warming, I really hope this trend quickly turns into a lifestyle.
Should you try the cottagecore trend?
Go for it, that’s all I can say. You might find that slowing your life down whenever and wherever you can has been exactly what you’ve been needing all along. Beyond just an aesthetic, cottagecore is a lifestyle, because it makes you stop and think about all the new things you want to try in life, and all the things you want to make time for. Making your own food from scratch tends to mean your food is healthier and more homey. Creating things from needlework, or collecting pieces of nature from walking in the woods can bring you closer to nature than before; it might even make you appreciate it more.
This isn’t just a trend, it’s an antidote to the fast-paced, unsustainable way of living that brought the world to a paralysis in 2020. It’s not just a new fashion statement either, or something that you just take a picture of for Instagram. At the end of the day though, it’s up to you to decide if it’s something you’ll want to try for a while, until something else pops up and becomes more popular, or if it’s that new way of life we’ve all secretly been craving for so long.
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Photo: snes.bian via Instagram; Peaceful Dumpling; courtesy of Columbia Pictures