I saw this car in my neighborhood the other day. It’s a real head-turner, with all of its whimsical flourishes and flair. They don’t make cars like this anymore.
And that’s a shame.
In the 1950s, cars featured all sorts of angles, fins, and bright colors. They were sleek, fun, and bursting with personality.
The Jetsons gave us the wrong impression. Not only do we NOT have flying cars yet, we actually seem to have devolved our automotive design, settling for something that resembles a safe deposit box with the sharp edges sanded down and all the personality of white bread.
Car designs these days are way more homogenized. Instead of standing out, they blend in. If you squint, you can barely tell the difference between a Ford, a Toyota, and a Honda. The top-selling colors are white, black, or some shade of grey.
The practical-minded and Adultitis-riddled among us might argue that the flourishes from 1950s car design are unnecessary. After all, they don’t help improve safety or performance.
Or consider these hot sauce packets from Taco Bell. The message is whimsical, and yet it has no impact whatsoever on the contents of the condiment within. The message doesn’t make the packets easier to open or change the basic function of them in any way. This whimsy appears completely superfluous.
That’s the problem. We’ve devolved to the point where we’ve deemed whimsy as unnecessary.
But we need it more than ever.
We live in a serious world, but we only make matters worse by taking ourselves too seriously.
When I saw that teal beauty in my neighbor’s garage, I smiled. Just like you would if you saw it on the highway.
These smiles, brought to you by whimsy, improve our mood.
Whimsy brings humanity and warmth to an otherwise cold world.
Whimsy helps lighten the load by putting the heavy things we carry into perspective.
Whimsy keeps our brain cells active by bringing playful unpredictability to our day-to-day.
Whimsy taps into something supernatural that uplifts the human spirit.
Whimsy is underrated.
Which is why it’s one of the cornerstones of the Wonder & Whimsy Society we launched this week. Basically it’s a secret society for people who honor their childlike spark and are looking for inspiration, encouragement, and accountability needed to live their best life. It’s not for everyone, but maybe it’s for you?
Whimsy is not the cure to everything that ails us, but it’s hard to argue that we couldn’t use more of it, in our car designs, our product packaging, and in our daily life.
In fact, whimsy is one of the leading antidotes to Adultitis.
So really, when it comes to unnecessary whimsy, there really is no such thing.