What is ‘corecore’ on TikTok? It’s both nothing and everything at the same time

If memes are a sign of the times, then “corecore” says it all.

The new TikTok movement isn’t about fashion or lifestyle aesthetics like blokecore or cottagecore. Instead, it’s an ironic social commentary on the over-saturation of media and how it desensitizes us to or even romanticizes violence.

While the hashtag #corecore can be traced to Tumblr in 2020, the #corecore phenomenon on TikTok is unique to the platform. It became popular in the summer of 2022 and has since garnered 254 million views on TikTok — and it’s very weird.

The trend was believed to have started by @masonoelle. They posted a video collage with footage of the Arctic sea ice melting over the course of 35 years. It was spliced together with clips of Charli D’Amelio, American Psycho and people shopping.

People began riffing on @masonoelle’s video collage style. It wasn’t until July 16, 2022, that @heksensabbat dubbed it “#corecore” in a caption.

The user @aka.gazz put together violent video game footage with images of cat memes.

TikToker @flicksaga combined clips of a boy who wanted to be a doctor to help people with stock footage of consumers at casinos and warehouses.

Corecore videos like @plantaniac’s can seem nonsensical, but the chaos of the video collages is intended to reflect the maddening sensation of being a consumer.

After all, how are the random videos edited together in corecore really any different than the random videos presented to you by an algorithm?

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