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Trigger warning: This article has a heavy focus on topics of abuse, C-PTSD and PTSD. Images may be disturbing, shocking and specific. If this sort of content has the potential to be triggering to you, please turn back from this page and go to a different page. Thank you! Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

For a list of hotlines, please refer to the "Resources" section. The comments have been turned off for this page but may contain disturbing things. Please avoid this article's comments section if this topic troubles you.



Traumacore is a type of aesthetic imagery that delves into the themes of abuse and trauma (particularly sexual trauma or CSA) along with cute visuals to give the whole aesthetic a 'bittersweet tragedy' feel. Mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse are also common themes in traumacore. Traumacore in general tends to be more focused on trauma experienced in childhood, explaining the cute visuals, although adult trauma can also be covered. Many people turn to these images to help them cope with the pain they suffered in the past.

While many people say traumacore isn't inherently an aesthetic, many of the images used in its photo or video edits are derived from other aesthetics. Traumacore is more of a type of art therapy or visual journaling for many people with trauma. It is worth noting that some people who have went through trauma and use traumacore have stated that traumacore is an aesthetic, (albeit a special kind of aesthetic) while others state that it isn't, since those without trauma may try to romanticize the experiences of traumatized individuals. Whether it's an aesthetic or not, its cultural impact is notable enough to be on this wiki.

It is frowned upon to participate in traumacore if the participant is not a survivor of some kind of trauma themselves, as it is considered fetishization of a very serious issue. Trauma consumes many people's lives. Traumacore can be of use as a coping mechanism for those who need it. However, like any kind of coping mechanism, it should not be a stand-in for proper treatment, like therapy or medication.

Many traumacore edits have negative words or phrases in them (ex: "I am broken", "I will never be clean", "you used me", "rotten child", "please stop", "you ruined me"), which reflects on the creator/participant's feelings about themselves and their experiences. Having a way of getting these thoughts out onto a screen or paper can be helpful, as it puts feelings into a visual form that is easier to understand, and also participates as a form of the aesthetic.

History

The Morute aesthetic is the clearest predecessor of Traumacore, and as the aesthetic declined, Traumacore took over in popularity. Before the advent of naming aesthetics with the suffix -core, Academia, etc. in the early to mid-2010s, the Tumblr community found their aesthetics through combining various tags, such as #creepy, #cute, #vintage, etc., with Morute being a later name. The aesthetic was popular, and even possibly based on, the female music artist Nicole Dollanganger, who is not as emphasized in today's traumacore community.

The morute aesthetic had the same premise of traumacore; users would contrast delicate and sweet imagery with dark subject matter relating to depression, suicide, eating disorders, child sexual abuse, religious abuse, and abusive relationships. However, multiple tropes associated with traumacore today were largely absent. Sanrio edits and weirdcore imagery did not appear, and there was more explicit material such as gore. The aesthetic also differed slightly from modern traumacore in that it utilized more medical horror, Southern Gothic, and Victorian imagery such as medical instruments and textbooks, disturbing larvae and butterfly-like monsters, conjoined twins, and daguerreotypes. Horror movie imagery such as Ouija boards, female ghosts, porcelain dolls, and serial killer-dressed men standing ominously was also popular, and the best way to describe the aesthetic at the time was "victim of a horror movie villain." A lot of this overlapped with Cult Party Kei, a fashion that spread to America at that time.

Visuals

Traumacore draws upon a delicate, childlike but implicitly disturbing concept, and aims to blend the unsettling with the innocent. Dolls, angels, bedrooms, and corpses are common motifs used.

There is often a contrast between the imagery and the text in a traumacore visual (for example, one might put a disturbing message under a photo of a porcelain doll or a character from children's media).

Many of those who enjoy traumacore are also fond of the "rotting aesthetic:" imagery of bugs, dirt, and mold are often incorporated to represent this theme. It is also common for traumacore aesthetics to reference religious themes (such as crosses, angels, and mentions of Heaven or Hell).

Traumacore aesthetics are generally soft or girlish, though this is not always the case (for example, male followers of traumacore tend to employ more masculine colors and themes).

Many traumacore edits also include nostalgic imagery, as people's trauma happens very often during childhood. Some examples of this are Sanrio characters (like Hello Kitty), children's bedrooms, playgrounds, and other places and things relevant to childhood.

Happycore is the more supportive version of this aesthetic, based more upon coping than combining trauma itself with cuteness.

Music

  • Hey Bunny by Baby Bugs
  • SIU by Maretu ft. Hatsune Miku
  • You Are A Useless Child by Kikuo
  • Bumblebees Are Out by Jack Stauber
  • im Sorry Im Sorry by Kikuo-P
  • Mommy by R.I.P. ft. Nick Stratton
  • Pink in the Night by Mitski
  • Miss The Rage by Trippie Redd ft. Playboi Carti
  • Saint Bernard by Lincoln
  • Rät by Penelope Scott
  • Miss Wanna Die by Jubyphonic
  • Watashi no R (My R) by Kurage-P
  • Creep by Radiohead
  • Opheliac by Emilie Autumn
  • Soap&Skin by Spiracle
  • Hey Kids by Molina
  • I'd Rather Sleep by Kero Kero Bonito
  • Mad Girl by Emilie Autumn
  • Teen Idle by MARINA
  • i'll die anyways by girl in red
  • Sick of Losing Soulmates by Dodie
  • Slide by The Dresden Dolls
  • Gothic Lolita by Emilie Autumn
  • Are You Satisfied? by MARINA
  • Devil Town by Cavetown
  • The Family Jewels by MARINA
  • This is Home by Cavetown
  • My Alcoholic Friends by The Dresden Dolls
  • Asleep by The Smiths
  • I Deserve To Bleed by Sushi Soucy
  • 306 by Emilie Autumn
  • Hayloft by Mother Mother
  • Hayloft II by Mother Mother
  • Gravity by The Dresden Dolls
  • Panic Attacks In Paradise by Ashnikko
  • Leech Boy by Crywank
  • I Want My Innocence Back by Emilie Autumn
  • Song for a Guilty Sadist by Crywank
  • No Wind Resistance! by Kinneret
  • 4 Morant by Doja Cat
  • The Record Player Song by Daisy the Great
  • i was all over her by salvia palth
  • i don't know anyone i am by salvia palth
  • One Foot in Front of the Other by Emilie Autumn
  • Seventeen by Ladytron
  • Missed Me by The Dresden Dolls
  • My Alcoholic Friends
  • Asleep (The Smiths cover) by Emilie Autumn
  • Take It Off by Softcult
  • Trailer Trash by Carolesdaughter
  • Isolation by Joy Division
  • Gaslight by Emilie Autumn
  • Living Dead by MARINA
  • Faith by The Cure
  • Half Jack by The Dresden Dolls
  • Hard to Touch You by GRLwood
  • Get Shot by GRLwood
  • Alligator Skin Boots by McCafferty
  • Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches by Emilie Autumn
  • Girl Anachronism by The Dresden Dolls
  • I Will Never Forget by Kimya Dawson
  • Valley of the Dolls by MARINA
  • Nowhere to Run by Stegosaurus Rex
  • Eraser by Melanie Martinez
  • R.I.P. by Elita
  • Runs in the Family by Amanda Palmer
  • R U Looking 4 me Now by Jazmin Bean
  • The Gardener by The Dresden Dolls

Artists

  • Nicole Dollanganger ("Mean", "Dog Teeth", "Angels of Porn", "Uncle", "Ghosts", "Valley of the Dead", “Barren”, "Flowers of Flesh and Blood")
  • Marina and the Diamonds ("Teen Idle", "Living Dead", "Valley of the Dolls")
  • The Neighborhood ("Daddy Issues", "The Beach")
  • Joji ("Pills", "World$tar Money")
  • Shiloh Dynasty ("Father Forgive Me")
  • Allie X ("Bitch")
  • Lil Peep("Let Me Bleed", "Awful Things," "Castles")
  • Mild High Club ("Homage")
  • Weathers ("Happy Pills", "I'm not okay")
  • Kero Kero Bonito ("I'd rather sleep", "Make Believe")
  • Lincoln ("Saint Bernard")
  • Jack Stauber ("Bumblebees Are Out", "The Ballad of Hamantha", "Two Time", "Oh Klahoma!", "Dead Weight")
  • Possibly In Michigan ("Animal Cannibal", "The Perfume Song")
  • Blank Banshee ("Teen Pregnancy")
  • Korn ("Daddy")
  • AJJ ("Daddy didn't love me", "Body Terror Song")
  • Nine Inch Nails ("Piggy", "Closer", "Hurt")
  • Baby Bugs (“Baby Teeth”, “Hey Bunny”)
  • Sitcom ("Still Life")
  • Elita ("Perverted" , "What A Game" , "Maggot" , "R.I.P", “Agoraphobia”)
  • Mitski ("Nobody") ("A Pearl") ("Washing Machine Heart")
  • Jazmin Bean ("Hello Kitty" “Little Lamb”)
  • Zheani ("Dirt On The Name Of Steven") ("Fear Is The Mind Killer") ("Dirtbike")
  • Nirvana ("Dumb", "Polly")
  • Alexander Brandon ("Deus Ex")
  • Declan Mckenna ("British Bombs")
  • Beach Bunny ("Prom Queen")
  • Poppy ("Voicemail")
  • Glass Animals ("The Other Side of Paradise")
  • Mother Mother ("Burning Pile", "Ghosting", "Body")
  • Whitehouse ("A Cunt Like You", "Philosophy", "Quality Time", "Daddo")
  • Peter Sotos ("Buyer's Market")
  • Cake Bake Betty
  • Penelope Scott ("Rat", "American Healthcare", "Sweet Hibiscus Tea")
  • Alice Glass
  • Emilie Autumn ("I Want My Innocence Back", "Opheliac", "Gothic Lolita", "306")
  • Elliot Lee “Pink (Freak), “Drama Queen”, “TV” Head”, “Dirt”, “Queen of Nothing”
  • mxmtoon (“feelings are fatal”), (“prom dress”), (“porcelain”) (“i feel like chet”)
  • Teen Suicide (almost all of their songs)
  • Kikuo (“ごめねごめね” [Gomene Gomene] “君はできない子” [Kimi wa Dekinai Ko], many others)
  • Melanie Martinez (K-12 album has topics about academic abuse)
  • Amanda Palmer (Her solo work as well as Evelyn Evelyn and Dresden Dolls have heavy themes often related to child abuse)
  • Maretu (SIU)
  • Hatsune Miku (vocals for SIU, Kikuo's songs and Watashi no R [My R])
  • WADATAKEAKI / KurageP (Watashi no R [My R])
  • McCafferty ("Real Adult", "Skeleton Bones", "Alligator Skin Boots", "Fentanyl")
  • Jazmin Bean (Hello Kitty)
  • Lael (Crazy, I'm All Alone, 300 Nights)
  • Billie Eilish (Your Power, Listen Before I Go, NDA, Getting Older)
  • Joxer (COCSA, Age Gap, Highschool Senior)[1]

PLEASE DO NOT ADD FICTIONAL CHARACTERS WITH TRAUMAS AS IT MAY HAVE A NEGATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT ON REAL PEOPLE WHO'VE SUFFERED FROM TRAUMA.

Activities

  • Venting and/or having a blog/posts dedicated to coping with trauma
  • Making disturbing aesthetics or visuals
  • Collecting Kewpie dolls, plush toys or other childlike trinkets
  • Writing sad poetry
  • Baking or cooking, particularly sweet things like cupcakes, cookies & cake
  • Playing the piano or flute
  • Painting, drawing or any other form of creating expression (particularly as a venting device)
  • Ballet dancing
  • Growing flowers in one's garden
  • Consuming media targeted at children (video games, anime/manga, Deus Ex, TV shows, etc.)

Criticism

One of the main arguments against traumacore is its romanticization and aestheticization of mental illness and abuse. In depicting depression, eating disorders, sexual abuse, etc. as beautiful concepts, people who appreciate the aesthetic may seek out these kinds of experiences, which would endanger their health and invalidate the experiences of people who are traumatized and would not want anyone to mimic their experience. For people who have been traumatized, traumacore imagery can cause people to center their identity around these negative emotions and hinder attempts at recovery and developing a personality beyond what they were like while experiencing trauma. Different visuals can also trigger the viewer into past behaviors because of the desire for beauty, such as survivors of eating disorders relapsing after being constantly exposed to images of small and delicate girls.

An issue within the traumacore community is cross-tagging, which is the act of adding non trauma-related hashtags to traumacore posts. This can be very dangerous, as it allows for people to stumble across triggering posts without deliberately searching for them. (It has been said not to add Sanrio-related tags on traumacore posts because kids and people who are not comfortable with seeing traumacore imagery may be scrolling through these topics.[1]) If you post or repost any traumacore content, please use ONLY traumacore related tags and refrain from using unrelated tags (such as #sanrio, #aesthetic, #pastel, etc.)

Another issue within the community is art theft. This includes reposting edits with no credit, reposting edits with improper credit (writing simply "credits to the artist/creator"), claiming others' works as one's own, or reposting/using others' work in edits without permission. When reposting traumacore edits/art, first make sure the original artist allows reposts, then clearly type their username in the post description. This allows people to know who made an edit every time it gets reposted. Related: if you know the creator(s) of any of the images in our gallery, please comment and let us know!

Resources

If you or a loved-one has dealt with trauma of any kind, please feel free to use the list below. Remember that there is always help available, and that you are not alone.

Suicide Hotlines

If you can't find your country on this list, you may try to look through the list of hotlines on Wikipedia.


External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.

Communities

Blogs

Playlists

Pinterest Boards

Gallery​​


References

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