What is piratecore on TikTok? Get to know the app’s latest aesthetic

If you’ve been seeing lots of pirates on TikTok lately, you’re not alone.

There is no shortage of alternative culture on TikTok, where people sing sea shanties and role play as woodchuck revolutionaries. Now, people have taken to embracing a new unexpected subculture called “piratecore.”

What is piratecore? 

“Piratecore is an aesthetic based around the themes of pirates, a person who attacks and robs ships at sea,” according to Fandom.com. “It draws its inspiration from aesthetics such as adventurecore and crowcore and may include things such as: collecting shells/rocks/trinkets/bones/etc, studying maps and constellations, sea travel and sketching.” 

Most TikTok users who embrace the pirate life do so by sporting pirate-style clothing like white, flowing blouses, vests and leather accessories. Some even carry model swords or daggers. 

Who are the pirates of TikTok? 

The LGBTQIA+ community is credited with bringing the pirate life to TikTok, particularly the platform’s bisexual users who often lovingly refer to themselves as “birates.” 

The user @anxietybutfashion showed off their birate pride with a dagger, glass jug and leather bracelets in one video. 

Here are some examples of TikTok pirates. 


I understand why you need more than one person to get into a corset… 🧜‍♀️ #birates #biratetiktok #lgbt #bisexual #pirate #fyp #foryou #foryoupage

♬ The Banjo Beat, Pt. 1 – Ricky Desktop

The user @smallpuppethands, another self-identified birate, served modern pirate looks in one fashion-focused TikTok. She paired a huge flowy white blouse with blue jeans and a blue vest in one look. 


Everyone said #birates and I said hold my sword. ☠️⚔️ #pirate #piratechallenge

♬ The Banjo Beat, Pt. 1 – Ricky Desktop

One birate who goes by @ttbret had a major pirate transformation. The cosplayer went from wearing lounge clothes to donning a pirate’s hat, paisley jacket and facial hair that would fit perfectly in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie

“You have won birate TikTok! Please take this crown,” one user wrote

“I screamed!” another said.

“I don’t understand. That was a new person,” another commented

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If you enjoyed this story, read more about why TikTok users are calling themselves “accountants.”

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