Controversy arises among new TikTok trends

New TikTok trends are rising in popularity and controversy. The trends “Nichetok” and “Corecore” explore art and aesthetics in seemingly random ways. (Unsplash)

The rising TikTok trends of “Nichetok” and “Corecore” have been the topic of controversy and dialogue on the social media platform heading into the new year.

Nichetok and Corecore are aesthetics referred to by the hashtags of their respective names. Although there are technical differences between the aesthetics, posts are usually tagged with hashtags #nichetok and #corecore.

The term Nichetok was constructed from the phrases niche and tok, which serve as an abbreviated form of TikTok. This name suggests this aesthetic is unique to TikTok and that only platform members would be able to understand or appreciate what this art form aims to express.

The suffix -core, as used in Corecore, has long since been used to refer to an aesthetic. The “core” refers to whatever best shows the main idea of a specific aesthetic or movement. This could range anywhere from Goblincore to Vacation Dadcore or Cottagecore to Nostalgiacore.

Naming this trend “Corecore” suggests it is the core of all cores. This is because Nichetok and Corecore transcend any particular core as it can be compelled by many types of cores or media as long as it portrays the desired emotion of the curator. Youtuber Angel explained that Corecore could connect a clip from a really old movie to a house tour and then connect that to a seemingly unconnected celebrity interview. He said that Corecore’s “existence is in the fact that it can be anything. It can connect any type of media to funnel a central ideal.”

Both Nichetok and Corecore depict a compilation of stylized memes that portray ideas with a broad range of emotions, allowing the artist to communicate abstract emotions by stitching together seemingly random forms of media.

The trends “Nichetok” and “Corecore” explore art and aesthetics in seemingly random ways. Corecore advocates argue these TikToks portray a feeling that could not be explained through any other means. (@plantaniac via TikTok)

BYU sophomore Alli Swanson had TikTok downloaded before her mission to Italy but has not re-downloaded the app since her return. She described the Corecore video above as “weird” and “pointless.”

BYU senior and regular TikToker Aiden Williams had never seen a Corecore video but heard about its controversy.

“I was definitely like, what is going on here?” Williams said.

Spencer McBride, a brother of a BYU student and stranger to this type of TikTok described the video as random yet artful, as he believes randomness is a characteristic of art.

The controversy stems from those who feel as if these aesthetics are being taken over by people who do not appreciate the art form for what it is. According to TikToker Matt Lorence, the videos are becoming diluted to the point where the content creator is less concerned about portraying an emotion that could not be portrayed through one particular aesthetic or from any other form of media but instead are mashing up a random collage of depressing videos with a popular song to garnish views.

“When we don’t, and we create American Psycho edits about how depressing and terrible the world is, nobody gets mobilized. People get sedentary. People get depressed,” Lorence said.

This TikTok, with over 1.7 million views, criticizes the takeover of trends like Corecore and Nichetok on the platform. The poster argues that the meaningful art style is being replaced by despairing and melancholy edits that sidestep the idea behind these aesthetics altogether. (@littlefreak26 via TikTok)

Angle described the new fad as “lazy forms of overly self-pitiful content which negatively affects the potential that something like Corecore presents itself with.”

Nichetok and Corecore were once used as a way of self-expression on TikTok but are now being replaced by videos of psychopathic characters like Patrick Batmen from American Psycho or Joe from Bladerunner 2047, played to the same, often depressing songs.

TikToks are criticized by the Corecore enthusiast as they believe it cheaply profits off of the self-pity of TikTokers instead of aiming to be a creative endeavor. The trends “Nichetok” and “Corecore” explore art and aesthetics in seemingly random ways. (@sad.cad via TikTok)

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