Siobhan Magnus, American Idol contestant, prides herself on being different. But different from what exactly? Different from me? Sure. Different from the flocks of hipsters and scenesters that reside in Silverlake, Los Angeles (amongst other places). Not so much and yes. All at the same time.
I have a problem with the words "I'm different" being used to describe oneself, because let's face it, we all are. Normality has no defining characteristics and yet many people, myself included, strive to move away from 'normal' as if we know some impossible definition we can oppose to.
I certainly appreciate a definition between mainstream and sub cultures, but in this period of time, what is a sub-culture? Do they even exist any more? Hasn't anything that has enjoyed a modicum of time in the spotlight been grabbed by corporate hands and commercialized? And with the internet being the way it is everything is visible, everything is available for consumption.
The hipster is a prime example. Each one on a singular level prides themselves on being different. Not being mainstream, not fitting in. And yet here you have a large percentage of the worlds youth united in 'not fitting in'. Somehow, not belonging has become mainstream.
I, like many others, like to make fun of hipsters, but the defining characteristics that makes one a 'hipster' are the ideals and lifestyle choices I conform to. I even drink Pabst. On a regular basis. But do I like being labeled? Not one little bit.
But that's the problem. We all strive for originality, when quite simply we're actually all unique. No I'm not about to drone on about how we're all unique butterflies and lah di dah….but we kind of are. You could style two people identically and each one would carry it differently. There's that word again. Different.
My generation grew up with very little originality, from music to fashion, most was influenced by earlier decades of style. Re-interpreted yes, but very little 'brand new' So perhaps that's why we've all ended up not fitting in and yet all belong together. There's too much for us to reference that subcultures disappear and it just becomes a huge culture of 'being different'
Which is perfect.
If, we can do away with the label. Because when 'normal' and 'different' have no definition, why should we?