How To Embrace Being An "Uncool" Girl

by Brianna Wiest
picnic, headphones
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I don't know what part of our brains makes us identify the "haves" from the "have-nots," but I'm inclined to think it's some kind of essential, animalistic "survival based" instinct, and also that it sucks. Even from the time we're little kids, we begin to define who is "cool" and who isn't, and often by the strangest set of criteria. It's as though we mask our desire for individual acceptance with a quest to be just "one of the cool kids," as though just being safely within the "in" crowd is enough.

But it's never enough. We're never happy. We do one thing right — wear one "good" outfit, say one funny joke, get a lot of likes on a post — and we never stop, and smile, and think: "Wow, I've made it." The aggressive beast of acceptance gets even stronger. We have to keep going. And we have to keep going because we don't feel happier, or better, or safer, or more loved. We feel farther from who we are, and like we still have miles to go before we are OK.

At the end of the day, nobody wants to be "cool." It's a supplement for wanting to be loved and accepted as a person. It's an external projection of a desire for internal recognition, and when not kept in check, it's vicious. It doesn't end when high school does. It only gets worse. Even well into adulthood, you see grown people arguing for control, for dominance, for power — on a large scale, and probably right within your own homes.

Even If I'm Uncool, I'm Pretty Happily Uncool

The whole point of wanting to be "cool" was believing it was a precursor to be happy, but it wasn't. It was stepping farther and farther away from myself, doing things I didn't really want to be doing, being someone I didn't want to be, all because I thought that being happy meant being someone other than who I was.

I Am Loved More For Who I Am Than Who I'm Not

I've noticed in relationships (or, rather, the relationships that are good and healthy and happy) that the more I am my honest self, the less I filter what I think and say, the more I am loved and appreciated.

Being Cool Is Too Much Work

No, but seriously, my desire to be lazy has always overridden my desire to fit in.

I Sincerely Believe The Ways I'm Uncool Are My Greatest Advantages

The things I was made fun of for the most — being intense, or weird, or emotional — the things that made me most uncool were the exact things that made it possible for me to do what I do now, and to be the person I am now. And damn, I wouldn't change that for anything.

The Only Acceptance I Was Ever Seeking Was My Own

Accepting yourself and loving yourself as you are, "cool" or not, is essentially the shortcut. The idea of wanting to know "how acceptable and admirable I was to others" was simply my pursuit of permission to love my life. Ironically, it never had to be that hard. I could just choose it all along.

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