The endless meanings of cool

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September 26, 2013 by Welcome to the Jungle

cool picWhat is Cool?

By Julie S.

According to Urban dictionary, “[Cool is] an adjective referring to something that is very good, stylish, or otherwise positive. It is among the most common slang terms used in today’s world”.

Cool is what happens when something becomes popular and is accepted by the majority of youth as fashionable. In other words, our mainstream culture would be thought of as cool. It’s the shared ideologies, fads, and beliefs of a large group of people, and in this case, that large group is the majority of young people.

However, “cool”, is not one of those things you can simply define, as it’s meanings are endless according to who you ask. Everyone experiences the world in a different way, and everyone has their own styles, opinions and values. It’s the way that one person might love the taste of asparagus, but someone else will find it nauseating. It’s all about perception.

So with so many different opinions, how does one define cool? How does the media sell “cool” to us if no one quite knows what “cool” is?

There is one thing that is universally agreed upon: humans love entertainment. This is why humor is so effective in advertisements. The media use all kinds of methods to sell us “cool”. They use music, television, video, radio, sex and humor, among other things to define “cool” for us, so that we don’t have to think for ourselves. What happens is something referred to as the “mob mentality”. It only takes one person (Ex: a famous celebrity, or a funny advertiser), to pick up on a new style choice or advertise a product and if that person has enough followers, the product will take off. When enough people do something, other people will follow, and that is how a fad is born.

So what is cool? Is cool just a fad? In all honesty, I can’t say I know the answer to that. Personally, I have never been one to follow trends or be popular. To me, “cool” is the temperature outside when the leaves are changing colour and summer has passed, but it’s still not quite cold. “Cool” is something to say when someone has explained a long story to me and I didn’t quite understand, but don’t want to make it seem like I wasn’t listening. “Cool” is whatever I want it to be.

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