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Is Cottagecore Gatekeeping Just Another Way To Exclude Black Women From The 'Soft Life' Narrative?

‘Cottagecore’ is an aesthetic that romanticises country and agricultural life, with participants enjoying fantastical, nature-centred and literary scenes. Made popular during the pandemic when so many of us wanted to just run away, cottagecore centres around one idea – living a simple and soft life tinted in rose. 

Since we’ve all been hit by the effects of the pandemic and urbanisation, it stands to reason that we would all be craving the same escapism. However, inclusivity is rarely a characteristic of this aesthetic.

In a Medium post, writer Leah Sinclair points out that many people believe that Black people, particularly women, who participate in cottagecore, are actually taking part in 'slavery-cosplay’ or 'plantationcore'. As unlikely as it is, one argument for this distinction could be the pursuit of 'historical accuracy'.

If you type in 'cottagecore' on Google or Instagram, you will likely be greeted by a sea of white faces. In support of this, some might argue that historically, Black people wouldn't have been living this lifestyle in the periods that cottagecore depicts.