Narcisstalgia: Grade School Journals, The Fetishism of 90′s Culture and My Bachelor of Rhymes
If there’s anything we millennials love more than ourselves, it’s our former selves — those 90′s kids who now hang out in frames around our parents’ homes dressed like modern-day hipsters, watching Disney movies on VHS with our siblings unironically…
One need look no further than their own iPhone screen over the holiday season to find evidence of this nostalgic self-glorification in spizzADES.
Seriously — to scroll through my Instagram feed right now, you’d think that most of my friends are either between the ages of one and seven or have kids between the ages of one and seven — equally disturbing scenarios imho, and it’s hard to tell which is which with the Nashville filter et al.
I’ve come up with a term for this phenomenon: Narcisstalgia.
Narcisstalgia (när-siz–STAL-jee-uh): A portmonteau of the words “Narcissism“ and “Nostalgia” that refers to a sentimental and inordinate fascination with one’s younger self, typically exemplified in photos of old photos that are re-posted to social networks like Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram.
Most often observed among North American humans born between 1982 and 2000 (give or take.)
See also: Nostalgiaporn (The resurgence of popularity in culture tropes from the early to mid 1990′s like Nintendo, Lisa Frank and Pokémon.)
I’ve already submitted both Narcisstalgia and Nostalgiaporn (which I’ve been using for years) to UrbanDictionary, so don’t even.
Many have written about why this whole 90′s pop culture revival thing is happening (faster, stronger and harder than any nostalgic decade trend before it — thanks Tumblr!) but that subject is more complicated than I have the time to write an essay about write now. This NY Times piece is great.
Narcisstaglia is basically the coalescence of these two phenomenon — a fondness for the comfort of our younger days met with a culturally-bred obsession with “sharing” just about everything online. LOOK AT ME!
LOOK AT FUNNY LITTLE ME! LOOK AT MY OLD TOYS, TOO!
Here’s my theory for why digital evidence of Narcisstalgia tends to surge around Christmas:
As the twenty-something city transplants return home to the small, bodunk towns in which we were raised and the boredom of pretty much everything outside our parents’ home sets in, we set off around the house in search of our past 00 More specifically, photographic evidence of the cute things we did / wore / wrote / coloured / pooped in our past.
Look! Here’s me as a baby with my grandma!
Here’s my old Brownie sash! Man, I scored a lot of badges…
I was the kindergarten delegate of the CHATHAM-WIDE Young Author’s Conference in 1990, where I produced this masterpiece about fossils. My i’s looked like P’s. So gifted.
Look at all of my awards!
Those are actually my little brother’s sporting trophies. I was too busy riding my SWEET BIKE and MEETING WHOOPI GOLDBERG IN MY HEAD to be good at sports…
This practice is rampant around the web. Heck, Buzzfeed has dedicated an entire subsection of their site to nostalgia — they’ve even got a “Show and Tell” contest going on right now that encourages readers to send in their own works of found-in-the-attic-kindergarten art. Clever, Buzzfeed. Clever.
I’ve come to realize, in reading through these types of posts though, that narcisstalgic material is really only interesting to those who created it way back when.
I mean, I couldn’t even get my parents interested in half of the things THEY saved of mine from elementary school over the holidays when I dredged it all up from the basement last week.
Maybe you’ll find my Grade 1 and Grade 2 journals entertaining. Maybe not, but it’s worth me putting them on my blog anyway because as recent history shows, I’ll likely look back at this post in another 20 years and feel all proud and warm inside. “Aw… 27-year-old Lauren was so cute with her stupid little blog…”
The first half of Grade 3 (before my camera battery died.)
That’s enough of that.
I’m home in Toronto now and ready to get back to my real, contemporary life.
So far it’s been 100% work and sleep and more work and more sleep in the two days I’ve been back. I slept for 14 hours last night alone — YAY WINTER.
NYE is on the way, however, and I’m ready to throw down hard into 2013. A “Best of 2012” post is imminent (late, probably, because that’s the theme of my life,) But first, LOOK AT 4-YEAR-OLD ME DRESSED LIKE A NURSE!
That was before I realized how difficult and terrifying being a nurse is. Not to say that my job isn’t kind of scary sometimes too…
What? Llamas are scary to some people. They spit or something right?