Llast week i spent some time recording an audiobook version of these chronicles (cough, october release, cough). One thing I noticed was how many times I bragged about 2000s girl group Girls Aloud.

Music is one area where self-styled gatekeepers decide what’s cool and what isn’t. Pop music is rarely in the cool camp. I like a lot of artists and genres; some would be considered cool, a number equal very few. One of the best things about getting older is leaving behind that teenage preoccupation with enjoying things that aren’t considered cool or “basic.”

I read Pitchfork and listen to obscure mixes, worship Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar, and despair of MOR rock, or “indie dump”, but I haven’t given up on boys with guitars when the times are on. has evolved. I didn’t give up on R&B when its domination of the charts ended. And although some insist on putting Adele under the supermarket music category, I think she is fabulous.

Everyone knows the boring fans who insist they liked an act “before it got mainstream”. And the moaners who say that an artist has “sold” if they happen to change their style of music from one record to another.

It’s not all music either. Last month the Guardian ran a great article on Gen Z fashion vs. millennial style. I’m slap-bang in the middle of this latest cohort. At first I was embarrassed that every piece of clothing in the late teens group made me pee nicely, I own it. Oh my God, I’m wearing pastel shorts with a plain T-shirt. Oh my god, I still use the cry-laugh emoji which I’m reliably informed is as far from cool as the equator.

Then I realized that maybe I’ll never be cool again. Maybe I’m going for the base centrist. Maybe I’ll never be photographed for a street style blog. And maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe I’ll stop living in fear of accidentally switching my Spotify account to share. I will happily mingle with the hordes at successful art exhibitions.

Granted, there are things that are hugely popular that I hate. But it seems strange to me that someone could consider not liking something popular as a badge of honor. I don’t watch reality TV and the popularity of Love Island depresses me slightly. But the fact that it brings a lot of joy to people is surely something to celebrate.

I once asked a friend if she was cool at school. “I never thought about it. So I guess so, ”she replied. A perfect summary.

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