You’re gently woken to the smell of freshly baked bread; warmth and sunlight stream through your curtains, illuminating your room; wildflowers, fruits, and yesterday’s jars of homemade blackberry jam populate your kitchen table. Today, you have no plans but to absorb yourself within the latest novel you are reading…
This is a wholesome, pure, peaceful bliss; this is Cottagecore.
Cottagecore is an aesthetic trend which romanticizes a self-sustainable agricultural life: baking, crafting, gardening. At its heart, it idolizes the uncomplicated, yearning for a honeyed, rose-tinted life. As COVID-19 has obliterated our freedom and wilted our sense of security, the popularity of Cottagecore has hugely flourished. The aesthetic, you could argue, has provided a comforting and controlled channel into escapism.
Yet, beyond the coziness of wholegrain bread and clean pressed linen, our obsession with this rising trend perhaps reflects an absence of simplicity in our life. Never before have we been given such a prolonged passivity as that imposed by quarantine – the continuous and multi-faceted rhythm of our life being has been on pause, replaced by an acoustic melody. Although not as syrupy and romantic as Cottagecore desires, we have been collectively thrown into a new, stripped back version of life. Now, most of us are living in slow-motion. Our current pleasures – in this pandemic – are grounded in simplicity: going out for a walk; baking (of course, banana bread!); reading the books we have had on our shelf for months (or even years!); extended games nights with family. In essence, we have returned to the pleasant placidity that the aesthetic trend embodies.
Is it a coincidence that our life’s sudden re-orientation coincides with the rise of the Cottagecore aesthetic? Is it random that during a period in which we are disconnected from our reality, yet closest to emanating the aesthetic, we have suddenly discovered our love for Cottagecore?
I don’t believe so.
In truth, I think our senses have finally woken up to what we need in life: an essence of designed tranquillity. COVID-19 has unearthed the importance of balance, the desirability of distance, and the power of stepping back from the hustle and bustle which we call contemporary life. Our idolization of this trend, this perfectly crafted lifestyle is like milk and honey to our senses – yet why should it be an isolated ‘trend’, so estranged from our reality?
Our new love affair with the Cottagecore aesthetic is perhaps a revelation; a sign that we must reconnect with simplicity more, with nature, with the fundamental joys of life, to live a wholesome and peaceful authenticity.
The rise of this trend is meaningful… it should be taken as a poetical, inspirational step forward.