How Cara Delevingne’s Instagram Changed the English Language Forever

Photos courtesy of Cara Delevingne on Instagram

Get weird with Cara Delevingne’s Instagram

The meaning of words and phrases is changing faster than ever. A generation that learned how to text before learning the “correct” definitions of words has no respect for “official” definitions. And why should they? In 1873, Nietzsche famously philosophized that official definitions distort the nature of things and force people to frame their reality in pre-defined terms. “What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms…metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”

In the early 1900s, Ambrose Bierce, the fiercely independent essayist and satirist, so deeply understood the manipulative power of words and their definitions that he set out to write his own dictionary — The Devil’s Dictionary. His definitions enlightened his contemporaries about the true social, political and economic power of words and their meanings.

Because we believe that the Bierce-ian vibe is alive and well in the digital age, we have set out to compile a Devil’s Digital Dictionary. Here, a definition via the bottom-up approach of researching how words are actually being defined on social media (yup, by spending millions of hours on Instagram and Twitter.)

WEIRD. /wɪərd/. adjective. childishly playful or silly outbursts of emotion or enthusiasm such as making faces, sticking your tongue out, furrowing your brow, and spontaneously dancing.

At one point, “weird” meant really fucking weird. It meant something that seemed almost supernaturally strange, eerie or unnatural. Kevin Spacey in Seven would certainly qualify as weird. Or Kevin Spacey in K-PAX. Or Kevin Spacey in American Beauty – but only after he moved into his own garage.

We’re not trying to suggest that Kevin Spacey has a monopoly on vintage weirdness; we’re just using him to underscore the point that “weird” traditionally meant something “not of this world,” something “Spacey.”

That has changed. Big time. “Weird” now means something more like “childishly playful or silly outbursts of emotion or enthusiasm such as making faces, sticking your tongue out, furrowing your brow and spontaneously dancing.” We totally understand what it’s like to get the urge to make a silly face and rip a selfie with your bestie.

Let’s take the case of the current poster child for weirdness: Cara Delevingne. If it sounds strange to call a top model the “poster child for weirdness,” that’s exactly our point. You’re thinking of vintage weirdness. But she embodies the new sense of the word. She’s the one calling herself weird.

If you don’t check Cara’s Insta every day (like we do), it’s conceivable that you haven’t noticed that her profile states “Embrace Your Weirdness.” And that’s what she believes she’s doing.

So how does Cara Delevingne define “weird”?

Sticking her tongue out and encouraging people to EAT MORE CHIPS:

When in doubt…. EAT MORE CHIPS

A photo posted by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Sticking her tongue out and shaking her head like a dog (in slo-mo):

Rolling her tongue into a cloverleaf in pictures with friends:

All tongue and no cheek @joansmalls @chaosfashiondotcom @fendi_official A photo posted by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Staging bump-ins with model Binx Walton, followed by a silly handshake:

All the time @binxwalton @karllagerfeld @chanelofficial A video posted by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Riding around the supermarket in a handicap cart while making faces:

Cruisin

A video posted by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

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