*this post is written in honor of the shameless 14 year old fangirls dressed as Harley Quinn that I served the day of the premiere*
I am currently drinking a Starbs cold brew iced coffee and eating Hippeas organic chickpea puffs in vegan white cheddar flavor. My most listened to playlist is called “Champagne Problems” and is primarily Nick Jonas and old Britney Spears. I still wear the outfits dictated to me from when I worked at Hollister in 2012. And do you know what else? Despite the terrible reviews and without any prior knowledge or white-male-entitled agenda, I went to the midnight premiere of Suicide Squad (2016) and I lived for it. What I’m saying is that at this point in my life, I’m really here for liking things that everyone loves/loves to hate.
Have you noticed, maybe even taken part in this tendency? When we’re younger, we desperately want to be cool and fit in. We still do as we get older, but now that coolness must be caused from a thoughtfully cultivated effortlessness. Cool in spite of popular opinion is key. “We are above trends!” the boys with tattoo sleeves and parted hair and mountain beards shout to the heaven in a sweet vape smoke cloud. “We are individuals!” say troves of girls in messy french braids, high neck crop tops, and overlined lips, tapping their talon-like nails on their rose gold iPhone 6s. This just in: Trendy is out and ashamed, defensive anti-in is in. Dress and act and be as in as possible, but you must have also earned the right to take part in this trend. Some options include picking up popular slang, style, even dance moves “ironically” (which inevitably leads to the seamless immersion into the very core of your lifestyle and everything that you hold dear), complete obliteration of anyone who likes something other than said trendy thing, or having justifiable belief that your interest in said trendy thing is somehow better and more authentic than the general public (i.e. liking it before it was cool). For example, don’t even think about praising Margot Robbie’s performance unless you have been a comic fan from the womb, first swaddled in a newborn sized Harley Quinn onesie. And really, even if that does describe you, you won’t dare to post about it on social media, lest facing the risk of looking like a bandwagoning basic.
I get it. I do. Becoming an archetype of a person is hard work, and maintaining an aloof skepticism of all things liked is practically an art form by now. In the immortal words of my Shakespeare professor, “There’s a word for liking everything and that word is tasteless.” Smart people just don’t like everything*. Why not show how smart you are by liking nothing? Future you will thank your apathy for the wrinkle-free face that comes with your emotionless lifestyle! Your friends will love your long, informative explanations of why you are entitled to enjoy the few things you choose to endorse. Just make sure in these explanations that you are certain you have the strongest knowledge base before delivering your thesis driven argument of self-indulgent observations (powerpoint not required, but welcomed). Savor those moments. Let them make you feel alive.
Meanwhile I, a spectator with no previous knowledge of Marvel comics but a newfound interest, went forth into the theatre with no expectations other than I hoped I would like it. And guess what? I did! And with nothing to go off but this movie, I think Harley Quinn is a very interesting character that I would like to know more about! I am a newfound fangirl, not on a quest for attention but following a polite new interest, and I appreciate your support.
Food for thought: Do movies with primarily strong male leads have to fight this hard for justification?
*Starred to note that there is one part of this satirical post that I do tend to agree with.