Cringe Culture

shaylee bahner, staff writer

 “Cringe Culture is a harmful, low-brow form of humor exacerbated by the internet and it’s users hiding behind screens. It involves harassing someone because their happiness or experiences seemingly affect you when they really don’t,” states The Peak. There’s so many things we do in fear of how people will react. We’re afraid of seeming “cringe” so we keep to ourselves, hide our interests, and avoid things we like due to this fear. This all stems from “Cringe Culture” which is when people harass and make fun of others for their interests. Not only is it an excuse to bully but also be blatantly ableist, sexist, homophobic and so on.

Cringe culture is an excuse to poke fun at those in the LGBTQ+ community. People throw around labels as a way to insult others. An example is when those of the male sex are affectionate and show their friends they care, they’re labeled as “gay.” Not only is this toxic masculinity, it’s also homophobic because one’s sexual orientation does not make them “cringe.” Those around you may not feel safe to be themselves which can harm friendships and relationships as a whole.

 “The Austisticats, a blog run by four people with autism, says cringe culture is fundamentally ableist. They highlight an ironic pattern of othering where neurotypical people have repeatedly ostracized, abused and excluded autistic people, thus driving autistic people out of dominating social groups,” The Peak writes. When people don’t automatically fit into the social norms that society expects of them, they’re excluded.  Autistic people may then find safe communities where they can indulge in their interests, until toxic people join these once safe communities and poison them. This process is harmful and even in some cases dangerous.

Finally, cringe culture promotes sexism. Almost anywhere on the internet you can find someone making fun of teen girls and their interests. They are laughed at and ridiculed because they act different than “other girls.” This ultimately puts an extreme amount of pressure on them to fit in and seem normal. However there is no “normal,” just society’s expectations on how everyone should act which is a social construct itself.

I think we all partially partake in cringe culture, whether we mean to or not. However this doesn’t mean you can’t reflect and do better. Hopefully with time and effort, cringe culture will slowly fade away and benefit us all.