Why being cringe is the coolest thing you can do in 2023
This is your in-depth guide on how to embrace embarrassment x
Galaxy print leggings, doing the nae nae, dabbing— there was a time (the early to mid 2000s) when being cringe was inherently embedded in pop culture. But gradually we swapped this silliness for crippling embarrassment. We got the ick at ourselves.
Every low brow interest has had to come with a “guilty pleasure” caveat. Emily In Paris is something we all adore to watch but no one likes to admit. ABBA are one of the most played artists of all time, yet nobody is an earnest fan. We’ve been drenched in irony. Swaddled in sarcasm. And it’s sucking the fun out of everything.
“Be cringe in 2023. Your life will legit get better on every front. This is not a joke,” wrote self help influencer Isabel on Twitter to 57k likes of agreement on New Year’s Day. “If you constantly chase your edge of cringe you are probably getting closer to truth and authenticity because that is precisely what cringes people out. Conquering the fear of being cringe is fully a rite of passage to living life on your own terms,” she said.
And cringe has somewhat surreptitiously been on the rise in 2022. Julia Fox went from Ye’s muse to TikTok’s mother thanks to her uncut ghaamz soundbite. Olivia Neill has regularly scored thousands of likes with anecdotes about breaking her boyfriend’s sinuses with her horrendous farts. Amelia Dimoldenberg‘s Chicken Shop Date thrived thanks to her cringe personality that allowed awkward silences to linger.
Taylor Swift even advised York University students to embrace embarrassment during a speech she gave at their graduation ceremony: “Learn to live alongside cringe,” she said. “No matter how hard you try to avoid being cringe, you will look back on your life and cringe retrospectively. Cringe is unavoidable over a lifetime.
“I promise you, you’re probably doing or wearing something right now that you will look back on later and find revolting and hilarious,” she said. “I had a phase where, for the entirety of 2012, I dressed like a 1950s housewife. But you know what? I was having fun. Trends and phases are fun. Looking back and laughing is fun.”
And the objectification of Matty Healy has to be the biggest example of cringe making a comeback. On paper, the 1975 front man should be one of the most severely embarrassing men alive. Yet, everyone seems to fancy him because, or in spite of, his dance moves, dickhead comments, one liners and slogan T-shirts.
So, now that cringe is confirmed as cool and the concept of cool itself is almost entirely dead, here are ten allegedly ick worthy things to embrace in the New Year now that we’ve all eschewed embarrassment:
Getting no likes on Instagram
The algorithm is broken anyway. Post what you want.
They make no economic sense but, if it feels good to you, go for it.
Having fewer friends
Pre drinks are more fun with one other person anyway.
Tuna sweetcorn sandwiches are delicious. End of.
Anyone who takes themselves seriously doesn’t last long on there.
The whole world may as well admit to having IBS at this point.
Even if you get left on read. Playing it cool is a myth.
If Matilda Djerf taught us anything it’s that blazers are now officially clubbing clothing again.
Posting your parents on social media
Mum content is undeniably on the up.
Mirror selfies. 0.5 selfies. Pouting. Peace signs. All of it.
Featured image credit via ITV and Youtube