Content Warning: While the aesthetic itself isn't that controversial, there is a discussion on what political direction the Cottagecore aesthetic could wind up going in.

Cottagecore (also known under the name Farmcore or Countrycore) is an aesthetic inspired by a romanticised interpretation of western agricultural life. It is centred on ideas around of a more simple life and harmony with nature. Certain themes associated are the survival of the environment, food and caring for people. While the aesthetic is predominant on a number of social media sites, such as on Instagram and more recently Tiktok, the community notably prospers on Tumblr. It is particularly popular within the WLW community.

Despite a number of its followers taking an often progressive and subversive outlook on life, Cottagecore has been also criticized for its romanticism of a eurocentric farming life, and in the context of North American and Australian settings, an inadvertent celebration of the aesthetics of colonialism, as well as the ways it often simplifies and underestimates the labour of farmers. It is due to these connotations that the use of Cottagecore aesthetics has been adopted by the TradWives community and members of the far-right as forms of propaganda which has led to media criticism despite their opposition to LGBT and anti-capitalist adherents of Cottagecore.

Cottagecore is often compared to aesthetics such as Grandmacore, which seek to invoke a similar sense of nostalgia. It is also similar to Naturecore and Warmcore.

Fashion

Many cottagecore outfits are impractical for the farming and gardening work that the aesthetic revolves around.

Cottagecore fashion commonly involves:

  • Longer, loose-fitting, flowy dresses and skirts often (but not always) reminiscent of housework wear from 1900’s-50’s.
  • Large layered clothing (as stated above) with big pockets, puffy sleeves, and button blouses are common. (Think sundresses)
  • Naturally occurring or faded colours including brown, baby pink, olive green, ivory, maroon, beige, ochre, dusty rose pink, light yellow and baby blue.
  • Patterns including stripes, paisley, faded floral and gingham.
  • Embroidered plants, animals and insects.
  • Hand-crafted accessories including simple jewellery and knitted hats, socks and outerwear.
  • Shortalls/overalls.
  • Aprons.
  • Lace.
  • Ruffles.
  • (can also be seen wearing two braids or loose waves)

Cottagecore Stores

Aesthetic

The cottagecore aesthetic can include:

  • Fairies.
  • Flower pressings, crowns and bundles.

Gardens of any kind (herb, veggie, fruit, flower).

  • Farm, forest and domesticated animals.
  • Hand-written letters
  • Vintage crockery, most notably tea sets. 
  • Cottages and farmhouses.
  • Cross stitch and embroidery.
  • Baking simple/rustic recipes including bread, muffins, pies etc. 
  • Mostly mushrooms on furniture and glass dishes. 
  • Open fields, flower farms, sunlight through any type of forest/plant.  
  • Reading outdoors
  • Poetry
  • catching bugs

Movies

  • Little Women (1996) 
  • Matilda (1996) 
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) 
  • Pride & Prejudice (1995) 
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
  • The Secret of Moonacre (2008)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
  • The Secret Garden (1993) 
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Atonement (2009)
  • Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
  • The Holiday (2006)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (2018) 
  • Life is Beautiful (1997)
  • Howard's End (1992)
  • Emma (2008)
  • Little Women (2020) 
  • Anne of Green Gables (1985)
  • A Room with a View (1985)
  • Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
  • My Girl (1991)
  • Tuck Everlasting (2002)
  • Barbie and the Diamond Castle (2008)
  • All Barbie movies in general actually
  • Midsommar (2019)
  • Call Me By Your Name (2017)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  • The Secret World of Arrittery (2010)

TV Shows

  • Heidi (1974)
  • Anne with an E
  • The Moomins (1990)

Literature

Tibullus 1.1

Perhaps the oldest example of cottagecore is this poem, written in the 20s or 30s BC. Forgetting his urban upbringing, Tibullus attempts to impress a love interest by writing detailed fantasies about life as a farmer in the Italian countryside. He claims that he'd rather live a poor life growing fruit than be woken by military trumpets, loves to leave sacrifices to the agricultural deities, fantasises about sleeping in the shade of a tree, and dreams about escaping the rain in his warm bed.

Pettson and Findus

Pettson and Findus is a series of children's books by the Swedish author Sven Nordqvist. It has been translated in various European languages and some films and books were made, but it never became very well known in America. Though created before the 2010s, its art and stories embody many Cottagecore traits, such as a simple life in nature, and the fact it's about Pettson (a retired farmer) and his talking cat living somewhere in the Swedish countryside, in their cottage, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and animals.

Politics

While the cottagecore aesthetic isn't necessarily an organised political movement with stated goals or leaders, much of the conversation around cottagecore is political in nature, especially given the aesthetic has become infamous for its association with two directly opposed political groups with radically different outlooks on life despite the shared frustration with modernity.

While the opposition to modern life is shared among Cottagecore adherents across the political spectrum, what is specifically being opposed tends to vary. For more progressive leaning followers of the aesthetic, it is particularly capitalism as well as heteronormativity. While many people involved in cottagecore identify with an ideology that more concretely advocates for the restructuring of society, they may also express a dislike of capitalism in a more casual tone through or alongside cottagecore.

“dream job” bitch i don’t have one i don’t dream about being employed i dream about living in a cottage making soap and painting titties. capitalism is a nightmare - Facebook user Bri Snodders

Many progressive leaning members of the cottagecore community reject heteronormative gender roles, and seek to remove the stigma and stereotypes of traditional life from the aesthetics and culture of times past. Cottagecore enjoys niche popularity within the LGBTQ+ community, particularly among lesbian and bisexual women, for this reason. Many express a dissatisfaction with the roles and expectations placed on them in heternormative society. This article suggests that cottagecore is an ideal where young people are freely able to express queerness in a rural space, contrasting the homo/transphobia many who reside in existing small towns face. Because of this, many members of the Cottagecore community could learn a lesson from the Vaporwave and Synthwave communities in how to properly handle the people who try to take this from them. On the other side of the political spectrum, another more controversial large community subscribing to the aesthetic is the Tradwife movement, found largely on Instagram and Facebook's "Politigram" community. Contrasting the progressive Cottagecore community, the rightist adherents to the aesthetic proclaim their opposition to modernity being based on a loss of conservative values in the 21st Century and fondness for a pre rather than post capitalist economic system. Tradwives specifically are described as women who "embrace 'submissive' heteronormative lifestyles involving homemaking and child-rearing, and reject feminism" according to Wikipedia. Members of the tradwife movement often utilize cottagecore imagery, fashion, memes and aesthetics to promote and romanticise revitalization of traditional heteronormative gender roles for women, a popular aspect of far-right ideology. Even further niche is the utilization of cottagecore imagery and inspired memes by Eco-Fascist and Eco-Nationalist circles who openly and intentionally uphold western colonialist and eurocentric views as an ideal as opposed to accidentally as was the criticism for Progressive Cottagecore followers. However, it is important to note that those within the Tradwife movement often do not associate openly with the cottagecore community and that the two sides oppose each other greatly as explained in this article.

"Patriarchy! The proven way to raise High-Quality Children! "- ‘Tradewife’ facebook page.

Music

Specific Songs

  • Strawberry Blonde By Mitski
  • Dear Fellow Traveller by Sea Wolf
  • White Winter Hymnal by Pentatonix
  • This Will End by The Oh Hellos
  • Feels Like Home by Caamp
  • Shadow Bloom by Florist
  • Scarborough Fair
  • Greensleeves
  • Antibody by Foxes in Fiction
  • The Crane Wife by The Decemberists
  • We Fell in Love in October by Girl In Red
  • Lemon Boy by Cavetown

Spotify Playlists

  • my cottagecore mix by kayla

Subgenres

Honeycore

Honeycore is an aesthetic based around the rural production and consumption of goods such as honey, bread and waffles. It is similar to Cottagecore in that agricultural imagery and values are emphasized, but the visuals are streamlined to create a color palette of mostly pale yellows and browns. In many of the pictures that can be classified into the Honeycore aesthetic, bees, honey or flowers can be seen and there is a big emphasis on agriculture and conservation of bees.


Gallery

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.