Why is Gen Z the one to change the world? Cottagecore, TikTok, YouTube and engaged activism.

Too often we have our parents and our elders looking down on our generation. Who are these young people with their noses glued to their phones? What are they doing ? What are they learning? Horror and damnation, they hang out on TikTok, that social network from hell. What they do not know is that doctors have chosen, for example, to popularize their scientific work through TikTok. Yes the format is short, nevertheless, it does generate millions of views, and possibly interest young people who otherwise would never have been interested in the medical world. Yes TikTok doesn't have the science in it, however, if that can motivate us to tidy up our rooms in order to shoot a nice video, what's the problem? During the confinement, the Cottagecore videos on TikTok were my cam, my reason for living. I could imagine myself frolicking in the fields. I was lucky to be confined to my home, far from Paris, in the countryside. This place which before seemed to me to be too far from everything, this countryside has regained its charm, thanks to TikTok. Is it a shame to say it? For some yes, for others no. There are the reactionaries who take refuge in neo-romanticism, as if these new technologies could still be ignored. Which is quite antagonistic, because very often, these romantics themselves use these technologies, and are even very fond of them, like everyone else. However, those who swear by social networks, as if the real world had to comply with the new laws of networks, these too seem to me to be problematic. The Internet is not a new world where all barriers are crossed: rather, it is the Internet myth. Super-powerful ultra-rich run these hierarchical platforms and have the right to remove the expression of a public figure, whether political or not - this is what we saw with the suspension of the Twitter account of Donald Trump, in the United States. Who is this Generation Z, who grew up between the smartphone screen, and the street?

Generation Z, green activism and TikTok.

TikTok has become a platform where you can express yourself on absolutely anything. There is everything. Feminists take the opportunity to sensitize men and women to their cause, they take the opportunity to fight with the comments of misogynists that they display publicly. Witches advise each other on potions and herbs, spells and rituals. Sealed with red or black candle wax, containing honey, glitter and dried rose petals, the rise of Wicca and other kinds of ancient magic are super visible on TikTok. We also find the whole alt part of TikTok, with punk-rock-doll teenagers with an alternative look. In the end, it is a bit of a showcase for our time. We find in it all that we are, we young people. And we are very politicized.

All these movements that I have just mentioned above have a semiological and symbolic impact in the minds of our young darlings (or not). I have already seen many videos mixing ecological activism and Wicca, ecological activism and Cottagecore, ecological activism and alternative styles, ecology and gothism, ecology and punk culture. Mixtures are ordinary and frequent, there are no more taboos around it. Can we still, in this age of the Internet and mass information, be able to be 100% "metalheads", without drawing inspiration from other styles of clothing, and other ways of thinking? Can we claim to be β€œlolita” without being tempted by Gothic Lolita, then Sweet Lolita, and finally Mori Girl? All of these subcultures influence each other and mirror each other. Environmental activism touches absolutely anything and everything, as our transition must occur in all areas of our existence.
Cottagecore claims this respect for Nature and this aspiration for ecology. The world of tomorrow will be green or it will not be. Who says green says smart positions: indeed, what would it be to declare oneself ecological, while buying soybean steaks from Peru at the supermarket? It is clear that beef consumes far too much water per cubic meter, but we must especially consider eating local. Cottagecore is the countryside, the land, the proximity. It is the little house of our ancestors, of our grandmother who knitted, it is also the beautiful cottage that we see in Beauty and the Beast. You see, just as many elements that bring us back to another subculture, the Grandmacore. "Core" meaning "harcore", that is, "a granny style but everywhere", a hardcore granny style. What do our grandmothers like to do? Going to the market, going to the forest, collecting mushrooms, knitting sweaters, going to bookstores, baking good cakes for their grandchildren, good warm bread and golden brioche? So this is also the Cottagecore. I hope you notice the angelic essence that emerges from this movement. I cannot imagine a girl who is hateful in her behavior, without any respect for others, without love of Nature, adopting Cottagecore for her lifestyle.

This is what you must understand dear reader, if you are interested in the Cottagecore style. You made the right choice! Especially if you are young. The future is in your hands! Don't let others put you down on social media and TikTok, they don't know what's going on there, and usually have a very rough knowledge of these networks. But don't take things too seriously! Instead of taking the fly, explain to your parents and grandparents by showing them videos. If they are not convinced, good to them! Everyone is free to enjoy whatever they want, with full respect and integrity for others.

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