This core, that core, and academia? Too much labeling or nah?

Cottagecore, farmcore, dark and light academia…

Am I the only one wondering why we need to have names for every kind of aesthetic? Can’t we just enjoy something without naming it?

If I have to think about what core or academia my aesthetics are, I often find that it’s all too confusing and find it all a bit…too much. It’s not enjoyable to think about what my aesthetics are. I just like certain things. Also, sometimes I like certain types of aesthetics, but not all aspects of it. So, it’s easier to not label them for me.

I also think there’s a point where you have to stop, right? Aesthetics, book genre, movie genre, do you really have to cut it that finely? There’s too many types of punk these days in book genre, it’s starting to feel ridiculous. I liked book genres better when they were just sci-fi vs fantasy and fantasy had like epic, high, and low.

I can understand sexuality or gender labeling. It’s a core part of your identity. But aesthetics is…isn’t that the same as cat lovers and dog lovers? It’s just what you like, right? It’s things and stuff. Or is aesthetics actually the core part of identity for some people?

Your thoughts?

Adding: @NovelWritingIsHard said a good thing.

I agree with this. Core, academia, call it whatever you want. In the end, it’s how you portray them and talk about them, and how you use them in your own life. And to quote Joe Hanson from “Be Smart” on YouTube, “Stay curious”. I think it’s important to be inquisitive and look into these aesthetics to make sure you fully understand where they come from and make sure you’re being respectful.

Now, how about your thoughts? :stuck_out_tongue:


I honestly think that the different aesthetic words and terms help to narrow down searches when you are looking for a specific feel for an image or story or whatnot. So I don’t think they are ridiculous, I think they are helpful. However, the overuse of the word “academia” when describing an aesthetic has become very confusing and frustrating for me because- well…

noun: academia
1.the environment or community concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.
“he spent his working life in academia”

That’s the definition of the word. It has absolutely nothing to do with aesthetics unless your aesthetic is specifically school related, and yet I see people throwing it around as if it’s synonymous with the word aesthetic. What the hell is dark academia? A poorly lit school setting?


I was so confused, too! :rofl:

Calling it academia makes no sense to me XD

I thought maybe it was like dark fantasy, but a school setting. Like Harry Potter.

Light academia is then…Harry Potter, but when it’s peaceful and Dumbledore is giving wise advice.

  1. The variety in my writing increases if I am self-aware. The sin of labels is in being enslaved to the tool. They make crappy masters.

  2. Even sexuality stances are quite insane. I’ll give an example: if you are mad that someone is intolerant in who they will date due to the labels they prefer but demand that you can have such labels and have preferences yourself, then you’re a hypocrite. People get upset as if you hating on something instead of them realizing you’re rational and consistent in how you apply human autonomy.

  • So it’s a toxic behavior when it masters sexuality instead of remaining a tool.

I mean, if it was called dark or light academia aesthetic then yes, I might understand that being the case. But people are straight up swapping out the word aesthetic for academia. I’ve also seen people use it in other ways, like disney academia or robot academia or whatever, and it doesn’t make sense! I honestly think it must have been used correctly at some point in popular social media, but people that didn’t know what the word actually meant didn’t understand the context it was used in, so turned it into something else and now it’s become a trend to use the word incorrectly because people just assume that it’s synonymous with the word aesthetic now because it was taken out of context.


Now that would make sense.

I feel like the misuse of a word has happened a lot in history. Today we’re probably using some words that were considered “incorrect usage” at one time or other.

But if academia is aesthetics…what has the world become? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Adding to that, if a story doesn’t fit a label, it might discourage the writer, making them think they are doing something wrong.


Oh, it definitely has. One that’s been documented is the word Nimrod. It was actually a biblical character that was a hunter, but Bugs Bunny used it to describe Elmer Fudd once in Loony Tunes, and people who weren’t familiar with the bible thought he was just using the word as an insult. So, now the word Nimrod is commonly used to mean someone that is stupid or a moron.


Sarcasm is harder to pick up on in an “undereducated society”.

But it’s a bit deeper than just Bugs as to why people are confused about how to treat him:

" Later extra-biblical traditions identified Nimrod as the ruler who commissioned the construction of the Tower of Babel, which led to his reputation as a king who was rebellious against God."


Pseudo-Philo, Josephus, “Midrash Pirke R. El” (specific guy (or place in the compilation) who was a Jewish rabbi in collections of rabbinical teaching), al-Tabari (Muslim theologian).

Something like this would filter through Christian scholars as they studied other religions, so this is a low-high split on Nimrod being an idiot, with the moderately educated not believing that Nimrod was synonymous with a fool.

I had only a vague inkling of this before checking on it because I’m used to extrabiblical accounts holding more details than the “accepted text”–and I think I remember someone mentioning Josephus on this, to me.

Honestly, it’s hard enough trying to get people to understand that “the Bible” isn’t 1 book, especially when you have other religious texts that are clearly from a single-source author.

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I don’t think labels are inherently good or bad. I think it’s how they’re used.

Imo, a label can be invaluable, but it has to be applied retrospectively. The book I’m finishing up right now has become an Age of Sail Epic High Fantasy Space Opera and having that label to pitch it to people is very helpful because it kind of summarizes everything you need to know about the setting to make sense of the book.

But if I had set out to write an Age of Sail Epic High Fantasy Space Opera, it would have been a disaster.

I feel the same applies to aesthetics. Having the label to describe it to people after you’ve grown into yours isn’t a bad thing, but picking that label and forcing yourself to grow into it is.


I am super familiar with that one because I have a book titled The Facade of Quad in Nimrod where Nimrod is the name of a city. I just made it up and it turned out to be a word and a god. It also fit the story perfectly because the characters turned out to be morons and fools, and a bunch of villains are hunting each other and the victims.



What about changing your aesthetics a tad to fit in to one label? Like say, maybe there are some parts of your aesthetics that is more light than dark academia, so you get rid of the dark to fit in to the light academia community. Sometimes I feel like labels tend to encourage people to change. It might be good for some, finding out their true selves, or bad for some, suppressing their true selves.

I guess this isn’t just about labels, but trends, too. Or anything for that matter. What do you think? Like, even music preferences. There are communities everywhere.

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Aha, thanks @Wisp pet wisp


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@Wisp :sandwich:

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See this is where I think it’s bad.

Labels are descriptors, not laws. It’s okay to put things together that Do Not Belong. I’m writing an Age of Sail Space Opera. Do those words belong together? No. Does it matter? Absolutely not. Same applies to aesthetics.

And herein lies the danger of “community” in this sense and why I’m generally against the idea of picking one easthetic. I think it’s important that a person identifies with either every label that describes even a small part of themselves or no labels at all.

Mmm… Trends are… Interesting, because they’re generally super temporary but can leave lasting impacts on individuals for better or worse.

Rn there’s a trend going around that’s called balletcore and, as someone who not only does ballet, but was raised in it and would be a pro if not for an injury, it’s… Offensive. A lot of people don’t realize how much goes on behind the scenes with ballet and the fact that there’s an entire culture around it, but there is.

Abbreviated Balletcore Rant

I’ll try to abbreviate my rants here, but to summarize, balletcore tends to either romanticise the abuse that was super common in the ballet world until just recently or hypersexualize the concept. There’s also a part of it where random people are wearing pointe shoes as street shoes.

Pointe shoes are not only dangerous, but somewhat sacred in the ballet world. They’re something that has to be earned, something that some of us spend our whole lives trying to earn. For many, earning your pointe shoes is what really makes it real for us. It tells us we made it, reminds us why we started. They’re as much a symbol as they are a tool.

They’re also handmade by craftsmen who dancers entrust their safety to. Sometimes their lives. Every. Single. Pair. They in themselves are a piece of art, separate from the art form that is ballet. Some dancers go through over a hundred pairs in a single season. They’re made with the express purpose of dancing in them.

Wearing them as street shoes not only respects the symbol they are in the ballet world, it disrespects the craftsmen who made them, disregards their intended purposes, and devalues them as art.

Not to mention… Pointe shoes are inherently dangerous.

On top of all of that, the balletcore communities also have a tendency to perpetuate the worst parts of ballet culture, the elitism and body shaming that have tarnished our world for so long and we’re only now beginning to get past.

So- Uh- Yeah, there’s my abbreviated balletcore rant I think it’s super problematic and most my peers I’ve brought it up with agree. We’re not gonna gatekeep our practice clothes (the basis of balletcore), you can strip naked to pee if you want to, but we want there to be some semblance of respect for the thing that makes up our lives and for the amount of work we put into it, and currently… There’s not really.

So trends can be good—the few respectful balletcore things we’ve seen have been really amazing, adorable outfits that are gonna be comfy and are finally shedding a light on some of the actual ballet culture (weird little things like you can’t wear a red wrap sweater with a baby blue wrap skirt, but you can wear a baby blue wrap sweater with a red wrap skirt)—but they can also be really bad—balletcore is super problematic.

Again, I don’t think anything is really inherently good or bad, it just depends on how it’s applied.


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My biggest problem is that there isn’t an aesthetic label that describes Iron Maiden and Powerwolf’s aesthetic. Horrorcore doesn’t quite fit.

Yeah, there are entirely unlabeled aesthetics out there that are popular but not seen as truly A E S T H E T I C.

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