I’m a Poser
Crap. I should be sleeping right now. I have to go learn how to properly clean empty apartments tomorrow, which means I have to actually wake up before noon. But, in my habitual random-guestbook-signage, I ran into the same rant, twice. Three times, actually, if you count someone quoting the tail end of it. Here is the original post. For reference, here’s the part that got to me:
I’ve come to realise that the quality, if it can be called that, I deplore most in others is not conformity, but fakery. Your typical ‘conformist’ might eat in McDonalds, wear Nike trainers and listen to bubblegum pop, but at least he or she is not pretending to be anything other than what they are. Then you have the people who are exactly the same as that, but choose to adopt an ‘alternative’ image in order to demonstrate that they are somehow ‘better’ than those around them. Superior in some way. People who want the best of both worlds; to be simultaneously trendy and subversive. To be a rock guru, but still look and act like a teenybopper. To be against capitalism, but still able to wear their favourite designer labels. To be one thing when it’s convenient, and to set this image aside when it’s not. … … … …
Why do people feel they have to brand themselves with stock labels? Why can’t they just be what they really are?
Now for the bold-faced manifesto: you don’t always have to be yourself, or even know who you are. What really caught me about all of her examples of fakery, was that they could be easily placed into a context of personal growth. A teenybopper who’s starting to get into alternative music, and prattles to all her friends about it. Someone just starting to think about the downsides of capitalism, who doesn’t know exactly how his/her own habits contribute to the system, or how to change them. Eventually, they might change their views to resolve whatever cognitive dissonance they find. Or they might revert back to straight-shot conformity. Either way, they’ve had the chance to explore something new, and that’s a Good Thing.
Case in point: my own brief fling with designer jeans. This was going from relative innocence (I was in grade school at the time) to conformity, to apathy, but the principles are basically the same. I wanted to wear designer jeans because I thought it would make me look cool, and be superior in some way, and maybe more kids would like me. You know. So I did my damndest to dress all trendy, while still being able to snap back to Fashionless Egghead whenever it was convenient. Hells yeah, I was faking it. The phase lasted for almost two years, but I never really got used to it, and eventually realized that it just wasn’t me. But, in the process I learned a couple things about wearing clothes that actually match. Multiple lessons learned, end of story. The moral: sometimes you just have to try an image on, walk around in it for a while, and see if it fits.
That’s it. No more reading blogs at bedtime. This is ridiculous. If I read it over tomorrow and still agree with anything I said, and can remember what I meant by it, I might try and clarify some. Good night.