#CoreCore: The Anti-Aesthetic Aesthetic of Tik Tok [OPINION]


TikTok’s CEO is currently on trial before the US Congress to justify an ultimate decision on TikTok’s ban in America. I remember the period of time when the world was just recovering from the pandemic and news had broke that Trump was going to ban TikTok. It genuinely scared me. I downloaded my favorites and jumped every time my FYP glitched because the end could be at any moment. 

I found the social media app in 8th grade, but was on it for the first time in the COVID lockdowns. The app had found a way to meet me where I was. I could be happy, sad, angry, or bored and somehow I always found the video I was looking for. Right now, I’m feeling lost. And to no surprise, I’m not alone. 

Corecore is a new kind of aesthetic fighting against the artificial trends that face Tik Tok today. By compiling short clips of empowering, emotional, or just natural moments to (usually) classical music, the new video template is made to impact its viewers in an almost philosophical way. Corecore offers a break from the perfectly crafted For You Page I see otherwise. 

The new trend is facing me and hundreds of thousands of other TikTok users at our consumption breaking point, pushing the hopeless to see the hope and creators to be more real. The endless For You Page is so indulgent that it can become more immersive or persuasive than the environments we exist in every day, but by compiling short, powerful clips of human happiness, success, and raw emotion these faceless editors offer a thought-provoking and almost motivational human highlight reel. I am overwhelmed by the news, by random people telling me to use a sound to have a good day or to get money, by my peers who are just like me when it comes to our reliance on social media, by the trend cycle that seems to be going light speed. The paradoxical aesthetic never fails to make me want to do more than lay in my bed watching someone else run their errands or have fun with their friends. The first couple of videos made me think, nothing more, but the more times I see edits of the best of the times the easier it is to get off of TikTok and go find more examples of the powerful moments I just watched. 

I don’t need to go find something that’s worth getting off the app anymore because corecore creators are able to bring it to me where they know I’ll be.