Trigger warning: This article has a heavy focus on topics of abuse 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.
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Traumacore is a type of imagery that delves into the themes of abuse and trauma (particularly sexual trauma or CSA), though it's not strictly limited to physical or sexual abuse. Mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse are also common themes as it pertains to traumacore. It often draws heavily on childlike and angelic themes, done so as a means to try and reclaim their innocence. Traumacore in general tends to be more focused on trauma experienced in childhood, 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, it's 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.
The Morute aesthetic is the clearest predecessor of Traumacore, and as the aesthetic declined, Traumacore became the more popular aesthetic. 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 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 is "victim of a horror movie villain." A lot of this overlapped with Cult Party Kei, a fashion that spread to America at that time.
Traumacore draws upon a delicate, childlike but implicitly disturbing aesthetic, 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 supportive version of this aesthetic. It uses images to help one cope.
- You Are A Useless Child
- Bumblebees Are Out
- im Sorry Im Sorry
- R.I.P (Mommy)
- Pink in the Night
- Saint Bernard
- Miss Wanna Die
- My R
- Deus Ex OST
- Soap&Skin - Spiracle
- Hey Kids by Molina
- I'd Rather Sleep by Kero Kero Bonito
- Nicole Dollanganger ("Mean", "Dog Teeth", "Angels of Porn", "Uncle", "Ghosts", "Valley of the Dead" “Barren” )
- 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")
- 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")
- Alexander Brandon ("Deus Ex")
- Declan Mckenna ("British Bombs")
- Beach Bunny ("Prom Queen")
- Poppy ("Voicemail")
- Glass Animals ("The Other Side of the 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
- Alice Glass ("Without Love", "I Trusted You")
- Emily Autumn ("I Want My Innocence Back")
- 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)
PLEASE DO NOT ADD FICTIONAL CHARACTERS WITH TRAUMAS AS IT MAY HAVE A NEGATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT ON REAL PEOPLE WHO'VE SUFFERED FROM TRAUMA.
- traumacore Spotify playlist by zack / bright
- traumacore 🍓☁️✨ Spotify playlist by 🌸 wren 🌸
- hello kitty traumacore<3 Spotify playlist by mehwish :)
- salt burns the wound Spotify playlist by ☆
- traumacore Spotify playlist by b 🪲
- traumacore/weirdcore ❤️ Spotify playlist by luna ♡
- you stole everything from me Spotify playlist by ?¿?¿
- emptycore 💀✨ Spotify playlist by hamomg
- mmmmmmmmm Spotify playlist by Teddie
- my traumacore >:3 Spotify playlist by emil
- traumacore baby Spotify playlist by Amoreth
- traumacore Spotify playlist by urszvlia
- traumacore. Spotify playlist by skully
- traumacore Youtube playlist by ena <3
- ツChildhood Nostalgiaツ Spotify playlist by starrybrains
- Venting and/or having a blog/posts dedicated to coping with trauma
- Making disturbing aesthetics or visuals
- Collecting dolls, stuffed animals 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.)
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.) 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!
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.
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- United States ([])
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If you can't find your country on this list, you may try to look through the list of hotlines on Wikipedia.