So, when you're out shopping with your teenager and she agrees that "yes Mom, those sunglasses do make you look cool", you'd best to set them back on the rack and try on a different pair - at least, if you care about looking "cool" or. . . "not cool" or. . ..arrgh!
Do you see the dilemma? How can I express the concept of "cool" without using the word "cool"? When I asked my kids what word they use in place of "cool", I was met by blank stares - they have no new word for "cool".
My daughter explained it this way: "No one cares about 'cool' anymore. No one wants to be 'cool'."
No one wants to be cool?! Can that be true?! I was raised in a generation that valued "cool" above most everything. It was practically a religion! Back in high school, there was a social ladder that every teen tried to scale, and perched on the very top rung were the "cool" kids. Just watch any Eighty's teen flick and you'll see what I mean as they all had the same theme at their core - the cool kids verses the nerds. Nowadays, I'm hearing rumours that "geeks" are the new "cool", but can it truly be real? Has the concept of "cool", like the very word itself, become out-dated and old-fashioned?
When I consider my two kids (both in their early twenties), I realize that they have always been far more interested in being authentic to their true individualities than contorting themselves into some cookie cutter ideal of "cool". Both of them are more interested in independent film and music than in the mainstream pop culture. They cringe at the word "trendy" and prefer creative originality over conformity. They are true to themselves.
So. . . if our younger generation has replaced "cool" with "authenticity" and "individuality", I can live with that. In fact, I think it's kind of cool!
And now, for a treat, here's the authentically original and hugely talented Jeremy Fisher. Enjoy!