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Cottagecore? Dark Academia? Other Aesthetic Communities Online and what makes them different from Vaporwave.

The Long Serpent

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So I like to consider myself an educated snake, who knows much about the ways of the internet.
On my travels, I have come across many other aesthetic communities who have a very strong following. On the surface, they appear similar to Vaporwave in concept, but they attract different sorts of people with different interests.

For example, you will see people put this or that artist on their Cottagecore playlist, but Cottagecore itself is not a music genre. At least not yet. Vaporwave is primarily defined AS a music genre, so that's one thing that separates it from other Aesthetic communities.

Now, what is Cottagecore and Dark Academia?
Both aesthetics are based around nostalgia, yes, but rather than being based on the latter half of the 20th Century and the rise of the Internet, it's more of a romanticized ideal that they've only really experienced through fictional media like books and TV.

The Aesthetics Wiki defines Cottagecore as thus:
"Cottagecore, also known as farmcore and countrycore, is inspired by a romanticized interpretation of western agricultural life. It is centered on ideas of simple living and harmony with nature. Themes associated with cottagecore include self-sufficiency, baking, and caring for people...The aesthetic is prevalent on several social media sites, such as on Instagram and more recently TikTok, the community notably prospers on Tumblr...The aesthetic is a continuation of many other nature-based aesthetics, but draws the most influence (and is arguably a complete revival) of the romanticization of the English countryside from the Victorian period. Its visuals are based on the domestic lifestyle associated with living in this type of environment, with all images providing a sense of comfort and mild adventure."

I've worked on a farm before, the mystique of the aesthetic is kind of lost when you have to spend hot summer days pulling weeds and spraying pesticides.

Dark Academia is arguably more interesting with its themes:
"Dark academia is a popular academic aesthetic that revolves around classic literature, the pursuit of self-discovery and a general passion for knowledge and learning. It is one of several variations of academia aesthetic, each with a unique subject focus.

Dark academia's visuals stem primarily from upper-class European culture of the 19th century and American Prep. The upper class of this time period emphasized a liberal education in which Latin, rhetoric and classics were taught subjects. These are now seen as unusual and slightly esoteric, creating an allure that presents schooling as not dreary or boring, but one that cultivates people that learn for the sake of joy."

What interests me the most is that they've very recently have become popular online with lots of younger people, and it may be tempting to put Vaporwave in this category, but I feel that it is very separated from that.
Anyone can use the internet, learn to make a website, talk on Vaporwave forums, make music, etc. Yeah, the internet we once knew is gone, but this forum is a lot more accessible for most people than going to a Preppy College or moving to the countryside to be a farmer.

These aesthetics are based on a fantasy of a fantasy of real life. Vaporwave has always felt more real to me, because I can remember all the times I scrolled through websites late at night or walked around malls or stayed up late watching TV in hotel rooms. The mundane and melancholic nature of everyday life, one I have fuzzy memories of. You just don't get that with Dark Academia and Cottagecore, because, well, it's not real and they know it.

You might want to scroll through the wiki, but please leave your thoughts here.
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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ヴェイパーウェイヴと他の美学の主な違いは、他の美学はオブジェクトやライフスタイルを中心としているのに対し、ヴェイパーウェイヴは抽象的な概念にのみ焦点を当てていることだと思います。このジャンルが何を伝えようとしているのか想像するのはとても難しいです。それは根本的にばかげています

これは、私たちが唯一の抽象的な美学であることを示唆するものではありません。明確に定義されたパラメータや厳密なガイドラインのない他の美学があります。シンセウェーブとローラーウェーブはヴェイパーウェイヴに近いいとこであり、どちらも曖昧です。

率直に言って、私はこれらの新しい美学のいくつかがどれほど正当であるかを知りません。接尾辞の前で単語を叩くだけのようです
 
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jdnt

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Imho these aesthetics are simply trends. They're mostly for teen girls and are no different to the Lana Del Rey-esque sad girl or bohemian aesthetic popular in the 2010s. The difference between these trends and vaporwave I think is the creative output of the two. These aesthetics are represented via moodboards or compilations of existing songs, whilst vaporwave has always been about creating something completely new and subverting or distorting the subject matter. Some people now may idolise the subject matter of vaporwave but it will always have its roots in criticism, unlike those aesthetics. Also, vaporwave is so dense and is packed with so many subgenres and ideas that it feels more like an artistic movement rather than mere aesthetic.
 
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The Long Serpent

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ヴェイパーウェイヴと他の美学の主な違いは、他の美学はオブジェクトやライフスタイルを中心としているのに対し、ヴェイパーウェイヴは抽象的な概念にのみ焦点を当てていることだと思います。このジャンルが何を伝えようとしているのか想像するのはとても難しいです。それは根本的にばかげています

これは、私たちが唯一の抽象的な美学であることを示唆するものではありません。明確に定義されたパラメータや厳密なガイドラインのない他の美学があります。シンセウェーブとローラーウェーブはヴェイパーウェイヴに近いいとこであり、どちらも曖昧です。

率直に言って、私はこれらの新しい美学のいくつかがどれほど正当であるかを知りません。接尾辞の前で単語を叩くだけのようです
I had to put in this into google translate to understand, but I do agree whole-heartedly. Trends come and go, but art never dies.
 
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Plasmawiz

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For the most part I agree with the other posters here that these are mainly trends in the teenage girl demographic that will fizzle out once something new comes around, however I still find them interesting because they derive from larger aesthetic movements or cultural elements that are very much still around. In a way I see it as a good thing, because even if 99% of the people in the Dark Academia sphere never open a classic book or take a proper interest in education for its own sake, there is a 1% who will genuinely get something positive out of it. It's a bit like the "IFL SCIENCE LOLZ" trend from the early 2010s, where lots of people just like reposing cool nifty facts, but there is always that subset of kids and young adults who take a further interest and end up developing a broader knowledge, possibly pursuing a career in the natural sciences or engineering.
 
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The Long Serpent

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For the most part I agree with the other posters here that these are mainly trends in the teenage girl demographic that will fizzle out once something new comes around, however I still find them interesting because they derive from larger aesthetic movements or cultural elements that are very much still around. In a way I see it as a good thing, because even if 99% of the people in the Dark Academia sphere never open a classic book or take a proper interest in education for its own sake, there is a 1% who will genuinely get something positive out of it. It's a bit like the "IFL SCIENCE LOLZ" trend from the early 2010s, where lots of people just like reposing cool nifty facts, but there is always that subset of kids and young adults who take a further interest and end up developing a broader knowledge, possibly pursuing a career in the natural sciences or engineering.

Yeah, I agree. A lot of people who like cottagecore also like to bake or do traditional crafts, like weaving or sewing. It's cool in that way.
 
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temporaltaboo

I don't really like Dark Academia, moreso because I think it fosters an unhealthy relationship with study 'n all that. At least from what I hear, at least. Cottagecore is great, though.

My favorite aesthetics are usually urban related (biased). For some reason both urban decadence and urban decay are both very intensely appealing for me.
 

elia925-6

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I don't really like Dark Academia, moreso because I think it fosters an unhealthy relationship with study 'n all that. At least from what I hear, at least. Cottagecore is great, though.
Agree. Aesthetics wiki is full of stuff like this. I don't like those academica aesthetics because they're associated with school pressure, exams and so on. Cottagecore is amazing but it's more a way of life than aesthetic and their regional variations like mori kei and southwest. Also is there over here who thinks about Facebook aesthetics groups like Utopian Scholastic and Frasurbane?
 
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The Long Serpent

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moreso because I think it fosters an unhealthy relationship with study 'n all that. At least from what I hear, at least.
I looked very far into it. It's not considered "studying" it's "the obessive love of learning". You could easily say it's just positive framing, but a lot of people use it to keep them motivated to study.
 
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greatistgenious

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I can see the appeal of Dark Academia, but based on the Wiki's description it seems like it's pretty shallow at the moment. It could go in an interesting direction if participants played into the "dark" aspect by studying/researching taboo subjects, kind of like how the Pseudoxology podcast presents alternate timelines for historical events like Iran-Contra and Watergate. I agree that it's missing the creative aspects of vaporwave, which is probably the biggest thing holding it back from being more than just a costume or image filter.
 
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Shrug

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For me, what separates them is that vaporwave is rooted in nostalgia for things that I've actually experienced and as a critique of current society, and these other aesthetics are often rooted in romanticized visions of times that most of us are too young to have actually lived in. I think that's what allows vaporwave to have more depth to it than those, but I'm just guessing really.
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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For me, what separates them is that vaporwave is rooted in nostalgia for things that I've actually experienced and as a critique of current society, and these other aesthetics are often rooted in romanticized visions of times that most of us are too young to have actually lived in. I think that's what allows vaporwave to have more depth to it than those, but I'm just guessing really.
それは良い説明です。多くの人がそれに馴染みのあるものを見つけます
 
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Plasmawiz

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Dark academia is just business casual/preppy with bookshelves in the background
I agree up until a point.
While I don't follow any kind of tumblr/tik-tok aesthetic my personal tastes in fashion fall within that prep/ivy/trad sphere. You see some of that reflected in that subculture but a little more sloppily in my opinion, since the focus is more on the feel of being in a film about a lit student at Harvard in the 50s. Most of what I see amounts to imitating what is presented in films, which falls mostly into that ivy style brown tweed blazer, suspenders and trousers, so I would say the style is more narrow than just prep/business casual.
It is good to see a resurgence in people taking an interest in classic style and dressing up though and I think the actual (focusing on male fashion here) classic style sphere is great and personally gratifying, these trends often do serve as gateways to the actual subcultures that inspire them :)
 
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elia925-6

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I agree up until a point.
While I don't follow any kind of tumblr/tik-tok aesthetic my personal tastes in fashion fall within that prep/ivy/trad sphere. You see some of that reflected in that subculture but a little more sloppily in my opinion, since the focus is more on the feel of being in a film about a lit student at Harvard in the 50s. Most of what I see amounts to imitating what is presented in films, which falls mostly into that ivy style brown tweed blazer, suspenders and trousers, so I would say the style is more narrow than just prep/business casual.
It is good to see a resurgence in people taking an interest in classic style and dressing up though and I think the actual (focusing on male fashion here) classic style sphere is great and personally gratifying, these trends often do serve as gateways to the actual subcultures that inspire them :)
Like how Y2K was inspired by raver culture.
 
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