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Commentary: Know your ‘bro’

Photo courtesy of MCT

Adorned in knee-high khaki shorts without pockets, a backwards, non-fitted hat, Sperry’s and anything Polo Ralph Lauren, a bro can be found on nearly every block of campus. With such chill attire saturating the Columbus area, it’s safe to say the “bro” phenomenon is in full force at Ohio State.

The bro culture might seem new to some, but the roots of “bro-dom” can be traced back before 2011, and it has evolved remarkably. Though the bro code seems fairly established now, it was not always this way. In the ‘80s, beach bum bros dominated the California surf scene with glazed eyes, no shirt, board shorts and a cheese pizza. In the ‘90s, the bro went grunge, sporting an open flannel, baggy jeans, listening to Hootie and the Blowfish on repeat and yet again, the bros tended to be potheads.

Leap ahead to year 2006, when Derrick Comedy presented “Bro Rape,” a mock documentary in which bros were depicted as quite the unique species. Bros wore a Polo with the collar popped (note that the Ralph Lauren look still survives), Birkenstock sandals and an upside-down, backwards visor.

Derrick Comedy was kind enough to delve into the deeper intricacies of bro behavior at the time. Bros lure other potential bros in with GameCube, Natural Ice beer, ultimate Frisbee, Axe body spray and Jack Johnson albums. Other musical tastes included Incubus and Dave Matthews Band.

Fast forward to 2011 and some elements of your 2006 bro crowd still exists.

It appears that Ralph Lauren will continue to be the primary sponsor of bros everywhere and ultimate Frisbee will dominate “the Broval” on sunny days for years to come.

Fascinating yet, is how quickly bro behavior has evolved. Gone are the backwards visors, Birkenstock sandals and GameCube. The bros also appear to have cleaned up their heavy marijuana usage, as being a stoner is no longer a prerequisite to becoming a bro.

When factoring in how bro has turned into phrases and vocabulary, a “brocabulary” if you will, a new layer of intrigue emerges.

Now your vice president is “Bro” Biden. Your favorite Reds baseball player is “Broey” Votto. You can join, or dissent to, the celebration of the death of “Brosama” bin Laden. If you want to get even more controversial, you can debate the decision in “Bro” v. Wade.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless and it doesn’t appear to be losing “bromentum.”

Although I thought I was the originator of the word “bromentum,” Urban Dictionary already defines it as such: “The driving force among a group of friends (bros) during a night of partying. As more ‘bros’ decide to party, the group gains bromentum.”

A note of caution: Being in a fraternity does not mean you are automatically qualified to be a bro. While it increases your chances significantly, you still have to go the extra mile.

Has reading this in-depth review left you scrambling to find a pen and paper to sign up to be a bro? No worries. Just strictly adhere to the principles and dress code of the 2011 bro and you, my friend, are ready to bro.

But be warned: We all have a little bit of bro in us, so you cannot go halfway.

Bro hard or bro home.

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