While the ever-elusive British sun may have revived our souls last week – a gaslight moment where I wonder if seasonal depressionn is even real – the fear of the end of the world is more present than ever. But for Generation Z, among the swelling rate of anxiety and depression following such global issues, comes an irreplaceable insurgent humor that leans into this whole end of the world’atmosphere‘. Manifesting first as a fashion aesthetic, dystopiacore has, in my opinion, since transformed from his infamous grunge-inspired clothes into a At Wattpad want to drop into your dystopian backdrop of choice at your local gym and train like your favorite teenage hero. Wait, I’ll explain to you.
Gen Z obsession with everything Y2K isn’t particularly remarkable anymore, it’s just plain plain to see – it’s a period that rekindled the elements of our childhood that we so clearly miss. And now it looks like us older Zers seem to be reliving our teenage years. The romanticization and aestheticization of the 2010s, think Tumblr Girls Eraregained its relevance in 2022. However, a fundamental ingredient of this era calmly resurfaced – perhaps masked by the cigarette smoke of Effy Stonem and drowned out by the indie melodies of arctic monkeys– is the dystopian universe of young adults (YA).
The hunger Games, Divergent and The maze Runner series opened an era of cinema like no other. It provided a strange sort of escape into an alternate apocalyptic future reality for humanity that appealed to the teenage masses, myself included. But what about those dangerous possibilities that born fanfiction longs to be in them too – to model yourself on Katniss, Tris or Thomas? Perhaps their resurgence reflects a genuine surge of rage against the oppressive forces present in the establishment, an internal frustration that has manifested in the idolatry of the fictional revolution.
One that I guess you would need to be in shape for… Hence this intro to dystopiacore training.
The Dystopiacore Workout
In an article exploring the emergence of fashion dystopiaSCREENSHOT editor Francesca Johnson exemplified the style well: “Decked in long black jackets, versatile trench coats and chunky combat boots, Gen Z is ditching stretchy waistbands and comfy loungewear. […] the joggers are out and the cargo is in, people. But now it looks like activewear is back, as cargos are replaced by Lululemon leggings for the dystopia workout you’ll hopefully never need.
Sometimes coupled with ‘female envy‘, users use the soundtracks of their favorite dystopian movies in a motivational daydream as part of the universe. More often than not, you’ll find the fast-paced, dynamic track of Divergent used to propel the sportsman into the Dauntless faction, one of five groups the imaginary population is divided into. Dauntless’ distinct, savage, and challenging military-style training procedure—skills that become invaluable to heroine Tris as she navigates the fight against the powers that be—seems to provide the perfect push for more reps, with Four as his imaginary personal trainer.
@lavendercashewmilklatte Imagine if divergent had more of a story of friends, enemies or lovers 🖤 #OutlanderChallenge #divergent ♬ Run Boy Run – Woodkid
With one user writing, “The feminine urge to wear your black Lulu jacket and blast to the Divergent soundtrack as you train and imagine you’re a born Dauntless, training with Quatre in the pit because a war is coming and you were born for this, to fight and to protect.Perhaps this shows such internalized anxieties about the future of humanity and whether or not we will be able to survive its changing structure – it may be however that we read too far.
Perhaps, instead, this could be yet another epitome of the “main character” catharsis we seem to so desperately need? Imagining yourself as the physically capable hero – in any dystopian universe – can actually work its way into our reality, developing much-needed inner strength. Another TikToker said, “Prepare for the zombie apocalypse, join Dauntless, fight in the Hunger Games, treasure hunt or get out of the maze. The plot changes every time at the gym.
It goes even further than some silly little videos on the internet, with a fitness fanatic actually creating a free training plan inspired by Dauntless. Beckywhich manages a page dedicated to the Divergent series and one of its stars Theo James, noticed the trend surfacing on the app and cleverly created a workout plan inspired by the movie’s military marvels. “As someone on a fitness journey for seven months and a fangirl since I was 13, I’ve always wanted to train with the Dauntless, so I present to you my Dauntless training manual,” a- she announced.With no less than a million views on the video, we can say that the idea is popular.
Containing a foreword warning those following the program that she is not an approved trainer or affiliated with the official brand of Divergent, the five-week workout instructions come with specially curated Dauntless playlists, video codecs of clips featuring Four inducting you into Dauntless, and audio files to accompany your fitness sessions.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, if it gets you up and running and doesn’t involve the dangers of train jump– so why not? I say that because I tried it, all for research of course.