I saw this woman in Dundas Square a couple days ago and stole a photo because I thought she had such a cool hat. I also had to imagine what I would look like in such a cool hat and realized, I wouldn’t look cool at all. That hat is way cooler than I am but she can pull it off. Then I got thinking about how awful it would be and if I tried to pull off her cool hat just because I thought it was cool. The following is a rant based upon these thoughts:
I have been accused of being a hipster but I know it’s not true. The reason I know it’s not true is because I don’t do things because nobody else is doing them in order to make me cooler than them. The other reason I know it’s nonsense is because the morons who call people hipsters also came up with the idea that real hipsters never admit that they’re hipsters and the test of a good argument is falsifiability.
The way I see it, there are two very bad reasons to dress a certain way. Firstly, because you want to be different from everyone else. There are a lot of people in this world and sometimes people are going to like the same things that you like. Don’t panic. Secondly: because you want to be the same as everyone else. If you see that everyone has something and you want it because they have it then…well, you’re acting like a child. Now I understand all the complex reasons that all girls like Uggs, but the one thing that doesn’t explain it is that they like how they look. That’s just not plausible.
I have been on both sides of this dilemma. I remember being in primary school and the cool kids all had visors (this was probably around the year 2000 when visors were cool). I desperately wanted a visor because the people who seemed to be doing well and had lots of friends had visors. A year later we were on to trucker caps and no one would be caught dead in a visor.
Alternately, when I got my first pair wayfarer glasses I had to order sunglasses and put clear lenses in them. I liked them because they looked like what Elvis Costello wore. Then over the years it became incredibly popular to wear wayfarers with clear lenses. It’s now to the point where you can scarcely get into a line at the grocery store without avoiding the eye-contact of another wayfarer wearer. I will admit, I liked it better when I wasn’t one of a million.
Here’s how it works: trends come like waves. The first people to catch on are hipsters. They follow the trends that no one else follows just to feel special. Then others see it, like it and copy it in order to stay trendy. Eventually the wave crests (wayfarers, uggs, hunter boots, longchamp bags, etc.) That’s when all the people who hate hipsters take on their fashions a year later because they’ve lost their stigma of trendiness. The last people to receive these trends, or those who refuse altogether, accuse the first of being hipsters and the cycle continues. Everyone is on a different point in the wave.
But like Yonge’s famous double-slit experiment, we can make the wave form collapse simply by observing it. A funny thing happens when you quit trying so hard and just wear whatever you like. Everybody looks a little different. And that’s how it ought to be. Wear it because you love it and quit judging other people. If everybody wore the same hat as the lady above then we would all feel like fools.