When brains become gains

Ever heard the phrase ‘brains over beauty’? Rubbish. Brains ARE beauty. Let me go on…

When I was at school, which seems like only a few years ago (HA! Wishful thinking sat here all 27 years young) books were. Not. Cool. Reading? Who did that?! My year group were allll about the sports. And this was before people wore active wear for fun (cue annoying but funny YouTube video going off in mind). 

Well, I couldnt exactly score a goal when I was snail-pace slow and the netball goals loomed over my tiny self like skyscrapers of fear, mocking me and my inability to throw a ball. 

But reading… Now that is something I was good at, I’m fairly certain I came out the womb with a reading age of 15, and boy did I embrace this skill.

Reading is good for your brain, that’s a scientific fact. But it’s only as I’ve got older that I can see literature getting the respect it deserves.

I have two degrees relating to English so it’s fair to say I love books and stories and poems and writing and just, you know, words… But why doesn’t everyone?! My flaw is not understanding this. I look at teenagers with their thumbs working non-stop on their phones and their attention spans less than those of a gold fish… But work your way up the years and I see a different world. Intelligence is on the up and having a brain really does seem to be the IT accessory, it is truly considered to be beautiful. And boy do I wish I could tell my 13 year old self that. 

Museums, galleries, festivals such as Hay, Cheltenham Literature and Science Festivals, they’re all held in such high esteem and I remember the Cheltenham Literature festival teeming with the young when I went to various events last October. These events are actually deemed as being ‘cool’, except of course no one who is truly ‘cool’ would ever use the word ‘cool’… Anyway, books and learning are in and I couldn’t be more pleased. 

But why? Is this really something that’s on the up or has it always been this way? Is something changing in our society to shift the ideals and ambitions of the young? Perhaps it is just an age thing, and once you stop obsessing over school crushes puberty leaves you with breasts or facial hair and you can actually begin life, and discover the importance of escapism and exercising your mind. 

There is another option, of course. Could it have a little something to do with the rise in ‘clever celebs’? Super model Karlie Kloss learning code, Emily Ratajowksi writing essays, Emma Watson speaking out as an ambassador for the UN, actors and singers alike using social media to express political sidings, and the likes of Amy Schumer simply being witty and hilarious, young and famous names throwing feminism into a stratosphere of acceptance. These guys must be having some kind of impact on our society today, and we can only hope that filters through to more of the teenagers of the world, who are filled with self doubt and hormones, confusion and dramatics.

If in doubt we can always hope they one day get lost looking for fidget spinnersand find themselves in the ‘buy one get one half price’ section of Waterstones, I know that’s where I’ll be. 


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