On ‘Cool Kids’ and the Frailty of the Ordinary

Courtesy of Jonathan Weiner via USA Today
Courtesy of Jonathan Weiner via USA Today

How does it feel to be unnoticed? How miserable is it to be left behind? Is it that problematic? Echosmith‘s single, “Cool Kids,” takes us through the range of emotions outcasts experience. In a society standardized by fashion and trends, it is definitely very hard to be ordinary. You look up to people better than yourself. You wish you could be just like them. You dream that, someday, other people would look up to you too. It has become a necessity to be socially accepted, when it would be easier to be real and fit in based on your own rubrics.

The rise of multimedia did not only alter the definitions of acceptance, but it also created a divide between what is hot and what is not. Fitting in has become a social task, because non-conformity is rather deviance than a norm. For this, people tend to try so hard to be accepted albeit it borders on desperation. It has become an option to leave the true self just to be in the elite circle of the cool kids.

Echosmith tackles that particular theme in their song. It is very timeless because of the large number of casualties of the battle between acceptance and rejection. However, it is interesting to discover the reason why such labels exist. If you are not cool, then you do not belong. If you are ordinary, then you do not deserve attention. These labels have created reductions in the human being. Does wearing the same clothes as your favorite superstar make you cool enough? Why does the society privilege those who are able to conform to such standards?

Dangerously, these incidents threaten the existence of the ordinary people who cannot do just the same. However, we should consider: Does not wearing a superstar’s outfit make you less of a human being? Reductions brought about by labeling create such enormous social divides that only strengthen discrimination. It does not help that mainstream media is rather normative than respectful of individuality.

In this case, not only is Echosmith’s song timeless, but it conveys a fundamental message in today’s society. Although the song tackles dreaming to enter the world of the cool kids, it can also be perceived as both a sarcasm and a critique. In other words, the sarcasm it provides can be deciphered as a critique to the unnecessary need to belong forcibly. It, likewise, serves as an advice for people who want to fit in. Find a clique that does not judge you based on what you show. It is best to be seen based on who you really are, even in the absence of the façade of glamour.

The frailty of the ordinary does not come from external forces. It is an internal battle that must be overcome to be able to stand against unneeded social standards. Acceptance is a collective action. Unless you go against the oppressive coolness of the society, then you become one of the oppressors of the ordinary.

So, thank you, Echosmith. Cheers to the ordinary ones who can make a difference by being themselves!

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