There is something I have always found as I've grown older, hopefully wiser and certainly more sarcastic and that is when your a teenager you try and find your 'hook'. In an age where popularity rules and those around you will do anything for attention you want to stand out. Mine was a comfy, well worn Hat.
Now this hat changed shape, colour and style over the years to feature alongside the differences in personality I had or the fashion at the time and I distinctly remeber feeling as if I stood out. It also occured to me others did much the same though perhaps to a more drastic scale, Goths, for example where all the 'rage' when I was impressionable. You couldnt walk into a shopping center without the dark spots of hapless youth, marked up with eyeliner and looking dissaprovingly at the world as if it had done them wrong.
Of course kids these days diversify; Chavs, Emos, Scene kids, Metallers, Trendies, Indies, Plastics, there seems to be a new fad every season to further tribalise and standardize the next generation of tax payers but where does it stop?
I certainly wasnt immune to such things and even with University carried on trying to keep that hook, that sole idea of individuality that it almost seems ludicrous.
Quite recently I have had a change of heart, I find myself doing things I never thought I would do and things my sixteen year old self would loathe and detest.
For a start I cut my hair, for years I kept it long or 'alternative' in some form, going so far as to dye it various colours to 'express myself' but now a little later on in life and I find the process of drying, straightening and looking after my hair too much hassle when I could simply get a electric shaver and number two the lot (In a fashionable way of course) then muck about with it as it grows longer. A few years ago this would have been blastphemy! now its simply just a means to an end.
Shorts is also something recent that wouldnt have happened before unless in the height of summer but looking back I used to wear bastard shirts of the most electric colours possible and thought I looked cool, I think god will forgive me if I get a little trendy. The real reason behind this is not so much trying to fit in or stand out but to blend in with society much as one would wear a suit to work if need be, perhaps rather than visually dramatic, individuality is something expressed by our personalities which are honed by our experiences with other people and interests.
It could be said its an age thing but then I know people my age and older who havent ever grown out of thier 'hooks' Quite often becoming two dimension characatures of their true selves, larger than life and to some, living in denial.
I wouldnt call these people sad because they are happy but one does wonder if there is a certain level of ignorance or clinging onto childish rebellion involved.
Rebellion is certainly for the youth but do they nessicarily go the right way about it? Are they only further solidifying in our minds thier inability to function in the real world by becoming tribal and dressing the same?
Isnt this where stereotypes come from at the end of the day.