What is ‘goblincore’ and why does TikTok love it so much?

TikTok is embracing a new aesthetic. Think of goblincore as the spooky little sister of cottagecore

While cottagecore embodies the light, romantic and airy side of nature, goblincore is darker, more rustic and dabbles in the occult. Goblincore folk are less into butterflies and sunflowers and more into toads and mushrooms. The trend started on Tumblr, but now TikTokers have picked up the way of life. 

What is goblincore on TikTok?

“Goblincore celebrates not just flawless gems, dazzling metals and meticulously kept treasuries, but also damaged coins, cool rocks, bits of scrap metal, maybe even beads, bugs and buttons,” according to Urban Dictionary. 

In goblincore people tend to collect nature often opting for things with occult-like elements. Things like elf ear cuffs, crystals, animal skulls, soil and moss all fall within the range. If you could inhabit the world of Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings, it would probably be described as goblincore. 

The hashtag #goblincore currently has 517.1 million views on TikTok.

Why do people embrace the goblincore lifestyle? 

According to trend expert Amanda Brennan, goblincore is often tied to “queerness and anti-capitalism.” 

“There’s something incredibly freeing about goblincore. Mushrooms are huge in the community and some species of fungi have thousands of sexes — it’s just about vibing and existing, not fitting into a mold,” Brennan told the Guardian. 

Goblincore embraces what nature has to offer and rejects the frivolous nature of consumption in capitalism. (Although you can buy tons of goblincore products on Etsy.) The lifestyle is also a way of rejecting social norms. 

“Another thing I find to be a big part of the goblincore community is wanting to escape society and live in the woods. Part of this is wanting to get away from all the societal standards that are set in place,” Sküg, a 19-year-old who identifies with goblincore, told Vice. 

The goblincore aesthetic on TikTok

TikToker @mountain.hag rocked her long, brown goblincore dress as she watered her plants in a wooden cabin. She was definitely living the goblincore dream. 

The user @cameron_creates showed how to make a forest book nook using natural elements like soil, rocks and branches. 

@dortygoblin

Sometimes even chaotic goblin kings need to take some time to be calm and look after themselves #goblincore #goblin

♬ original sound – DortyGoblin

Then there are those like @dortygoblin who fully embrace goblincore. Their whole TikTok is dedicated to goblincore life, they rock blue goblin ears, green hair, fangs and even live with farm animals. 

Is goblincore antisemitic?

People have noted that antisemitic depictions of Jewish people have often presented the group as goblins. However, goblincore folk insists the community is all about inclusivity. Some prefer to use the term “mushroomcore” or “mosscore” to shed any perceived ties to antisemitism.

If you found this story interesting, you might also like reading about why TikTok star Tony Lopez is getting called out.

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