Written by Aishwarya Jha

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. And limit of COOLness – I abuse my parents at their face, I am COOL!! Let me put up a simple question here – What defines being “cool”? Do rebelliousness, emotional control and thrill seeking define cool? Or is it the showing off between our friends or the living of a fake life to ‘fit in’?

Recently a friend of mine hit his girlfriend in front of everyone and he was instantly so cool among his friends. I freezed at this amount of coolness! I asked each one of these cool people what coolness actually meant. No one could give a proper answer to my question and therefore, depicting the human tendency of mocking a question with no solution, the scoffed at me. I thought it better to rely on Google baba for the solution and found out a totally different meaning of cool behavior.

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 Mac Adams, 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 cool, epitomized by the likes of actor James Dean and jazz musician Miles Davis during the IInd world war, has been exploited by biasness through marketing and advertising of 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 writes in various magazines and blogs describes gadgets and websites as cool, watering down our original notion. And coolness has been related to our use of language. 

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 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 pained him a hell lot and the cheap machinery used could afflict him to even cancer) is the coolest guy in the college! 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 pots may affect their body only but the desperate urge to prove them at any expense takes a toll on their mind leading to stress 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 as they are. 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 COOL at all.. Being genuine is the COOLEST any person can be!!

So here’s your chance to look into the mirror and introspect yourself: “Am I cool?” How will you define it?




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Aishwarya Jha

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