It’s Never Been Cooler To Be Yourself
I was going to call this post “It’s never been cooler to be normal”: but I don’t really like the word “normal“, what does even mean anyway? In hindsight it’s cooler to be not so normal.
When I was younger I wanted be like everyone else. Most people do because it’s safer that way, especially in a small town. I wanted the ugg boots, the stupid expensive jeans, the straightened hair, the boring-as-shit branded t-shirts.To an extent now I obviously like the idea of “trends” as I read the Sunday Times Style religiously – but I also fell in love with the idea of embracing being different since I left university. How BORING to be like everyone else? How dull and uncreative would it be to look like a clone? Imagine if when you die no-one remembers anything you did? I remember hating my bright bright blonde hair as a kid because I didn’t look like the other cooler girls with brown hair – it’s taken me so long to appreciate having a distinctive feature – in fact I wish I had more of them. Merging into the crowd makes me shudder.
Since the eruption of GIRLS on TV, I identified, like most of us did, with Lena Dunham more than the others. Not so much with Hannah Horvath’s personality I hope, but hopefully this idea of being successful with it not depending too much on looks. You can be attractive in so many other ways. I started realising that I was so much more drawn to Hannah than Marnie. As soon as Lena became completely “accepted” in the mainstream media world, (being in Vogue, presenting SNL, and so she should) it was a massive sign – a sign that we could all be ourselves, finally.
It meant that you don’t HAVE to worry all the time about having make-up on or about killing yourself over that ‘stubborn few pounds’ you’re trying to shift. To be honest it shouldn’t have taken me that long to realise that anyway. Life can be so much better when not beating yourself up. Panicking about how good you look on Instagram is the real-life equivalent of trolling yourself.
Hand on heart, I would SO rather be like Lena, writing in my pyjamas, being passionate about things, and not knowing what exactly quinoa is, than trying my whole life to be some sort of bronzed yoga supermodel which just isn’t me at all. It would a waste of a life because it doesn’t suit me. I’d be doing it for external pressures that aren’t coming from a real place. NAT COOL.
Also along came the birth of Instagram which, depending on who you follow, can be a source of loads of people just sharing who they actually are, opposed to a Photoshopped cover photo that makes you feel like shit. I mean, you get to see Oprah cooking dinner in her comfies, or famous groups of mates doing exactly what you and your mates do, people pulling stupid faces, Alexa Chung admitting she has a spot – it’s amazing. A nice remember too that you can be whatever you want to be, because “being perfect” is not cool anymore; in fact it’s frowned upon. And HOW cool is that?
How I Grew Up Online
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic