Cool: so much more than ‘neato’, ‘awesome’, ‘swell’

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September 30, 2013 by Welcome to the Jungle

origin-of-cool-black-gradient1What Is “Cool”?
Coel S.

According to the urban dictionary, cool is: “the best way to say something is neat-o, awesome, or swell. The phrase “cool” is very relaxed, never goes out of style, and people will never laugh at you for using it, very convenient for people like me who don’t care about what’s “in.”” In my opinion, the word cool can’t be put into a book of definitions; to me cool can’t be classified as one thing. Cool is something that changes and evolves with society. The idea of cool is unique just like everybody on this planet. It conforms and shapes a society, while at the same time society decides what is cool.

In class we watched a video about MTV, ads and other forms of media that try to determine what is cool. They said a line that stuck with me; they said: “cool is a vicious circle. Teens and young adults decide what’s cool, but as soon as the media picks up on what’s in style – teens don’t find it cool anymore. They start a new trend and the media is always trying to evolve with the thinking of these young kids.” This is very true. Most people think it’s the media that develops what is cool, but it’s the teens, the rebels, the ones that are pushing the boundaries to find out what is socially accepted yet still in the boundaries of cool. For example: these days the style is boys with the “flow” and classy ways of dressing. Back in the day, the style was poofy hair and very bright colors. This is where the media comes into play. Rebels didn’t want to conform to the standards commercials, celebrities and spokespersons were setting – some people want to be different and that’s what shapes our idea of cool.

Cool doesn’t just apply to what we wear, or how we talk, it also influences the music we listen to. My dad listens to classic rock, because it’s what was cool in his generation. My generation listens to hip-hop, pop and country music a lot because it’s what the majority listens to. Cool to me is what the majority is doing, it takes those few who want to be different to change our perception of cool but once it’s cool it’s what everybody is doing that makes it that way. That’s why media focuses on pop culture because it’s POPULAR and it’s how they can reach the biggest audience or influence the most people.

To conclude, society changes but so does our idea of cool. Popular isn’t the main source of cool, each person has their different sense of cool. Some people like skateboarding, some people like basketball, some people like the color blue, some like the color red. It doesn’t matter what you like or don’t like. Everybody has the right to do what they want or like what they want, it isn’t to us to judge people’s likes or dislikes. That’s the problem, everybody is unique and the idea of cool can never include everybody. My ultimate idea of cool is the planet earth, human beings and everything else that lives. Everybody is cool to me and that’s how everybody should look at it.

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