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Core blimey! Euronews Culture's comprehensive A-Z glossary to Gen Z's 'cores'

AI-generated 'core' vibes
AI-generated 'core' vibes Copyright DALL-E
Copyright DALL-E
By Saskia O'DonoghueDavid Mouriquand, Anca Ulea, Amber Bryce, Theo Farrant, Jonny Walfisz
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Cottagecore, Normcore, Zombiecore... Confused? Then you need Euronews Culture's comprehensive A - Z glossary of Gen Z's favourite 'cores' - and the often bizarre reasons behind their existence...

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Angelcore, Cottagecore, Normcore, Zombiecore...

Confused?

Don't worry - we're here for you.  

'Cores' as an aesthetic started c.2010, and since then, they have taken over the internet. TikTok has caused them to blow up even further, with Gen Z taking the trend and running with it - and often making it their entire identities.

New cores are constantly popping up on an almost daily basis. There are currently over 200 recognised -core suffixes and it’s getting pretty hard to keep up! There's even ‘Corecore’ now, which will hopefully going to be the final nail in the coffin for the ‘core’ aesthetic trend.

So, with Borecore still fresh in our minds thanks to Succession’s already iconic ‘capacious bag’ burn and Gwyneth Paltrow’s dull but cripplingly expensive courtroom looks, the Euronews Culture team has taken it upon themselves to take a comprehensive - and alphabetical - look at some of the most popular cores before they fizzle out… Or evolve into something greater. Who knows with Gen Z?

A for... Angelcore

If you want to look and feel like you’ve just descended from heaven, but without all the effort of actually being a celestial being, then Angelcore might be the aesthetic for you. Think cherubs, fluffy clouds, glitter, and wings - lots of wings.

Angelcore aims to capture the ethereal beauty and otherworldliness that we associate with European depictions of angels. But it's not limited to just one belief system or culture. Angelcore can feature a range of aesthetics from Greek paganism to Judaism to Christianity and beyond.

The visuals of Angelcore are just as enchanting as its concept. Imagine gold accents, columns in the Classical orders, garlands of flowers, and ornate patterns, all set against a dreamy sky backdrop. You'll also find food, fashion, and media that embrace the Angelcore vibe, from feathered dresses to music box tunes and renaissance-era choral music.

If you're ever in Paris, you can also spread your wings and check out La Boutique des Anges, a store dedicated entirely to Angelcore fashion and designs. Theo Farrant

B for... Bardcore

Perhaps one of the greatest things to emerge from the pandemic was Bardcore, a short-lived internet trend that saw popular songs transformed into medieval masterpieces. German musician Cornelius Link is credited with starting the genre with his medieval cover of “Astronomia”, also known as that song from the Coffin Dance Meme.

“It started as a joke for my friends,” Link told Euronews Culture. “Then I saw that the views were getting higher and higher. It wasn’t real for me at that moment. I think I still can’t believe how that happened.”

His covers, which include other popular songs like “Pumped Up Kicks” and “What is Love” have racked up millions of views on YouTube. Other creators, some of whom started making this style of music before Link, also saw an explosion of interest.

Link says that the actual term Bardcore came from listeners: “There were discussions on my videos in the comments section about what people should call this new genre. I think there were multiple ideas, for example, Knightcore.”

But Bardcore stuck and the rest is history.

“I knew in the beginning that it was a hype,” Link said. “But I didn’t think that so many people would still listen to it. I’m very proud of that.” Anca Ulea

See also: Barbiecore - a girly aesthetic inspired by Mattel fashion doll Barbie. Fans will wear entirely pink outfits, aim to drive convertibles, have blonde hair and are obsessed with all things 'Y2K'. It's the gentler sister of Bimbocore, which shares some of the same aesthetics but adds an edge, with heavier, makeup looks and much less clothing. 

C for... Cottagecore

Originally harking back to agricultural life, Cottagecore evolved from Farmcore and Countrycore and is all about letting go of the superfluous, digital hellscape that plagues our daily existence in order to get back to a simpler lifestyle. It is, in part, a reaction against our increasing time spent in front of screens, but also goes hand in hand with wellness and sustainability interests that promote self-sufficiency.

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This one reached its peak in 2020, and the pandemic only buoyed the core. A desire to be isolated in nature, going full arts and crafts, making some delicious sourdough starters with handpicked deliciousness growing in your ideal fantasy herb garden, and later on, listening to what has got to be one of this core’s essential soundtracks: Taylor Swift’s album ‘Folklore’.

Above all, Cottagecore is about coziness. You know, that under-the-blanket feel you get by a gentle fire inside a stone cottage while you reminisce about a golden summer when a crush gently caressed your hand for the first time and gave you a sudden rush of the warm-and-fuzzies. Or a field stroll in a loose-fitting pastel shirt or floral dress as a gentle autumnal breeze makes the flowers sway and guides you towards a comfy spot where Andrew Bird soundtracks your upcoming picnic. Basically, a romanticized bucolic wetdream that can only be enhanced by a viewing of Picnic A Hanging Rock, a few episodes of The Golden Girls, and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD AND PURE, MORE ‘FOLKLORE’! David Mouriquand

See also: Cluttercore - a sentimental approach to expression in decor. It's an aesthetic which celebrates finding objects that spark joy and then - in a move which would have Marie Kondo hyperventilating - put them all on display at once, commemorating happy memories and just letting treasured trinkets live their happy inanimate way without any need for order. 

D for... Devilcore

Blood, lace, leather and hell. What’s not to love?

Those who partake in Devilcore (the Angelcore group’s darker flipside) have got the occult on the mind and love them some Satanic imagery.

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To observe Devilcore devotees, many will probably roll their eyes and think that the phase will be outgrown once Fall Out Boy stop releasing albums and Marilyn Manson finally gets convicted for the plethora of disturbing accusations looming over the Antichrist Superstar. The far less cynical will applaud the impressive effort put into a varying creepy aesthetic that often borders on the kinkily seductive. In fact, one of the subgenre cores of Devilcore is the delightfully named Lustcore – which I think you’ll agree we should all be striving for so as to make the world a far more sex-positive (and raunchy) place.

Visual Devilcore signifiers like pentagrams and horns are common, and fashion accessories such as lace, chokers, chains, fishnet, leather and capes are musts. All mostly in a red and black colour dichotomy. Oh, and make-up. Plenty of that. Those looking to dive a little deeper, however, indulge in another duality beyond palettes, that of the Succubus and the Incubus.

For all you heathens who immediately started thinking about the Californian rock band and humming ‘Drive’ to yourself, sweet Pazuzu take a long hard look in the mirror. (Even if 2001’s 'Morning View' is a cracking album and deserves more love and understanding.) Boiling things to the very bare essentials, the female Succubus and the male Incubus relate to demonic entities that populated erotic dreams and nightmares.

And what activities does one embrace as a Devilcore fan? Well, whatever you Goddamn (literally) please! It’s all about deviating from the scriptured norm and grasping a newfound sense of freedom outside of what is considered traditionally pious. This makes this core a particularly accepting one to minorities, such as the LGBTQ community. So, while you can don a corset, embrace a flair for the dramatic and play The Vamps on full volume while revelling in promiscuity (all fine pursuits), but this core can go deeper. It’s essentially about not letting anyone limit your choices or desires. And hopefully having a very healthy appreciation for The Exorcist. Again, what’s not to love? DM

@hekate_nocturnal
Devilcore@hekate_nocturnal

See also: Dreamcore - a surrealist aesthetic that aims to capture the feeling of a dream via photos, videos and music. This aesthetic uses pastel colours, dreamy imagery like flowers and creatures that could be described as 'odd'; trippy music is a welcome addition too. If you're struggling to imagine Dreamcore, imagine Gen Z have watched Edward Scissorhands one too many times and been a little over-inspired by the aesthetic and you'll get the general idea.  

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E for... Earthcore

Are you a granola-loving, tree-hugging eco-warrior, who lives and breathes the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), enjoys long hikes, and listens to alternative folk music while sipping on artisanal lattes?

Well then, allow me to introduce you to Earthcore, the ultimate aesthetic for those who care about sustainability, self-care, and saving the planet. It's like being a hippie, but without the sex, drugs, and rock & roll. So if you're ready to embrace your inner eco-conscious self, then look no further.

Dress the part with cozy, thrifted sweaters in earthy tones, paired with some well-loved brown boots and a trusty pair of dungarees.

Keep it neutral, like you're channelling your inner Weasley family. And don't forget to strike a pose in your best yoga gear, because it's time to get down with Mother Nature herself. Namaste, baby. TF

F for... Frogcore

Although Frogcore may seem extremely niche, frogs have in actual fact been an integral part of internet culture since the beginning. In fact, the iconic meme of Pepe the frog is, in Gen Z’s mind, an absolutely ancient relic having hopped to popularity in 2005 and Kermit - of Muppet fame - is perhaps most famous among the generation for his ‘sipping tea’ meme. 

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More recently, frogs have been regarded online as cute and wholesome - and they inspire kawaii art and are often, for some reason, drawn wearing cowboy hats. 

The little green creatures are crucial pillars of both the Goblincore and Cottagecore aesthetics and also deeply resonate with the LBGTQ+ community.

While the reasoning behind this isn’t totally clear, the idea of gay frogs started with controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ claims that the US government was putting chemicals in water to, quote, "turn the friggin' frogs gay". That definitely backfired for Jones but, regardless of frogs’ sexuality, they’re certainly one of the most adorable cores. Saskia O'Donoghue

See also: Fairycore - people have been fans of fairies since the Victorian era, but Gen Z have taken it one step further. TikTok videos show those embracing this aesthetic dressed in soft pastels, flowy clothes and elf ears and wings (seriously) and wandering around in nature, talking about mythology, butterflies and magic. They're not hurting anyone, we suppose.

G for... Grandmacore

A relative mainstay of the ‘cores’, Grandmacore is an eclectic, vintage-inspired aesthetic and slow way of living, inspired by stereotypical things your grandmother might enjoy doing. Knitting, for instance, is at the core of this core, as well as an appreciation for kitschy and novelty items in home decor, baking and cottage gardens. 

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If you want to get the look, cosy, hand-knitted (obviously) jumpers are key, along with vintage floral dresses and sensible shoes, which could be mistaken for slippers. 

Even fictional style icon Carrie Bradshaw got involved with the trend in the Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That... In one scene, Carrie actress Sarah Jessica Parker wore a long gingham dress, babushka headscarf, a cardigan and very low heels - it was shocking, but it was definitely peak Grandmacore! SO

See also: Goblincore - an aesthetic based on the appreciation of parts of the natural world not typically regarded as beautiful. Think 'ugly' creatures like frogs and snails or materials like mud, moss and fungi. The name Goblincore stems from the mythical goblin itself, a malevolent creature from European folklore which is associated with ugliness, being unconventional and general unpredictability.

H for... Hatecore

If you're feeling a little rebellious and want to dip your toe into the dark side, look no further than Hatecore. This edgy aesthetic is all about pushing boundaries and exploring the grittier parts of the human psyche.

The visuals of Hatecore are not for the faint-hearted, with aggressive and raw imagery dominating the scene. Burning buildings, gore, and glitchy VHS tapes are just the tip of the iceberg in creating an unsettling atmosphere that will leave you both fascinated and disturbed.

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When it comes to music, Hatecore is not for the faint of heart either. Heavy beats, raw screams, and lyrics that tackle pain, violence, and personal struggles are the norm. Legends like Slipknot, Hollywood Undead, and Bring Me The Horizon have been leading the charge for years, but newer artists like CORPSE and Poppy are putting their own unique spin on the genre.

And let's talk fashion - Hatecore draws inspiration from the punk movement to create looks that say "Don't f*** with me." Think dark clothes, ripped jeans, chains, and combat boots. And don't forget the makeup - red or black lipstick, eyeshadow, and nail polish are a must-have to complete the look.

But remember, folks - let's not let hate consume us. As a young Zac Efron once said, “We’re all in this together”. TF

See also: Hobocore - where a person chooses to look like a homeless person despite having a far more healthy bank balance and often a very expensive wardrobe and haircut, styled to look just scruffy enough.

I for... Icecore

For the letter “I” in our A-Z of fashion cores we present to you Icecore.

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This winter-inspired aesthetic has taken social media by storm, allowing you to channel your inner Après-ski or figure skater, whether you're curled up by the fire or hitting the slopes.

For the ski season, elevate your athletic wardrobe with designer snow pants, puffer jackets, and coordinating accessories like snow boots, gloves, and fuzzy earmuffs.

On the other hand, figure skating fashion takes inspiration from Balletcore, featuring tights, leg warmers, cropped cardigans, and pleated skirts. However, proceed with caution as Icecore has its risks. Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow ... TF

@kermishy pt7: #icecore! An #aesthetic focusing on ice (duh), washed out colors, snowy textures, and all things cold. (the very last image has me ROLLING) #fyp♬ despairdeity on ig - 𝙉𝙄𝙉𝘼 ★彡

J for... Junglecore

Cue Kool & The Gang as we’re about to Jungle Boogie our way into the wilderness of a rare aesthetic known, aptly, as Junglecore. 

What we see here, deep in the depths of the TikTok algorithm, is a lot of nature photography. Snakes curved around tree branches, statues covered in vines, silhouettes through leaves, winding rivers and rickety bridges. 

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It’s a way of “touching grass” through a screen, reminding audiences that we’re just a tiny part of our world’s enormous ecosystem. It’s a core centered around exploration and going back to basics, shrugging off the filters and finding our inner David Attenborough before scrolling to the next post advertising plastic toys for your cat. Amber Bryce

See also: Jamcore - an aesthetic based on picnics, gingham patterns, pastries and - obviously - jam. Catch Jamcore afficiandos wearing aprons, making preserves, enjoying the great outdoors and being all around environmentally conscious. The most die-hard fans of this trend will grow their own fruit, reuse jars for their creations and conserve the world around them. It's all very wholesome.

K for... Karencore

Karencore is an irreverent, jokey aesthetic which memes and parodies so-called ‘Karens’ - a term for a pushy, middle-aged woman with a specific asymmetric haircut who is most famous for demanding to “see the manager” if the slightest thing goes wrong. 

While this core is a little controversial, it’s mostly used to poke gentle fun at ‘basic’ women, many of whom are involved in multi level marketing schemes or are fans of traditionally tacky decor, specifically grey velour furniture or ‘live, laugh, love’ signs.

On the more intense end of Karencore, the online community points out that the most dangerous of Karens are often conspiracy theorists who get embroiled with anti-vax propaganda - and, interestingly, the name Karen has significantly decreased in popularity since this core appeared. SO

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See also: Kidcore - an aesthetic centering around bright colours, childlike mindsets and nostalgia for the simplicity of the 1990s. Fans of Kidcore decorate their homes in primary colours and dress in typical '90s looks (although many of them weren't born until the 21st century so the nostalgia element is a little puzzling), all while collecting Beanie Babies, Tamagotchis and Furbies, Lisa Frank artwork and anything with a rainbow print.

L for... Lovecore

Love hearts drawn in the sand, lipstick kisses, Lana Del Rey’s sultry sounds and scenes from the 2009 movie 500 Days of Summer - Lovecore is the kind of teenage dream, Tumblr-tinted aesthetic of romanticised love in the internet age.

It infuses other cores such as vintage, cottage and coquette to create a Valentine’s-inspired vibe, where swirly hearts and lots of pink and red reign supreme. 

There’s a warm and soothing element to it too, saccharine scenes framed in soft focus. It’s love for those that love love as a concept - more movie montage than messy emotional minefield. AB

M for... Mushroomcore

Pretty self-explanatory, this one. You guessed it - it’s all about mushrooms. Appreciating their aesthetic, eating and cooking them, or even studying mushroom mythology and celebrating the spiritual practices revolving around fairy circles, which are believed to be portals to spirit realms in folklore.

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Those who identify with this core can dress up as mushrooms if they want, but you’ll usually find them wearing comfy sweaters in earthy tones, beanie hats, good gloves and boots. Nice, outdoor, sturdy boots that are ready for a good hike.

Ideal partners for Mushroomcorers would be those in Cottagecore, Naturecore, Forestpunks, and anyone with a Nintendo Toad kink. DM

N for... Normcore

Ah, the core that begot them all. Normcore was one of the first internet aesthetics, tracing its origins all the way back to 2013. What started as a tongue-in-cheek criticism of the absurdity of cultural trend forecasts took on a life of its own, becoming the very thing it set out to denounce.

With Jerry Seinfeld as its patron saint, Normcore came to celebrate all things bland – white sneakers, stonewashed jeans, backpacks, baseball caps. And it sparked a media frenzy: thousands of news stories were published about what Normcore was, how to dress Normcore and debates on whether or not it was a joke.

Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld even brought Normcore to Paris Fashion Week in 2014, sending models with distressed tennis shoes pushing shopping carts down the runway.

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These days Normcore is more of a dino-core, a ghost of the Internet’s past. But as the world’s rich and famous continue to favour vanilla wardrobes, new aesthetics like Borecore have come to take its place. AU

Copyright The AP 1999
Jerry Seinfeld (R) in a typical normcore look, with Seinfeld co-creator Larry David at the 1999 U.S. Comedy Arts FestivalCopyright The AP 1999

O for... Old Memecore

“All your base are belong to us.”

If this sentence is familiar to you, it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy. Just kidding. More likely, it means that Old Memecore is your aesthetic... apparently, according to Aesthetics Wiki. As a Millenial, I can’t tell how much of this so-called aesthetic is serious and how much is just meant to mess with the internet’s, ahem, elders.

According to the site, those engaging in Old Memecore sometimes wear clothing featuring “classic” memes, like rage comics, advice animals and the “Ermahgerd gersberms!” girl. My guess is this aesthetic also encompasses anyone who’s still sending people The Most Interesting Man in the World memes in 2023. If that’s you, please stop. It’s over. Move on. AU

P for... Plaguecore

Plaguecore is definitely one of the oddest cores in existence - and is frankly baffling to this millennial. The aesthetic takes inspiration from Renaissance and Baroque era plague doctors, from the middle ages onwards and features outfits in blacks and greys with cloaks and bird masks. 

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Real plague doctors were contracted during a disease outbreak and the bird-looking masks were to protect the medical practitioners from getting sick. Today, those that cosplay as or are fascinated by these historical figures often call each other ‘doctors’, but the community insists it actively avoids actually diagnosing or treating unhealthy people.

The aesthetic ties in with the popular Dark Academia look but, to be honest, it’s really quite frightening and not for the faint hearted! SO

See also: Prehistoricore - this is the aesthetic of prehistoric life and fans obsess over dinosaurs, ancient flora and fauna and caveman. It differs from Paleocore (yes, that exists too) because Prehistoricore is focused purely on the aesthetic of prehistoric life, rather than the study of it. Enthusiasts wish they could live like Fred and Wilma Flintstone and decorate their homes with imagery of mammoths, cavemen, sabre-toothed tigers, cave-paintings and bones. Yabba Dabba WHY? 

Q for... Queencore

If you look at adopters of Cottagecore and think "filthy peasants", this might be the "core" for you. Ahead of the upcoming coronation of real-life royal King Charles III, Queencore is the aesthetic that for all those who live their day to day as regents in waiting. 

For some, Queencore is just indulging in some historical fun-facts to celebrate the throne-room baddies of days past. But for those going truly in on the Queencore aesthetic, there isn't a corset or ruff that doesn't suit you on your quotidian travels to the shops. "Let them eat cake!" you shout from Lidl's famously excellent bakery section. 

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Everyone deserves to feel like a princess sometimes, but unlike Princesscore, but while adopting the polite-society mores and the fashion of that trend, Queencore allows something more sublime. It's an opportunity to take on the chalice of ruling royalty. If Princesscore is about courtesy and tiaras, Queencore is for those in search of a crown and gravitas. Jonny Walfisz

R for... Ratcore

No, this one is not about going feral, taking the name of a fragment of a larger object and adopting four mutant turtles to turn them into your own personal ninja militia.

Ratcore is all about sharing memes and cute photos of rats. Although the rodents have often been associated with disease and death, this core brushes all that aside by reclaiming the cuteness factor of our furry friends some may find a bit creepily off-putting.

The main colours associated with this one are grey, brown and pink, and it’s a core very popular with – you’ve guessed it – those who have rats as pets. Or really like the stone cold classic (and Pixar’s absolute finest creation) Ratatouille. DM

C4mich5n
RatcoreC4mich5n

S for... Sanriocore

Sanriocore is a very popular aesthetic centered around the Japanese Sanrio company and its cute - or kawaii - band of characters. Its most famous creation is Hello Kitty, which is one of the world’s most recognised and profitable brands - but other Sanrio characters including Pompompurin, My Melody and Kuromi are also a big part of this core. 

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It crosses over into multiple other aesthetics including Traumacore (see below) and Kidcore, which focus heavily on nostalgia for childhood and simpler times.

Sanriocore goes heavy on a gentle, childlike innocence and it’s the right aesthetic for you if you like pastels, plushies, baby animals, Harajuku style and anything cutesy. SO

See also: Sacricore - strap in for this one. The 'sacri' part of the name comes from the word 'sacrilege' and its focus is to reclaim the notion that LGBTQ+ identities are sinful in some religious sects. It borrows visual aesthetics from Catholicism - think nun vibes, crosses and ostentatious gold jewellery - and combining them with queer aesthetics. Many that buy into Sacricore say it helps them after being negatively affected by Christian religions and work towards finding peace in their queer or 'unacceptable' identities. Some fans of this dark aesthetic are actually religious and Sacricore can be used in both an atheist sense or a more 'pro-Jesus, anti-organised Christianity' way.

T for... Traumacore

It's been a tough few years for everyone on the internet. With the pandemic forcing everyone indoors for extended periods of time, we all turned to the internet as our primary means of bonding with each other. This blossomed into endless Twitter discourse, parasocial relationships with celebrities, and of course, Traumacore. 

Probably one of the darker "cores" on this list, Traumacore is the internet answer to the therapy session. Vomiting out all your most personal and darkest truths for all the public to see, but make it aesthetic. 

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It's easy to be flippant, but Traumacore has actually paved the way for many isolated people to publicly express histories of sexual assault, mental illness and abuse in ways that offline settings can't. That these confessions often come as staticky videos of deeply troubling statements with some classic 90s bands like Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead in the background just makes it all the more cross-generational. Traumacore may feel like the darker side of the internet, but maybe it's the aesthetic giving space to people who wouldn't have had the chance otherwise. JW

U for... Unicorncore

Welcome to a magical rainbow world where mythical horned horses pattern the skies - and your socks, and your skirts, and your ‘I want to be a unicorn’ sloganed t-shirt. 

Anything from iridescent nails to a rainbow-flavoured energy drink can fit the vibe - it just has to be CUTE. And pastel. If unicorns poop glitter, Unicorncore poops playful pixelated prints, puffy clouds, plushies and plaited hair. 

The aesthetic is very much what you’d imagine, and yes it’s sickly sweet, but it also lets you bathe in a child-like state of sparkly simplicity, taking us back to the baby pink toy sets and pretty cartoon worlds of our younger years. Also, let’s face it: Who wouldn’t rather be a unicorn? AB

Anika of the Clouds
UnicorncoreAnika of the Clouds

V for... Vacation Dadcore

Get your Hawaiian-print shirts ready and slip those socks into some sandals because Dad’s off the clock! This aesthetic is pretty self-explanatory and strangely cross-cultural. How is it that Dads around the world all seem to have the same vacation wardrobe?

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The laid-back, retro look is about channelling Miami in the 70s – the aviators, the well-worn jeans, the sleek fanny pack, the Tom Selleck moustache. It even bleeds into home decor with anything and everything tiki-bar related. But above all, Vacation Dadcore is a lifestyle, so kick back, put those feet up and crack open a cold one because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, am I right? AU

W for... Wormcore

We’re nearing the end of the alphabet and things are getting weirdcore. Wormcore is one of the most obscure aesthetics on the list, but hey, to each their own. It’s based on a toy from the 1970s called Squirmles, or Wigglees, which are essentially fuzzy worms on a string. These worms had a brief moment in the meme circuit in 2016 and again in 2018.

How does that translate to an aesthetic, you ask? Well, there aren’t any people out there dressing up as fuzzy worms, as far as we can tell. Wormcore is mostly an internet aesthetic that’s birthed a series of TikToks and memes where the worms, or woerms as they’re also called, feature prominently. Some Wormcore diehards also decorate their rooms with the little guys and even wear them as earrings. Okay, that’s enough internet for today. AU

X for... Xylophonecore

Okay, this one isn’t real - yet. While Gen Z have yet to find a core to apply to ‘X’, we wouldn’t put it past them and expect to see Xylophonecore hitting the internet at any moment. You heard it here first. SO

Y for... Yankeecore

Yankeecore is pretty niche, but ties in nicely with 2022’s huge trend for the ‘coastal grandmother’. It’s basically the romanticism of New England in the United States - or Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in the northeast of the country. 

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The aesthetic is associated chiefly with outdoorsy, sporty, maritime lifestyles, New England-specific foods like lobster rolls and clam chowder and a preppy-looking style. 

Favourite activities for Yankeecore fans are sailing and hiking in the spring and summer, apple picking and leaf peeping in the autumn and turning cosiness into a lifestyle throughout winter. It’s a charming aesthetic and, if you’re from New England, it's ‘wicked pissah’ too! SO

Copyright 2021 The AP
Yankeecore embodied - New England Patriot fans hold up lobster while tailgating prior to an NFL football game in MassachusettsCopyright 2021 The AP

Z for... Zombiecore

And we come to the final letter. Congrats on making it this far down our glossary. 

Fans of this one have had their hands full of late, with what has got to be one of the scariest of the cores.

What with the sheer amount of zombie films and series these recent years – from World War Z to Zombieland, via The Walking Dead and, to a lesser extent, The Last of Us (Mushroomcore and Zombiecore crossover!) – zombies have been at the forefront of pop culture.

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Originally a genre of metal music (created by the band Forgetting Skaro – think a lot of low grunts and plenty of screaming), this core has evolved from the microgenre in the horror / thriller genres to centre around those fascinated with the undead and the collapse of civilizations. Common clothing looks include torn threads, faded colours (as well as purples and pinks, mind you), grungy looks and paramilitary gear. A solid appreciation for horror is something of a prerequisite, as well as knack for roleplay in lovingly fashioned post-apocalyptic sceneries or emptied buildings.

There’s also the desire for empty spaces that’s in-built with this core, something which the pandemic provided, considering a common trope in zombie films is desolate towns and ghost cities.

Recommended reading includes ‘Dread Nation’ by Justina Ireland and Max Brook’s ‘World War Z’. And if you happen to come across a Zombiecorer who can’t recite chapter and verse of both Night of the Living Dead and Shaun of the Dead, you are allowed to ask them for the Zombiecore card, which you can flippantly tear in half in front of their pale-contact-lens-wearing-eyes before yelling: “THEY’RE / WE’RE COMING TO GET YOU, BARBARA!” DM

There we have it. If we've missed any out, feel free to contact us or take pity on us - that recognised list of over 200 current cores is growing by the day.

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