Ad is loading...

How Kind Became The New Cool

© Shutterstock

Long the preserve of put-downs, turn-offs and the trait your granny tells you is important in a partner, ‘kind’ has become the buzz word of summer 2018. Of course, The Waistcoated One is the personification of cool kindness, but England manager Gareth Southgate isn’t the only one leading the charge.

Culturally, we’re at the heart of a revolution. While thousands of us turned off The Handmaid’s Tale (too brutal), Queer Eye is 2018’s breakout TV success, and was last week nominated for four Emmys. It’s a show centred on kind (and never bitchy) men, helping everyday men shine after they’ve become victims of bad circumstances – or grooming.

We’ve also unexpectedly fallen under the spell of BBC Two comedy Gone Fishing, where amiable, middle-aged comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse chat on very green country riverbanks. Meanwhile, anything with ‘Great British’ in the title continues to thrive, whether it’s baking, pottery or painting.

Meanwhile, podcasts such as Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place top the charts. And we’re all eagerly awaiting the Christmas return of the original master of stern kindness, Mary Poppins – Emily Blunt’s filmic take on the nanny.

Then, over on Love Island, the nation has become smitten with Jack and Dani’s ‘nice’ relationship, but despair of Dr Alex’s protestations that he’s ‘one of the nice guys’ – when he clearly isn’t. Off-screen, the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations were heartwarming and misty-eyed. Pride month continues to joyfully celebrate the power of accepting that love is love. Then there was the brave selflessness of the volunteer divers who rescued the Thai boys’ football team from flooded caves last week – and captured the world’s heart.

A sure sign that kindness is cool? Brands have jumped on-board – Skinny Dip London has launched an Instagram account, @hatesucks, full of niceties. Meanwhile, Shahroo Izadi, author of The Kindness Method, is one of many writers releasing books on kindness this summer. She says our craving for kind makes sense. ‘In the face of societal division, more people are finding comfort in the universal ways we are similar. Practising kindness is an indisputably positive thing. With so many people affected by stress, anxiety and addiction, there’s more acknowledgement we’re all fighting (often invisible) battles and kindness and compassion can make it that little bit more bearable.’

Dr David Hamilton, author of Why Kindness Is Good For You, tells Grazia, ‘We subconsciously know we need to balance unkindness with kindness. I think we intuitively understand that kindness is a solution to many problems.’ Including, it seems, the state of the world.

‘The key characteristic to 2018’s kindness is that it’s genuine,’ he says. ‘It’s also why it feels so good.’

Long may the kindness revolution creep up on us – just like the realisation that you’ve unexpectedly fallen in love with a Mr Nice from Tinder, started crushing on Gareth Southgate or that your granny was right all along.

Look back at the unexpected winners of the 2018 World Cup in the gallery below...