I recently asked the Lolita community on whether or not it is an aesthetic and I got an interesting response from a person who was in the community for much longer than me. She suggested that aesthetics like Dark Academia and Cottagecore aren't going to have the same longevity as Lolita, Goth, and other subcultures because of their lack of close-knit communities and their generally loose guidelines in comparison to our fashion. As much as I hate to say it, I think it's kind of true. I was in the tumblr community in its "grunge" phase and I have not seen a pleated skirt + band tee combo in literal years. There aren't any blogs that are "authorities" on the subject, rules of the fashion, drama threads that get referenced as an inside joke, in-person meetups, or print magazines that maintain hype in its audience. Subcultures are able to survive because being in a community will create stronger emotional ties in comparison to just making a few tiktoks or moodboards. I don't want to be a downer, but I kinda think that without a centralized subculture, sooner or later aesthetics are going to fall. Of course, there will be revivals, and I'm sure that Cottagecore will become *insert whatever word here* just like how it's currently just the latest name for Prairie Revival or English Cottage. Now I'm kind of wondering what the next long-lasting subcultural movement will be, since I can't think of an aesthetic with a strong community aspect in the recent years.

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