Kids Just Want To Have Fun

Why cringe culture should cease to exist

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Kids Just Want To Have Fun

Kamille Johnson

Kamille Johnson

Kamille Johnson

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In the current social environment, calling a person, idea or thing “cringe-worthy” is an everyday occurrence. The digital age has made it so every aspect of life can be permanently recorded, meaning there is no room for mistakes.

Cringe culture is a form of bullying that generalizes a group of people that enjoy certain pop culture aspects. There are a multitude of videos, called cringe compilations, dedicated to compiling the actions of others with the intent of humiliating them. These easily found videos normally contain minors doing harmless activities that they enjoy, such as dressing up as their favorite character, doing a funny dance or making references to shows that they like.

“It’s annoying, and it’s rude,” senior Morgan Azar said. “People should be able to dress a certain way and like certain things without being judged or being called cringey.”

Ostracizing others for things that they enjoy or create is beyond reckless\; it unnecessarily alienates youth in a way that can be harmful. For example, Rebecca Black, singer of the infamous song “Friday,” received an extreme amount of backlash under the guise of her song being considered brainless. According to nbcnews.com, the verbal and online abuse she received made her shut down and impacted her mental health negatively. Mob mentality follows society no matter what direction it may take, and this particular moment in time is proof of that.
While of course, most people will never experience this shame to the degree that Rebecca Black did, even the slightest bit of harmful rhetoric can impact one’s self-esteem. If a student is enjoying an activity, they absolutely have the right to do so, even if it is not considered mainstream.̈If someone is extremely enthusiastic or passionate about something, to be called cringey can make someone less likely to want to express their interests,” senior Ashley Brady said. ¨They will want to hide and fit in the crowd. They’ll be afraid to express themselves.”

I, myself, at a young age, and even at times today did not express myself to the fullest extent due to being afraid of my ideas being seen as cringe. I restricted myself from talking about “Minecraft” or even shows such as “Steven Universe.” Seeing my interests being made fun of in cringe compilations made me feel beyond ashamed, and it forced me to assimilate with the interests others had.

The fact that a child might be scared of making fan art or an original character based on a show they enjoy out of fear of being in a cringe compilation is disgusting. It is seen all the time in social media today, and it needs to be put to a complete stop. No one should be ashamed of their harmless interests, and no one deserves to be publicly humiliated for it.

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