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Cringe Culture is Dead: And This Song Dances on Its Grave

About two years ago, someone in a Discord server I was in shared a song. It had Fluttershy, a main character from the hit 2010s TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The pony was wearing a Gir hoodie and smugly looking at the viewer while she typed -- or, smashed her hooves-- away on her laptop. It seemed simple and cute enough, I remember thinking, and I had a growing interest in My Little Pony (MLP) that seemed to grow stronger the more this person posted fanart about it on our server. I clicked the YouTube link, and I don’t think I’ve ever been the same since that day.

ANTONYMPH is a song by Vylet Pony, a musician who has created more than their fair share of MLP fan songs on the Internet (besides this one, my personal favorite has to be Bonnie). But this song seems to have broken out of the MLP YouTube music bubble, garnering a total of 1.5 million views, sitting as their second most popular song on the channel (the first song is a Kahoot remix). And honestly, It’s not hard to see why.

ANTONYMPH is not so much a Fluttershy-centric or even MLP-centric song in its premise, but it stands as an anthem to all people, encouraging them to “embrace the cringe.” The song and its visuals are filled to the brim with early 2000s and 2010s nostalgia, such as the fixation with Invader Zim and Hot Topic Gir hoodies, to Nyan Cat and the Awesomeness Face takeover, even down to the famous transition in the popular “Equals 3” series by Ray William Johnson (I never personally watched him as a kid but even I couldn’t escape him from my YouTube recommendations). All of these things and more are considered childish and cringe to most, and these aspects of people have been shunned in fear of becoming ostracized, or even more isolated from their peers than they already are. I know this feeling well, and for a very long time, I did whatever it took to fit in, only indulging myself in the privacy of my own home.

This song took me by the hand and smashed the joyless cycle I had found myself in before I clicked the link. ANTONYMPH is an unabashedly loud and proud wake-up call for all of the people who needed to know that “cringe culture” - the internet mentality that made fun of anything it deemed “weird” or “unnatural” - was made-up and gone, and we always had the freedom to be our true selves and do our own thing. And, as a member of the former Weird Kids Club and current Weird Adults Club, I find myself playing this song a lot these days to remind myself that “cringe culture” really is dead, and I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you so much to Savannah Nagy for creating the graphic for this article! Thank you also to the creator of the fanart used: Rainbow Dash was drawn by Dymitr3 on DeviantArt, and the wonderful sparklecat was drawn by scourge-sympathiser on Tumblr!

Freddie Amos

Hi everyone! My name is Freddie, and I'm a sophomore here at WUSC! I'm majoring in Biochemistry (hard science-y stuff), but I really enjoy engaging in my creative outlets whenever I can!

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