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The Straight Edge lifestyle

The Straight edge lifestyle revolves around the idea of living a clean life.


 


This generally means refraining oneself from substances such as alcohol, any form of smoking, and recreational drugs.Some individuals within this subculture take it a step further and refrain from promiscuous sex, caffeine, and prescription medication; others even commit to a vegan lifestyle as well, while also rejecting the use of animal related products. 


 


The band Minor Threat's song "Straight Edge" made the term prominent, popularizing the term amongst those within the punk community. 


 


The choice to become straight edge often comes as a form of rebellion; however oftentime people follow the lifestyle due to having experienced trauma in relation to substance abuse and domestic violence. 


 


In many societies and cultures, addiction and substances are normalized and often praised; sometimes without individuals being aware they are praising addiction. This is a constant thing across social media when people talk about how often they smoke and drink, while showing this constant need for recreational substances.


 


Straight edge advocates will bring up how avoiding such substances help clear out one's mind, emotions and well-being. Breaking free from the chains that substances use to keep people dependent on using them. 


 


The symbol of Straight Edge, the “X”, which is mostly displayed on the back of peoples hands; shows a person has committed to the lifestyle. The birth of this symbol stemmed from underage people’s hands being marked with an “X” to show they are not allowed to purchase alcohol at punk shows.


 



This subculture has made its way into mainstream media, as there are several celebrities who follow the straight edge lifestyle. One such celebrity who has performed advocacy for straight edge in a different way is WWE Superstar CM Punk. In a WWE storyline, CM Punk formed the Straight Edge Society. This faction consisted of a few wrestlers who were all “saved” by CM Punk as he helped them convert into the straight edge lifestyle. 



Punk added his own twist to the lifestyle as he required the people whom he saved from alcoholism to shave their head in order to signify a new beginning. Throughout his run as the “straight edge savior” CM Punk cut several promos explaining the straight edge lifestyle to the fans while also continuing to play his role as a heel (a villainous wrestler). During the likes of this time period, he had feuds with Jeff Hardy, another wrestler who had struggled with alcoholism in real life. 


 


In conclusion, the straight edge lifestyle is a subculture that has its roots in the acceptance of personal responsibility and the rejection of substance misuse. It provides a constructive foundation for people who want to live a tidy, well-rounded, and conscious existence. The straight edge community has drawn criticism for what is seen as its judgmental views and rigidity, yet many people find strength, support, and a sense of purpose there. In the end, the movement keeps developing, adjusting to the shifting punk and hardcore scene while upholding its dedication to a drug-free lifestyle.


















Photo Credits: Straight Edge Left Hand by Iloveread, WWE CM Punk by Robert McGoldrick





Photo Links: Straight Edge Left Hand, WWE CM Punk


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