How I Accidentally Started Riding the Clout Goggles Trend in 2014

Some weeks ago I made my Twitter profile picture a photo my friend Andrew took of me on our trip to Seattle in 2015.

I brought these glasses on the trip because I wanted to look like Kurt Cobain and try to channel his creative spirit during our journey.

I bought these glasses in 2014 as part of a Halloween costume I was doing as Willy Wonka’s son.

The above photo has been my Goodreads Author profile picture since that same year.

Fast forward to a few days ago and one of my coworkers sends me this meme.

Okay, a reference to the Cobain shades I’m wearing in my Twitter profile picture which I recently made the profile picture for my work email. Fast forward to earlier today and another one of my coworkers references my picture and calls out “Clout Goggles.”

I recognized the use of clout connected to the shades from this meme but I was still lost. Did this have anything to do with Klout? Was this just about clout the term and concept itself? What the hell is going on? I’m feeling lost. Out of the loop. Not in on the joke. I don’t like this feeling. Call it FOMO. Call it Losing My Edge. What is happening? What is this? Why did nobody tell me about this?

While I don’t like the feeling, I love the opportunity to learn something new, especially from people younger and more hip than me. I’m getting exposed, introduced, educated. This is good stuff.

These are apparently now and probably temporarily known as “Clout Goggles” as covered by Jake Woolf for GQ and supposedly coined by Denzel Curry. In addition to outlining how fashion power brokers have posthumously picked apart Cobain’s “look” to sell as new styles for people to wear, he goes on to write:

“In a short amount of time, Clout Goggles has become shorthand for a style favored by fame-hungry rappers and Internet-based “creative” types chasing followers. They’ve become as ubiquitous among a certain subset of stylish guys as souvenir jackets, side-stripe track pants, suede Chelsea boots, and any other number of left-of-center menswear items currently clogging Instagram #influencer feeds.”

Internet-based “creative” types chasing followers. 😭. I almost feel personally attacked with this phrase and strategic deployment of quotation marks. Called out for following a trend I was unaware of even though I’ve technically been ahead of the curve on this one. I’ve now made my “Clout Goggles” picture my profile picture on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and WordPress thus staking my new digital avatar “brand” largely based on these shades which have probably already lost whatever vague relevance they regained before I started writing this post.

No apologies.

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