Jennifer Lawrence showed us that being awkward and loving food more than partying was the new awesome.
Why these smart, hard working and far from socially unskilled individuals try to project this sorry-I’m-awkward image? And why are we attracted to this?
Because when we see someone else behaving in a way that we sometimes do ourselves, we feel relieved and safe, it turns out we’re not the only weirdos around.
We tend to connect with people through our awkward selves rather that our cool selves. You know this feeling, when you meet people who just click with you. You laugh about the same weird things. You have the same reactions to certain things. You can predict each other’s thoughts without uttering a word. You’re being awkward around each other and it seems absolutely and perfectly normal.
If Jennifer lived in the same city with me, we’d totally be best friends.
Awkward people are also generally unaware of their behavior, they are sincere in whatever they’re doing, which makes the whole thing more amusing.
But what made it go mainstream? Well, we started to see thought leaders and celebrities show their real vulnerable sides on TV and other media. Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, Ellen Degeneres and Tina Fey gave us hope in embracing our adorable selves. One of my favourite TED Talk is about the power of vulnerability:
Their openness to awkwardness is what allows us to relate to them. We now realize that just about everyone is insecure in their own way. Awkward is the new normal.
Internet has a lot to do with this new trend, too. Back when Internet wasn’t cool (15-20 years ago), when we as 8-12 year old kids were playing outdoors with our friends, the nerds ruled the Internet. They connected with other nerds on forums and chat rooms. The original Internet humor was based on bad grammar and weird topics like Socially Awkward Penguin, Pedobear and Awkward Family Photos.
When the rest of us joined in, we slowly adapted to the ironic poor grammar we saw on the Internet, because nerdy kids, who owned the Internet, called us names when we tried to write properly and sound cool on Myspace. So we decided that we loved irony, creepy cats and texting in caps lock.
Now sites like Buzzfeed are making millions by tapping into the awkward-phenomenon.
It seems that awkwardness is here to stay and that only means some fun times for anybody, who loves marketing. Marketing has become more real, vulnerable and unexpected. You can’t manipulate Millennials by showing us flawless models and celebrities. We don’t want to be models or celebrities, we want them to be like us.