In an attempt to make women feel safer on their own, artist Alyssa D. Silos created a line of self-defense tools with a cottagecore aesthetic. Cottagecore, otherwise known as farmcore or countrycore, is an artistic style that portrays an idealized agricultural life.
Many of Alyssa’s customers posted videos on TikTok showcasing the cottagecore-style self-defense tools. In this video, a customer opens a package consisting of various keychains. One, resembling a beetle, has holes for the pointer and middle fingers to go through so that it can be clenched tightly in a fist. The user demonstrates how the beetle’s pinchers are sharp and robust by grasping the keychain and pressing it into the packaging in front of her. Another one of the keychains looks like a cute red mushroom with white spots, but it doubles as a pocket knife. As the woman in the video films herself using the special keychains, she issues an ironic disclaimer: “for legal reasons, these are absolutely just keychains and are not sharp or dangerous in the slightest.”
A note from Alyssa D. Silos is also presented in the video. The note reads: “Thank you. Thank you for the love. I hope you enjoy your purchase. Everything is crafted with deliberate care and attention to detail. I’m eternally grateful you’ve chosen to support me as an artist. May your day be as lovely as you. Alyssa d. silos.”
Unfortunately, all of Alyssa’s products are currently sold out, and it’s unclear when there will be a restock.
In the meantime, we can look to alternative places to find stylish and discrete tools for self-defense. One option is Halo Defense. The kits sold by Halo Defense include pepper spray, a window breaker tool that includes a seat belt cutter, a safety alarm triggered by pulling a pin on the alarm, a door opener (button pusher), and a puffball. Halo Defense also sells individual products, such as pocket knives that appear to be standard keys or hair combs. Another popular item from their site is a keychain in the shape of a cat, with pointy ears that are able to break through windows.
Alyssa’s products and those sold on Halo Defense serve the same purpose: empower women to safely live the lives they want to live.