Normcore Digital Subcultures Paper

Topics: Clothing, Fashion, Fashion journalism Pages: 9 (1635 words) Published: December 5, 2014
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HANNA SCOTT CORRIE
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DEATH OF COOL
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DIGITAL SUBCULTURE PAPER:
NORMCORE
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Hanna Corrie
Death of Cool
Jessica Glasscock
March 12, 2014

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Normcore: Satorial Tofu for Western Millennials and Digital Natives

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Normcore. A subculture based on conscious, artificial adoption of things that are in wide spread use, a self aware stylized blandness, which deliberately embraces sameness as a way of being cool. It’s “normal” but hardcore. Originally outlined in October 2013, by K-HOLE, a New York City trend forecasting collective. Normcore was intended as a theory, a way of life, but in practice has become a look, clearly identified with celebrities of the nineties like Jerry Seinfeld or Steve Jobs. Normcore as a subculture and fashion trend has become a kind of sentiment to how quickly information can be disseminated immediately and picked up as a style. How easy it is for an idea to be oversold and overused in a matter of minutes. The internet and social media have made it impossibly easy to create subcultures, and even more commonly, to kill them before they have reached their potential.

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On February 26, 2014 New York Magazine’s online fashion blog, The Cut, wrote a story on the budding subculture titled Normcore: Fashion for Those Who Realize They’re One in 7 Billion. And in the proceeding hours the entire internet was exploding with articles, hashtags, tweets, instagrams, and blog posts. So much repetitive chatter that one user created a Chrome browser extension titled No More #NORMCORE.1

 

Lil Government, “Remove Normcore From Your Life” http://bullettmedia.com/article/removenormcore-from-your-life-chrome-extension/ 1

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In order to understand weather or not normcore has a future life in subculture we should outline its intentions and implications. When K-HOLE originally coined the term “normcore” it was part of a trend report titled Youth Mode. In which the collective addresses The Death of Age, Mass Indie, Acting Basic, and Normcore. The entire argument is based on the idea of freedom, and that the best way to attain freedom is by being adaptable, not exclusive and rejecting the desire to be different by opting into sameness. “If the rule is Think Different, being seen as normal is the scariest thing…Which paradoxically makes normalcy ripe for the Mass Indie liberties to adopt as their own, conforming their status by showing how disposable the trappings of uniqueness are. The most different thing to do is to reject being different altogether… the truly cool attempt to master sameness.”2 The point is that, while everyone is striving to be an  

individual distinguished by their ability to do things differently, the only truly different thing to do is strive to be the as normal as possible. “Once upon a time people were born into communities and had to find their individuality. Today people are born individuals and have to find their communities.”3

 

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Normcore is an alternative manifestation of the Mass Indie, “When the fringes get more crowded, Mass Indie turns toward the middle” for inspiration. Once everything different has been done, the only thing left to do is return to the normal as a statement, by embodying a complete lack of aspiration. “Normcore moves away from coolness that relies on difference to a

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K-HOLE Collective, “Youth Mode,” http://khole.net

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K-HOLE Collective, “Youth Mode,” http://khole.net

post-authenticity coolness that opts in to sameness.”4 Cool is cool, normcore is simply a type of  

cool that relies on a lack of conventional difference. Mass Indie and Normcore, although under operating under similar principles are not to be considered one in the same, instead think of them as this, “Mass Indie is like talking about the dream you had last night, whereas Normcore is like talking about the weather.”5

 

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Why turn to blankness, to sameness, to a post-authentic cool as a way of...
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