TikTok Trends Explained: Goblincore

Inspired by the foul but lovable creatures of fantasy, ‘Goblincore’ is all about finding beauty in all of nature. Even in the mushrooms, spores mud and worms of a rainy wet forest. Similar to ‘Dark Academia’, it is another offshoot of ‘Cottagecore’. Outdoor exploration, muted colours and a lack of technology are the name of the game here. 

Credit: Vice

Goblincore is like the grungy, filthy cousin to a peaceful, clean rural life. Its most popular trendsetter Froggiecrocs describes it as being about ‘Chaos, dirt and mud’. Its colours are mossy greens, any shade of brown and dark reds. General earth tones communicate the imperfect, slimy style. The trend has seen the trading of snails, small bones and dried mushrooms as items to highlight the aesthetic.

The style’s predecessor ‘Cottagecore’ was first seen during the lockdowns of 2020. Best described as performative rural living, it emphasized a return to roots, idealising the idyllic lifestyle of the countryside. Bright colours and a sunny morning cottage clearing in a flat plain with no one around for miles. It almost attempts to imitate the shiny, bright and calm adventure of a Studio Ghibli film. In a way, its purpose was to bring some glamour and calm to the thought of isolation and solitude. Goblincore borrows the isolation and idyllic nature of this style but trades the peaceful image for a more feral look.

Goblin E-Gold

Credit: GoblinCloud

More than any of the other trends, Goblincore appears to be brewing into something big. The hashtag has over 498 million views on Tik Tok alone. Similarly, the style’s Reddit page has seen its numbers rise to 19000 users. On Etsy, the store has seen a 652% increase in the term being used in their search engine.

Academic Ruth Page believes the rise of this aesthetic can be attributed to the obvious need for escapism. Moreover, it follows ‘Cluttercore’, a reaction to the second wave of forced isolation in 2021. As the future during the pandemic continues to be dark and uncertain, aesthetics shamelessly showcasing escapism and freedom would naturally become popular. However, Georgia McGain-Harding, illustrator of Mushroom Babes, has a different belief for its popularity.

“it is accessible. Almost anyone can go outside and find a plant or a snail and take a minute to appreciate it.”

She states.

‘Core’ styles are predicted to see even more spotlight in 2022. So the old, free and rural styles of Cottagecore, Dark Academia and Golbincore in particular, are believed to be at the forefront of this boom. A mix of accessibility, environmental friendliness and price is the reason. In addition, we can achieve each aesthetic in online thrift stores or by a quick walk outside.

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