Often do I ponder the Nature of Cool. What is cool and why? I’ve come to the conclusion that what conveys cool in humans is confidence, and that confidence can either be authentic or a pose. Cool can be truth or it can be an elaborate front.
Movie stars and rock stars are generally considered cool by those who do not know them personally. From what we see of them, they move with confidence, either on screen or off. Most often, their cool is a product of their performing skills, their marketing, and their existence inside a glowing screen where dreams come true. Most often, however, this is a pose.
Authentic cool is the sort of cool we witness firsthand in people. Regardless of fame or social status, authentically cool people are self-assured and operate with a freedom that most people lack and therefore envy.
I’m always fascinated by fashion models and their variety of cool. One of our clients is a fashion photographer and I was talking to her assistant, who mentioned that listlessness and boredom have been the general tenor of fashion modeling for the last several decades. The Cool of Supermodels is interesting. They look bored because, as the poet Bill Watterson once said, “the world bores you when you’re cool.” Models, of course, are where the science of pose originates. The easiest way to appear confident and cool is to do as little as possible, lest you give away your pose. If you appear bored, an observer will assume that you’ve been somewhere better than the place you’re currently in, and so you devalue your present location. This sets you apart from your environment, as well as the observer. You are transported in the observer’s mind into the realm of the theoretical, the imaginary, perhaps the idealized. We can’t learn anything about a bored model, aside from the fact that he or she looks good. Beyond that, we are met by a wall of mystique. If a model were to appear excited or involved in anything, then we could learn something about him or her, and the mystique would be broken. The School of Boredom in Modeling retains that mystique, and so it is little wonder that it has gripped the fashion industry for so long.
This was much too long. Maybe I’ll make a full-fledged Two-Bit Opinion on it, since I haven’t had one in a dog’s age.
Also, I have a blue toe and a red toe. My guitar tree fell on me Monday night. I think I might have a broken toe. And my Ibanez Universe has a scrape on the back, which is actually more distressing to me.