Friday, 19 January 2018

Why I'm Over Trying To Be Cool.

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What even is cool? I spent the greater half of my teenage years trying to figure it out, as if it were one of life's greatest mysteries, trying to determine what it was that made you cool; all whilst being painfully aware of the fact that trying to be cool made you anything but. I still, from time to time, ponder the idea of what it means to be cool. I'll often imagine off-duty, vintage leather jacket adorned models with sunkissed beachy blonde waves, a cigarette hanging loosely from their lips and a sort of nonchalance that I've never been able to pull off (and not for a lack of trying, that's for sure).

In case you couldn't already tell, I've never self-identified as cool, as much as I may have yearned to throughout the years. (And anyway, let's face it, no truly cool individual would ever even have to self-identify as such - nevermind pen a whole damn blog post about it). I spent my teenage years being the only kid in my class who listened to bands like My Chemical Romance, who crushed hard on Gerard Way and Pete Wentz and who proudly sported a Fall Out Boy backpack on the daily. Once, I got a cheap perm job in the hopes of transforming my dead-straight hair into luscious curly locks just like the cool girls (hint: that didn't happen). Another time, I invited the cool girls along with me to a gig I knew they'd love, only to be later labelled as a total try-hard loser. Whatever cool was, I wasn't it. I was far from it.

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These days, you could say I'm even further from cool than ever (again, the fact that I'm writing a blog post all about the four letter word alludes to that) - in the way I have always assumed "cool" to be, at least. I'm a bit of a dork who often prefers a night in over a night out. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life. I started listening to Green Day twenty-odd-years after listening to Green Day was considered cool. I know all of the words to Pete Wentz's poem in Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part to Save the Scene and Stop Going to Shows). When I love something, I have an unrelenting tendency to love it - and vocally love it - too much; not exactly the sort of nonchalance I was aiming for.

I suppose, these days, social media playing such prominent roles in our lives only but magnifies the low-key desire to identify as cool. Although we only share the glossiest parts of our lives across our Insta feeds, it's easy to feel like a fish out of water in what often feels like a digital popularity contest. A brief scroll through my Insta explore page is enough to drive home the fact that I am not, and never will be, an #InstaBabe on the beaches of Bali, looking effortlessly sexy, gazing down at the camera over my designer sunglasses. But see - that's just it. More often than not, we associate the word cool with something that couldn't be further from the fact for someone else. It's opinion. It's subjective.

So, you know what? I'm over it. I'm done trying to be cool - whatever "cool" is. I am who I am, and who I am is obsessive, moody as hell, playing the same song on repeat for hours on end. Everything I love, I love loudly and unapologetically. I'm an emo kid at heart and I once bought a denim jacket because the slogan on the back matches a Green Day song title. I have come to the realisation that the one thing that makes any of us uncool is our futile endeavors to be anything but our true selves. So, you do you, boo. Because there's nothing bloody cooler than that.

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What are your thoughts on "cool"?

Katy Belle.
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