I smoke and drink, I am COOL! I change my cell phone every month, I am COOL! I have a rich boyfriend or a sexy thin girlfriend, I am COOL!! I wear negligible clothes, I am COOL. Heights of COOLness – I abuse my parents on their face, I am COOL!! Let me put up a simple question here – What defines being “cool”? Do rebelliousness, no control over emotions and thrill seeking define cool? Or is it the showing off among friends or the living of a fake life to ‘fit in’? Recently a friend of mine hit his girlfriend infront of everyone and he was instantly so cool among his friends. I froze at this amount of coolness! I asked each one of those cool people what coolness actually meant. No one could give a proper answer. I thought it would be better to rely on master Google for the solution and found out a totally different meaning of what a cool behaviour is.
Psychologist John M. Grohol defines coolness as a behavior characterized by rebelliousness, emotional control, toughness, thrill-seeking and generally doing things the way the individual desired, rather than conforming with society norms. According to Lewis
MacAdams, author of Birth of Cool: Beat, Bebop and the American Avant-Garde, cool is a “way of life”. Basically 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. In recent times, the idea of coolness has been exploited by the marketing sector for advertising the products. The November 2001 issue of Wired Magazine ran a special advertising section entitled “The Phenomenon of Cool,” which seemed to imply a change of definition of cool from people and behavior to material possessions such as technological devices and clothing. Today, tech writers in various magazines and blogs describe gadgets and websites as cool, watering down our original notion. Only if you the wear a ‘macho’ style withered pant and 100′s of bands in your hand, you have the right to be called cool. Coolness has also been related to our use of language. If you don’t ‘dude’ and ‘babe’ in your sentences, you are supposed to be not so cool. If while talking to somebody you don’t use abusive words, you are not cool. If you want to speak in your local language, you are not cool. But if you speak in english (which is no longer the pure english and is completely ruined), you are very cool.
Cool was once an attitude fostered by rebels and underdogs such as slaves, prisoners, bikers and political prisoners. And now we have performing artists adopting the word cool into their names–L.L. Cool, Coolio, and D.J. Cool to name just a few. Every teenager loves to be addressed as cool and being not so cool is such a taboo in the teenage society! Youngsters execute a variety of acts to prove themselves among their friends. In a college, the girl with the thinnest body and shortest dress (even though on a personal note she may be uncomfortable wearing it) is the coolest girl in the college! A guy with a no. of piercings on his face (even though it caused immense pain and the cheap machinery used could even afflict him to cancer) is the coolest guy in the college! The poor yet intelligent guy who comes to college by a bus is supposed to be outdated. But a academically dumb guy with a BMW bike and scores of girls going mad after him is supposed to be cool. Waiting for the traffic signal to go green is not so cool, but breaking the signal and then giving bribe to the policemen to evade fine is very cool. Abusing the teacher is cool, ditching girlfriends is cool, clicking pictures with a ‘pout’ is cool and having the most expensive phone is being cool. Why is this so?
This obsession of being cool to fit in among their friends not only impinges on youngsters physically but also on a emotional level.
Taking drugs, smoking pot may affect their body. Also the desperate urge to prove themselves takes a toll on their mind leading to stress and extreme pressure which ultimately ends in depression and suicide. They do not for once think that they are hurting their loved ones more than themselves. The compromise with their actuality and put a fake mask of a set behavior to keep those people happy who don’t even care for them. A true friend accepts a person the way he is. He never wants his friend to change for the society. Everyone knows this yet they conform to the saddening fakeness which is apparently the very core of being cool.
At last, to those who are yet unsuccessfully striving to prove themselves- Trying to fit in and be cool is actually Not so cool.. Being real is cool. Being genuine is cool.Being strong is cool. Being ethical is cool. And taking your own stand is the coolest. So here’s your chance to look into the mirror and introspect yourself: “Am I cool?” How will you define it?