TikTok’s goblin-inspired fashion trend gains mainstream attention

Face mask fashion in the age of coronavirus

Friday Follies: As the nation starts to emerge from lockdown, Americans are coming up with creative ways to eat and drink while wearing masks.

Another fashion subculture is gaining traction on TikTok for its interesting take — this time on goblins.  

The niched aesthetic is called “goblincore,” and the hashtag dedicated to it has more than 285.6 million views on the short-form video app. 

Adopters of goblincore, apparently inspired by European folklore, largely focus on earth-toned apparel and décor along with other facets of gritty nature, much like the fictional stories the trend comes from.  

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Britannica states most goblin-focused stories in Western Europe say the mythical creatures live in grottoes, which may explain why common motifs of “goblincore” include frogs, slugs and snails. 

In fact, one of the most popular goblincore videos on TikTok comes from TheWondersmith, a ceramist who made an impressive snail tea pot with matching cups. The video has racked up more than 805,300 likes and 8,880 comments from goblincore admirers. 

When you’re a ceramicist with snails on the brain … 🐌🧠 #goblincore #cottagecore #fairycore #foryou #fyp #oops

Some TikTok creators take the trend a step further with a cosplay or live-action roleplaying approach that’s decked out with body paint, pointy elf or goblin ears, scleral contact lenses and renaissance fair attire. 

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Other goblincore lifestylers on the app share videos of their olden-time hobbies, like harvesting figs, recycling candles and collecting sea salt.  

For example, the most liked goblincore video comes from a 20-year-old TikTok user named Dill, who showed off their soothing bookbinding skills. The video has more than 2.9 million likes and 10,000 comments from TikTokers who love Dill’s artwork. 

I’m gonna fill this book with flowers and leaves and draw a bunch of plants 🙂 #bookbinding #cottagecore #goblincore #art

Meanwhile, the TikTok user who stands out as a leader in the goblincore space is 18-year-old Rachael Wilson, AKA Freckled Zelda, who has more than 2.9 million followers at the time of publication. 

Many of Wilson’s most-viewed videos show the TikTok creator dressed as Zelda from the Nintendo video game franchise and playing an ocarina, an old windwood instrument of Italian origin. 

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A video Wilson tagged as goblincore in November shows her playing a “cheap” replica of the Zelda series’ Ocarina of Time to demonstrate its “bad [music] quality,” which garnered more than 538,100 likes and 2,860 comments. 

🎼If u got questions about the Ocarina feel free to ask me on Instagram?! 🤗🎶🎶 ##ocarina ##zeldacosplay ##cottagecore ##fairycore ##goblincore

Goblincore overlaps with other subcultures that have similar aesthetic features like fairycore (306.5 million views), vulture culture (85.7 million views), crowcore (15.9 million views), elfcore (4.6 million views) and dragoncore (387,600 views), according to trending TikTok hashtags. 

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Meanwhile, the reigning subversive fashion trend on TikTok is still cottagecore, which is known for its romanticization of agricultural lifestyles, with its whopping 5.7 billion views.

However, goblincore has surpassed similar branches like pricesscore and regencycore in terms of TikTok viewership and search engine queries, according to Google Trends.  

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The analytics platform also shows goblincore has currently reached its peak. People from Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Colorado and the Carolinas have Googled goblincore the most so far. 

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