The Healing Methods of Contemporary Young People: Pastoral Aesthetics

Remember the outdoor picnic that was popular in the circle of friends last year?

As long as a piece of checkered cloth, a piece of green grass, some fragments of sunlight, a long floral skirt, and a bunch of red wine, fruits and baguettes randomly placed, it is like going to Paris, the country of France (fourth tone) .

Unexpectedly, the popularity of this type of lifestyle continues to rise globally.

Similar topics have recently become popular on Instagram. Related videos on TikTok have been watched 4 billion times, creating an idyllic utopia on the Internet, bringing people both visual and spiritual comfort. It can be called "the great healing method for contemporary young people." ".

All healing sceneries revolve around one word: Cottagecore.

"Cultural Revival" of Pastoral Aesthetics

If you don't know much about Cottagecore, it's a rustic style in layman's terms.

According to Wikipedia , Cottagecore is a nostalgic aesthetic movement, which refers to the combination of various traditional skills and handicrafts in the scene of mountain farmhouses to create a way of life that returns to nature.

But it is not imitating the old-fashioned country life, but a new pastoral style, using modern aesthetics to express retro scenes, focusing on the fairy tale sense of surreal atmosphere.

In 2020, the number of people searching for cottagecore has increased by 5950% since quarantine . It is the most popular among millennials and Gen Z.

Cottagecore is more than just a picnic. Baking, farming, flower arranging, pottery, and embroidery are all forms of Cottagecore.

But pastoral aesthetics is not a new thing.

When it appeared in the 2010s, it was just a niche subculture. It was not named cottagecore on tumblr until 2018.

▲ Picture from: Pinterest

The epidemic is the first wave of the revival of cottagecore.

When the city closed quickly, people began to have enough time to think about the relationship between man and nature; when the negative news bombed ceaselessly, people were thinking of ways to find a source of happiness for healing the body and mind during isolation, and to go to a safe place far away from reality.

So, cottagecore came.

▲ Picture from: Tumblr@moonmaze

It not only allows people to return to the original beauty, but also allows people to find the motivation for life. Even if they can't walk into the crowd and become the focus of everyone's attention, they can be the brightest female star in the circle of friends.

However, Cottagecore has become so popular that there are more stories behind it.

In July last year, Taylor Swift released a new album "Folklore", returning to her original folk style, once again setting multiple charts and sales records around the world, and also set off a country-style craze.

The retro jackets, knitted cardigans, and spinning white skirts that she wore in the MV were the same in the pastoral series, and they were flying online overnight.

Subsequently, the high-profile new version of "Little Women" was released in August. This movie is in Cottagecore style from life scenes to the clothing and accessories of the four sisters.

The day and night in the countryside, the soft and warm love affair, the ruffles and puff sleeves that were popular in women's clothing in the 19th century… The new generation of popular actors, with the dream made by this movie, tightly captured the attention of young people.

On social software, celebrities have also "picked the chrysanthemum under the eastern fence and leisurely see Nanshan."

Beckham showed photos of himself and his family returning to the garden and indulging in beekeeping on Instagram, working at sunrise and resting every day;

Kardashian also escaped from the troubled entertainment circle and experienced the simple life of feeding horses and chopping wood in Wyoming ranch;

When the pastoral aesthetics became more and more hot, the fashion circle immediately followed this trend. Brand designers exhibited a large number of "Cottagecore Fashion" works, one after another leading the trend of the new year.

Dior, Burbeery and many other brands in the 2021 spring and summer show and early spring series, there are rich cottagecore elements: soft and fluffy design contours, full of floral checkered patterns, natural materials of gauze and cotton, natural retro colors… …

Compared with their previous heavy makeup on natural element design, this year is obviously full of wanton and randomness in the field. These brands also hope to impress consumers who desire comfort and warmth through the dreamy pastoral style, and unlock the wealth code of pastoral aesthetics. .

Harry Styles , known as the " cottagecore " subculture ambassador, once conducted farm animal promotion activities with Gucci , which attracted a large number of fans

With the involvement of cottagecore in various fields, it has also changed from a small place to a paradise for all.

Digital Pastoral Utopia

Soon, this cottagecore craze has blown across the world.

From people's outdoor activities, to home design, gardening and floral art, a cottagecore style has emerged.

Instagram with the labels of cottagecore and farmcore, with a sense of midsummer, southern French style, and candy colors, is creating a vane of contemporary aesthetics;

Xiaohongshu is full of keywords of "picnic strategy" and "home pastoral style". Each photographer/model Kol teaches you how to choose props, pose angles, and adjust filters.

In TikTok's video, people are resting in the fields, jumping in the woods, running against the sunset, and even cultivating the land.

Of course, as we all know, they left after the filming, and no one could see the seeds germinate.

The forest garden where they check in on weekends is the password of social software; those natural and inadvertent sultry poses are required courses for urban beauties.

Flower and butterfly hair accessories, romantic floral embroidery, quirky freckles makeup… Behind every pastoral element, there is a fairy who hits the trend directly.

Back in the bustling metropolis, Cottagecore has also entered people's daily lives .

The sisters like to hold flower arrangement parties in their leisure afternoon tea time. The colorful flowers are scattered and arranged, and the elegant bottles are neatly arranged. They learn the gentle oriental beauty and feel the immersion and relaxation of handwork.

Many foreign residents have their own small gardens in their residences, so horticultural designs have quickly gained popularity and become a new spiritual therapy during the epidemic.

People cultivate and wait for plants to grow, and whenever new buds emerge and flower bones bloom, the senses are reawakened, and life seems to be full of expectations and hopes again.

The New Yorker reported in August last year that during the epidemic, the sales of plants and seeds in the United Kingdom had increased by more than 30% over the same period last year, and the popularity was second only to toilet paper and flour.

As Cottagecore has become one of the most popular subcultures in 2020, people have begun to fill their homes with pastoral aesthetics.

They imitate the design bloggers and put up books, porcelain, antique furniture, and wood-burning stoves, decorate the room with stones, clay, bamboo, rattan, and fabrics, and use natural and rough objects to create a rustic atmosphere and feel the simplicity they bring Warmth.

▲ Picture from: Thehousethatlarsbuilt

Google Trends shows that the term "cottagecore" dominated the search for interior design last year, and its popularity increased by 1075% year-on-year, and it will continue in 2021.

The pastoral aesthetics of the real world are popular on the Internet, and the virtual world has not fallen.

The hottest game in the first half of last year was "Animal Forest Friends Club". In the isolated island of the game, people are leisurely and happy, fishing, planting vegetables, logging, catching insects, and chatting every day, like a paradise.

▲ Picture from: Nintendo

In the game and in the nature every day, the players seem to have recovered their childhood innocence and are full of curiosity about everything.

Then, actively take screenshots every day, leave a beautiful picture, and send it to social software.

Now, Cottagecore has been fully integrated into contemporary urban life and has become a new Internet aesthetic.

▲Picture from: NEWYORKER

Although it sounds a bit ironic-you said you would go back to the garden together, but you turned around and surfed the Internet?

But it is also because of its close connection with the Internet that Cottagecore can be widely disseminated and discussed during the epidemic and become a cultural force shared globally.

Although, this is an idyllic fantasy that everyone is drunk.

Cottagecore is just an idyllic dream

The ubiquitous sense of dreams, fairy tales, and idealized descriptions in this new pastoral style have actually revealed its unreality.

To put it bluntly, Cottagecore is actually a beautification of people's rural life.

A Cottagecore fan on Instagram , after watching N photos and videos under this label, finally decided to go to the farm to open up territory in person.

It was just that when he and his partner came to the farm and experienced a short period of freshness, it was soon accompanied by animal feces, mosquito bites, insufficient supplies, and a bath that would never be clean…

Obviously, most of the Cottagecore exposed on the Internet are short-lived pastoral, one-sided pastoral, and imagined pastoral.

▲Picture from: Alliemtaylor.blog

There is always a gap between reality and ideals.

The new crown virus makes everything full of uncertainty: economy, work, school, social… Compared with the confusion of the future, the good moments of the past are as reassuring as utopia.

The popularity of Cottagecore also reveals the dissatisfaction and counterattack of contemporary young people with the acceleration of capitalism and urbanization.

▲Picture from: NEWYORKER

Just like Thoreau published "Walden Lake" in 1854, criticizing the rapid industrialization in his life; just like in the 1860s, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood initiated an art reform movement in Britain and used romanticism to oppose European industrialization. utilitarianism.

This Internet cottagecore carnival is far away from the high-pressure life of the city and away from the confined concrete forest. Everything is going at a slow pace. People begin to think inwardly and examine life. Everything becomes simple. They are interconnected and full of meaning. , Free from capital constraints, free from material desires, and free from geographic, political, and ethnic discrimination.

This is not a sensational reform, but a timely and soothing antidote, a long-awaited respite.

▲ Picture from: NEWYORKER

It is foreseeable that the Cottagecore trend will continue in the future.

The natural health, return to nature, environmentalism, eco-fashion, and sustainable development advocated by it will continue to lead the trend to spread on the Internet.

As the book "Nostalgic Future" says :

Creative nostalgia reveals the fantasy of the times, and the future is born out of these fantasy and potential. What we strive to achieve in the future is this kind of past perfection.

It is difficult to say exactly what form the cottagecore will appear in the future, but the dream it creates is trying to wake up, getting closer and closer to the reality we expect.

Until everyone can hear the grass growing its seeds and the wind shaking its leaves.

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