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Trigger warning: This article has a focus on topics of abuse, mental illness, eating disorders, and religious abuse. If this sort of content has the potential to be triggering to you, please turn back from this page and go to another page. Viewer discretion is advised.

Morute, a name combining the words "morbid" and "cute," is an aesthetic created in the early 2010's that expresses the dichotomy between a hyper-feminine and childlike softness with grunge and Gothic elements. It is an outlet for expressing trauma, especially those surrounding eating disorders and mental illness. Many visuals also suggest physical abuse, sexual assault or precociousness, self-destruction, and physical disability. The child-like imagery serves as a desire to return to a girlhood that was ripped away from them, with the Christian and cute motifs being an idealization of purity and innocence. Religious guilt is a common motif, with the desire to go to Heaven, but feeling unable due to the victim being "dirtied" with whatever traumatized them. Poverty within small-town Americana is also present, and it reflects the influence of horror movies and the idea of home being sullied and unsafe. The common character trope of being a victim of a serial killer that is herself morbid and evil is possibly a representation of the cycle of trauma.

It is a precursor to Traumacore, and that aesthetic is an example of convergent evolution, wherein two aesthetics express the same thing, but the later community is relatively unaware of its predecessor and its influences. The aesthetic is one that has largely fallen out of popularity due to the current notoriety of Traumacore, the insular community, mental recovery of many influencers, and discourse surrounding the aestheticization of dark themes. The community itself does not emphasize the necessity of actually having trauma. Many simply are visually attracted to it and there is no need to discuss or vent about past experiences.


  • Angel imagery
  • Antique baby paraphernalia such as buggies
  • BDSM-cladded men standing ominously
  • Blood, bruises, and cuts
  • Boudoir materials such as hairbrushes and perfume vials
  • Bugs that suggest decay, such as maggots and cockroaches
  • Christian little girls dressed in baptism clothes
  • Cut locks of hair
  • Daguerreotypes
  • Decaying houses, especially ones from the rural South and with feminine wallpaper
  • Deformed people and animals such as conjoined twins
  • Gas masks
  • Graveyards
  • Knives
  • Lingerie
  • Mannequins
  • Medical tools such as syringes and scalpels
  • Midwest Gothic imagery such as corn fields and suburban neighborhoods
  • Rosaries and crosses
  • Shibari, duct tape, and other restraints evoking either BDSM or kidnapping
  • Small animals such as rabbits, lambs, kittens, and deer
  • Statues of the Virgin Mary
  • Stuffed animals
  • Teeth, often either baby teeth or rotten ones, a reference to bulimia
  • Vintage porcelain and bisque dolls


The look takes a lot of inspiration from Kinderwhore, which ties into the Morute music taste of grunge bands.

  • Gunne Sax-style prairie dresses
  • Pastel vintage baby clothes-inspired dresses with heirloom sewing details. Common elements include:
    • Floral print
    • Lace
    • Peter Pan collars
    • Ribbons
  • Black Mary-Jane shoes
  • Doc Martin's
  • Saddle shoes
  • White frilly socks
  • Gimp masks, BDSM harnesses, and rope bondage


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