February 19, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle
What is “cool?”
by Anna G.
The term “cool” today is its own element, coming from the Zeitgeist of modernism. Anything can be cool; from behavior to character, appearance, attitude, style, or use of language. Many physical things can also be described as cool, and they are widely sought after. Certain clothes, toys, or items can eventually become their own fad when they are so popular. Music, movies, books, people, absolutely anything we see falls on a scale of cool. One thing is for sure, whatever “cool” is, we want it to describe us.
Cool can be defined as somebodies informal fashionable attractiveness or impressiveness. Due to the subjective nature of the word, what you consider cool can be dependent on your socioeconomic status, your age, your gender, your nationality, and the time period in which you live. An individual living in the present day will have a very different definition of cool than that of someone who was living two hundred, or even twenty years prior.
Cool can be thought of as a comparative quality. Going back to the spectrum of cool, people tend to drift toward whatever will make them look better, or more appealing. Something that is cool is better than just mediocre, or of course the apprehended uncool. People aim to be thought of by others as higher up on the cool scale- nobody wants to be seen as lame or unable to keep up with what’s going on in the current world of popular culture.
Keeping up with what is cool can certainly deem to be a troublesome task. Once one might think they have a grasp on what’s in pop culture, things quickly become outdated and a flood of new cool things arrive. Our popular culture and whatever is currently in the mainstream is always evolving, impossible to keep track of.
Some people interpret cool differently than what the media attempts to mold their belief into. Many feel the need to break away from what is going on within the mainstream, pursuing their personal beliefs of being cool. You could say that attempting to distance oneself from being cool creates a whole new type of “cool” in itself. These people often believe that a manufactured idea of what’s trendy is being fed to them, which they don’t choose to conform to.
In a sense, companies and the media are now trying to teach kids and people of all ages what is cool. There is a definite type of pressure around it, whether that pressure is coming from the media or your peers.
Pressure to conform to this new type of cool, which differs form the original definition- anything admired or found impressive, which will inevitable differentiate from person to person.