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What is Cottagecore?

Living in a little cottage like this would be a dream come true for many people. Credit: Shutterstock

The idea of escaping to a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere sounds pretty great in 2020. Millions of people are leaving urban areas in favor of buying a house in the country. During the pandemic, more and more people have embraced the old-fashioned rural way of life. Hobbies like baking, knitting, crafting, and farming have become incredibly popular nowadays. Obviously, this is because most people are staying at home instead of shopping, traveling, partying or going to bars. It’s a callback to an old-fashioned way of life, and it brings comfort to a lot of people in an otherwise uncertain world. Maybe you can relate to the phenomenon that is cottagecore.

What is Cottagecore?

Cottagecore is both an aesthetic and a subculture. It celebrates traditional rural home making, and a simple way of life. The phrase first became popular on TikTok. Young people would use “#cottage” to describe videos of themselves enjoying nature by filming and photographing flowers, mushrooms, and insects. Many more are also teaching themselves traditional skills like baking, knitting, and pottery. This growth of interest in country living eventually grew into tagging videos by the aesthetic #cottagecore.

More often than not, people who embrace cottagecore are trying to practice a bit of escapism in their urban environment. For many people, they have a dream of living in the countryside. Imagine waking up with the sunrise to the sound of the rooster. You can eat the food straight from the garden, or forage in the forest. In this tiny cottage, you’re a self-sustaining homestead. When you’re living in the middle of nowhere, you don’t have to worry about any judgement from society. This is a magical place where you can be your true self.

Kiki’s mother is a witch and herbal healer. Credit: Studio Ghibili

For a lot of cottagecore fans, they grew up watching anime, which became a huge inspiration for this dreamy life. Studio Ghibili is famous for depicting rural life as something magical. Movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Secret World of Arriety all depict a cottagecore lifestyle. Even if someone has never watched anime before, this idea of the perfect country life is a culmination of all of those fairytales we grew up watching where a beautiful woman lives in a cottage in the European countryside.

Marie Antoinette’s country house was surrounded by lavender. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This trend is nothing new. Even Marie Antoinette loved to play with baby goats while pretending to be a milk maid when she visited her French country home. She owned a country home called Hameau de la Reine, and would host cottagecore parties for her friends. While women have been pining for this simple life for quite some time, there wasn’t really a name to encapsulate the aesthetic and ambiance of this lifestyle. That’s why “cottagecore” just works, and we’re here to embrace it.

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