Gnarls Narwhal, the mascot for The New School, has come out as non-binary. The plushy narwhal made the announcement in a tweet from the school’s account. Gnarls has also debuted a new look for the school year, now donning glasses and a happier, more self-actualized facial expression.
Attached to the New School’s tweet is a TikTok that tells us, “NEW YEAR… NEW GNARLS.” In the video we see Gnarls bopping around campus with a slight grin, looking absolutely delighted to finally be their true self.
According to The New School, Gnarls is a “social justice advocate” and “the first and only sea mammal to earn a BA/BFA dual degree,” in communication design and environmental studies. They are also a Pisces.
Obviously I am so happy for Gnarls for embracing their gender identity. But there are some parts of this story that just aren’t lining up for me. Gnarls allegedly found The New School after floating down to the Chelsea Piers and encountering a group of dancing students in a class called “Vogue’ology.” After that, Gnarls knew that The New School was the only place for them.
That’s a good story and all, but I heard that Gnarls actually applied to NYU and got waitlisted. They were trying to get into Gallatin to study the meaning of water, but their application essay just wasn’t strong enough. It’s extra embarrassing because Gnarls is an international student (hailing from the sea), and as someone who went to NYU I know that they will admit almost any international student who wants to come and pay the tuition.
Now, going to your second-choice school is by no means embarrassing. What is embarrassing is hanging around your alma mater long after you’ve graduated. Gnarls has two degrees and can’t find a job better than hanging around campus and going to student events? That is both an indictment of the job market and a stain on Gnarls’s character. This is New York City. Go be a barista.