What Is It?
"Faërie cannot be caught in a net of words; for it is one of its qualities to be indescribable, though not imperceptible." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
it's a style:
It's punk and gothic edge limned in glitter and jewel colours. It's your favourite stompy boots with a skirt entirely made of swishes. It's fun with makeup for everyone, regardless of gender. It's eschewing anything you feel restricted or uncomfortable in. Of course it's wings, horns, or even both. It's lace mixed with spikes. It's inverse rainbows and harmonic gradients. It's pink and leaf green, it's teal and purple, it's accented with black, it's stripes stripes stripes, it's natural breathable fabrics. It's the Goblin King. It's Queen Titania. It's incredibly sparkly. If you can imagine a modern faerie wearing it and swearing in it...that's it.
it's a media movement:
It's stories about fae and fae creatures of all stripes, of course. (Yes, even the unpleasant ones. Faerie is not all love and light.) It's stories about people who are fae-like in nature. The chief themes are those of chaos, magic, and wonder, and leave a reader deliciously terrified and wanting more. I would also say it is scandalously intimate with both hopepunk AND grimdark, almost to the point where some faeriepunk stories could possibly be considered an offshoot or a subgenre of either.
- The War of the Flowers, Tad Williams
- War for the Oaks, Emma Bull
- Tithe, Holly Black
- Pan's Labyrinth
- the work of Amy Brown
- the work of Brian Froud
it's an atttitude:
it's believing in magic, glamour, chaos, and mischief. Of freaking course it's believing in faeries. (It's also believing that it doesn't matter if someone does or doesn't believe in faeries...they believe in you. You've been warned.) It's discovering your OWN glamour and magic -- and using it every day. It's daring to like yourself, know your flaws and limitations, and know you're fine as you are. It's embracing diversity in all its varied forms -- do you know how many kinds of beings fall beneath the umbrella of "fae"? Shite-tonnes. Embracing diversity is one of the KEY elements of being faeriepunk. It's eristic, it's playful, it might even be slightly annoying, and it's definitely slightly unsettling.
it's a rebellion:
it's stealing back faeries from the purity-soaked Victorians and saccharinity of Disney and knowing them for what they are: various shades of fucking badass, not midget moppets in miniskirts pooping rainbows. It's not letting the colour pink be defined as girly or childish. It's looking at modern life and eschewing what makes you unhappy, even if it's the norm. (Deleting Facebook because it makes you depressed is just about THE most faeriepunk action you can take, I swear.) It's absolutely and totally indulging in creativity for the love of creativity's sake, not for Instalikes and influencer money, and not caring if it's marketable or not. Being a subset of punk, of COURSE it's about D.I.Y and eschewing the corporate hell we're forced to live in. Faeriepunks will flex their newly visibly-mended thrifted items over any mass-produced hypebeast shit any day. It's seeing through the capitalist bollocks and saying 'fuck off' to it: magic is not purchased, it's created.
it's a musical feeling:
It crosses musical genres and dips behind the veils. It can be anything from electronica to dreampop to symphonic metal. If it gives off otherworldly vibes, if it makes you think of the fae, if it's outright ABOUT the fae, it can be added to your faeriepunk playlist.
- This actually got ridiculously long, so click here to hear (bwaha) the "Sounds Like Faeriepunk: 40 Artists, One Song Each" playlist!
the manifesto :: what is it? :: what is it NOT? :: tenets :: tell the world