“Cool” was always a definitive thing.
We can all recall the staples that defined a specific decade – the offensive jokes we had to find funny, the way we had to burn or fry our hair into something it was never meant to be, the unflattering but “stylish” things we’d see in the hall and instantly feel an overwhelmingly compulsive need to run out after school and beg our parents to get us the same, exact thing.
We had to become someone different to belong, and to brand every aspect of our lives to prove it.
But there was so much strain in giggling along to things we never found funny. In constantly changing groups and cliques and styles and mannerisms because they never quite fit right. “Cool” used to carry the air of vague superiority, of elite-ness, of being untouchable and carefree — but it doesn’t anymore.
Now we realize the people who most effortlessly “fit in” were only the ones who were most willing to sacrifice themselves. Now we realize that being “cool” wasn’t a desirable thing, not the way we defined it — but we saw no other choice.
But eventually, the people who were slighted by their inability to fit into the mold found something far better than being another nameless form defined only by the style of the season. We started to realize that the outcasts effortlessly achieved that which we were all dying to — they stood out in the way that began to get them attention, and acceptance, for who they really were.
Being yourself shifted from being a burden to a liberation. And now it’s the foundation on which we’ve built the new wave of “cool.” Of identity, of freedom, of honesty.
Cool is no longer how well you can pretend — it’s how daring you’re willing to be. We reached the saturation point for desiring clones of one another. “Classic” is not molding yourself to the essentials of another decade, or icon, or passing trend anymore. It’s how you outwardly express who you inwardly know you are.
“Classic” is no longer a universal standard, it’s now a subjective take.
Trend chasing — in clothes, and in mannerisms, and in all the little things that add up and make a person who they temporarily are — is over. There’s no feat in maintaining a person you were never meant to be. We’ve simplified in the best way possible, and we’re collectively at a place that’s better than it ever has been before.
Cool is what comes most naturally for you. Effortless was always part of the package, but now it’s no longer a false air you maintain, it’s a genuine element of finding yourself. The things that garner you the most external approval are the things that are most genuinely true of you.
And ironically enough, they’re the things you didn’t need that approval for to begin with.
This post brought to you by GAP.