Monday, 3 February 2014

People are strange

     I am frequently told that I am a bit ‘weird’. I really don’t think I am, but apparently this is how people see me. Meh. I’m not really bothered. What does bother me is people trying to be weird.

     I see it all the time. People on facebook, twitter, in real life, trying so hard to be thought of as ‘zany’ or ‘wacky’. And it really fucks me right off. Especially when you know that they really aren’t all that weird, they just think it’s cool to be thought of as being a bit different.

     Example: Posting about ‘Ooh, I’m wearing this really quirky skirt today!’. They are usually then witless enough to post a photo of themselves taken by some poor, longsuffering other half, of the writer posing moodily against a tree, holding out the hem of their skirt. And just at a glance you can see it’s from fucking Dorothy Perkins, so really couldn’t be much more mumsy and mainstream if it tried. I have nothing against mumsy and mainstream if that’s what floats your boat, but don’t try to claim to be a one off when you’re not.

     Example: ‘I love my Cath Kidston flower bag! Does that make me a bit strange? Oh well!’ Here’s a clue: Cath Kidston has infected the nation with girly wirly cutesiness. She has catalogues and shops. An actual abomination of a shop near the castle in Norwich (The Boy shouts MURRRRDARRR at it when he sees it, his mother’s heart bursts with pride). It’s not odd for people to like her stuff. In some places, including the school playground, not liking Cath Kidston is a bit odd. Again, if you like Cath Kidston, that’s fine. But don’t try claim to be a bit strange when you’re not.

     Example: People who make a statement and then say ‘But that’s just me. I’m just a bit odd!’ No you’re not. You’re really not. You want to be thought of as weird and interesting, so you’re throwing the thought out there, hoping to get a clamour of voices piping up to confirm that yes, you’re so unusual, you’re so different, gosh, you’re even a bit weird! If you are a bit odd, that’s fine. But don’t try to claim oddness for yourself. Other people will assign whether you are different to the norm or not.

     Boden really, really gets on my wick. It’s not just the stupid pissing questions for the models (seriously, who gives a gnat’s chuff about what Selena likes to wear in bed?), or the aspirational sodding lifestyle portrayed, it’s the stupid fucking names. A dress doesn’t suddenly become quirky because you call it ‘Ella’s Sunny Day Dress’. It’s bloody mass-produced, therefore it cannot be fucking quirky, or kooky. It’s made by the thousands and worn all over the UK by women who like to think they’re a bit different. Like an army of clones in some places (hint, try the school playground and North Norfolk at weekends). It’s personality and character for people with neither, who lack the clarity of thought to realise that personal kinks and ticks are personal, not something you can buy via a ‘Flippy Flower Skirt’. It’s desperately dull, and screams try-hard. You can’t pick up a personality from a company who are exploiting your insecurity about just how dull and bland you actually are.

     Manufactured quirkiness really, really narks me right off, in case you hadn’t noticed. There is a person I know who deliberately tries to cultivate an aura of eccentricity and kookiness. The type of person who would wear their hair in a ponytail, then deliberately ram a pencil into it, hoping that people would notice and ask her about it. She would then feign surprise and say ‘Oh! I’m just so scatty! But then, I am a bit odd.’ Yes, she is that contrived, truly. And it really, really, really winds me up. Why would you want to be thought of as weird? I just don’t get it! If you are weird, then just BE weird. It’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of weirdness, apart from THAT thing. Y’know. Yeah, THAT. We all have our weirdnesses, it's what makes us who are.

     Individuality isn’t a commodity, it’s not something that can be applied and instantly make someone a more interesting person to be around. It comes from the little things, the tiny fragments that make up a person. We all have our little idiosyncracies, it’s just that some people are more comfortable with being honest about them. Trying to adopt the habits or style of someone you perceive to be ‘weird’ is only covering up your real personality, which is almost certainly as weird and wonderful as the next person. So stop it. Stop it now. Or prepare to be outweirded. Yes, I just WENT there.


Anonymous said...

I get your point about people claiming to be 'wacky', etc. to maybe make themselves more interesting but why pick on people just because they like to buy a certain brand. Maybe I choose something from Boden just because I am adult enough to recognise something I like and buy it without feeling like I am buying into a lifestyle or conversely worrying that people like you will think I am.

Lucy Benedict said...

Sorry you thought I was having a pop at you personally - it was more about how Boden markets it's clothes as being quirky and different, and how often people buy into that ethos. If you like Boden, that's fine. I don't (obviously ;) ).

Daniel Sidrat said...

Choosing clothing to make a statement is one thing, trying to buy off the rack and calling it individual is the antithesis.

At least tattoos can be personal if it's your own design that has meaning, significant or otherwise, to the wearer of the tattoo.

'Be yourself, everyone else is taken' Oscar Wilde