Cringe culture is something a lot of people are familiar with. Cringe culture, simply put, is an online culture of making fun of and/or harassing groups of people for their interests. Teenagers, adults, and even kids aren’t excluded. Years ago, me and my best friends were talking about hyper fixations. I told them I had one, and of course, they asked me what it was on. A wave of dread washed over me in that moment. I was hyper fixated on a character labeled as cringe, and I was afraid they would think I was cringe because of it. Thankfully, they were fine with it. They’ve never supported cringe culture.
Even now, that fear of being cringe still lurks. (Heck, even writing this I’m worried about it sounding cheesy.) I don’t see many people outright call something cringe anymore, but the judgement and toxicity is still rampant. I won’t lie, fans can be horrendous, but that’s being horrendous. There’s fans who will send death threats to people who like a character they’re crushing on, but people who support cringe culture will be out there tormenting someone who harmlessly ships themselves with a character. It’s so stupid- if nobody is getting hurt, physically or mentally, there shouldn’t be a problem. If it makes you happy, do what you want! Make fan characters, write that lovey-dovey fanfiction, design those brightly colored anthropomorphic characters, ramble about Undertale! These things make people so happy, and that’s okay. I cannot express my absolute joy when someone is fine with me watching kids cartoons, or when they listen to me go on a tangent about a comfort ship. It feels as bright as the sun.
Cringe culture looks at all of what I just described (and more) and seethes. It tears people down, it makes people feel like garbage, it makes people hide their hyper fixations, hobbies, art, music, and writing. Cringe culture destroys creativity and joy, and acknowledging how stupid it is incredibly freeing. My stories and characters have never been as vibrant since I’ve kicked away the cringe monster, even though it still lurks at times. Here’s some things that helped me build my confidence! I hope they help you, too.
- Legit just throw the word cringe into the trash when thinking about yourself and other people.
- Hold the word ‘weird’ in a positive light! Weird things are great.
- Try and look at yourself without bias. When reflecting, use neutral wording.
- Congratulate yourself for the small steps. A step is still a step; look at you go!
- Fake it till you make it. Of course, don’t ignore your emotions, but telling yourself “I’m going to do great!” When you feel anxious can do wonders.
(Do keep in mind this is not professional advice or anything. This is just stuff that’s helped me.)
And with that, this blog comes to a close! Cringe culture isn’t dead, unfortunately, but together people can stomp it into its grave! Do what you love and have a nice day!