When I was younger, I used to watch these cringe compilation videos. These would often be videos of people dressing up in costumes and going to the store putting on skits with their friends in public, and other people would compile these clips to make fun of them.
Eventually it transitioned from me laughing at them towards me wanted to be part of them. I wanted to start dressing up as my favorite characters and letting that creative side of myself out, however I had that internalized insecurity from seeing them being laughed at in the past.
I think it is valuable to learn about different subcultures, even if people consider them weird. Despite the internalized insecurity, I pursued what I found out from cringe compilations. I found out it was called cosplay and I still do it to this day.
There are other things that I have found weird in the past that I have overcome from being in this community as well.
I used to be super weirded out by furries. If you are reading this article and do not know who that group of people is, they are people who like to dress up in suits made of fur.
For the longest time I was weirded out by people dressing up in full fursuits, but then I went to my first anime convention at Anime Midwest.
Seeing someone in a full fursuit at a rave dancing their heart out in a hot room under strobing lights made me gain respect for dedication to their interests. I could never, but if they have the dedication to do that then all power to them.
Another thing was fan music I had to get over being ashamed of listening to. Some of the fan music are absolute bangers, especially “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and “Homestuck” fan music. I should not feel ashamed of listening to it just because it is not music traditionally played on the radio.
This all links back to teen girls getting made fun of any little thing they are interested in ranging from pumpkin spice lattes to the puppy dog filter on Snapchat.
Cringe culture is just a way to put down certain groups of people in society for their interests. We cringe away at the things we do not understand, instead ostracizing them and making fun of people who don’t deserve it.
Helena Edwards can be reached at [email protected]