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Super Everything

What is it with Super? – Why is just about Everything prefixed by the Word Super?

It’s as though nothing simply ordinary is good enough anymore …The volume is pumped up so high it seems like there’s no going back to regular anything

Supersonic, Supercharged, Superstar, Superpowers, Superhuman! 

Enter the Superhero. Superheroes; a term coined in 1917 when the old folk stories such as Robin Hood and the classic The Scarlet Pimpernel, then The Legend of Zorro become popular.  This trend took off thanks to the 30’s comic books, and Hollywood as we embraced men in masks and tights on a new level.  The cinema allowed these characters to become larger than life and heroes had some kind of outfit that made them stand out and as they fought villains, and the concept developed, so did their powers and those of the villains they fought. Villains became Supervillains and so it goes.

Is it the Powers and Glory that are so attractive….Or our desire to Save the World? I checked the definition of “superhero” and it’s “a figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime”. The  

Personally, I blame Mary Poppins, herself something of a Super Nanny!
What was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious about anyway? It’s a nonsense word made famous from a song of the same name in the 1964 Mary Poppins film. It has an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary: A nonsense word, originally used esp. by children, and typically expressing excited approbation: fantastic, fabulous. 
One up from being a waitress, the models; pretty girls who rocked the latest looks in the salons and fashion houses. It was thanks to The Shrimp, Jean Shrimpton in the 50’s, Twiggy, the iconic “Twig the Wonder Kid” in the sixties. Suddenly being a model gained fame with the fashion photographers, calling the shots; David Bailey and Irving Penn amongst others.

The fashion bomb went off in the 80’s, the Supermodel was born.

The word supermodel was first coined in 1981 by artist Henry Stacy Marks in an interview with The Strand Magazine. Fame and salaries skyrocketed for Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and hundreds more now follow.  The word would be adopted everywhere to describe a seemingly different species of Homo sapien, one so tall, so perfectly formed, effortlessly chic that it’s hard to believe they’re part of the same race as people like us. But we so want to be like them, that the makeup and beauty business is one of the most lucrative to be in.

They are stars. Not just any old star but Superstars!

This term is reserved for the likes of rock dignitaries and dinosaurs such as The Rolling Stones, legends like Rihanna and beauties like Beyonce but also any star who enjoys elevated star status, awards, massive earnings, can fill arenas and manages to maintain that position.

Then there are the Super Rich.

The Super Rich are getting super-richer! Onwards and upwards, no longer satisfied with millions we have multi-billionaires, those who have so much money it’s ridiculous. We have Supercomputers that have computed pi to more than a trillion decimal places, and Supercars that go epically fast and look amazing.

Life in the fast lane indeed. Is it maybe due to the fact that the earth itself is turning faster than before, everyone seems to feel this acceleration, there are not enough hours in the day to do all we are expected to do?

The Supermums who had to bring up kids, run the home, carve a career, cook and keep the family happy!!! can I do this I hear you cry? Most people can’t, they are stressed to the max relying on stimulants, therapy, drugs and holidays to survive, sleep all weekend, party harder to ease the pressure in the short term, then crumble under the strain, get really sick and die.

There is a massive need to find a way to relax and let go and that paradoxically is in my experience how we can speed up. It seems as if we are required to upgrade and to become some kind of above human. When we get more energy we are able to do more, look better and become more successful…maybe it’s time to Super Relax! 

This seems to me to be an evolutionary requirement, a natural progression and society is responding by creating Super Everything and ordinary is becoming obsolete.

Also published on Medium.

Fiona McLoughlin

Editor in chief, founder of clothes design studio Global Gypsy, lifestyle designer and mindfulness expert.

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