Is there too much necessity to stand out?
An ill-advised cup of late night coffee led me to trawl through the BBC iPlayer site in the early hours. Fatigue induced indifference then led me to watching Snog, Marry, Avoid in its entirety. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the show attempts to “make-under” those addicted to all things fake. I was rewarded with the thrill of witnessing orange drama queens with spidery eye lashes and extensions take on the semblance of normal, and in most cases, rather attractive looking people.
Of course it is not only the young generation. Sat on the tube opposite me the other day, the shaggy haired, long bearded, skull topped, staff carrying, wizard-esque look alike stood out like a sore thumb amongst the grey and black blur of London’s commuters. A definite head-turner (who coincidentally got off at King’s Cross and made my Harry Potter crazed brain go wild!). But what is it that urges some people to slap on layers of make-up and don outrageous outfits? Is it merely a quest for individuality or a rejection of society and all it’s expectations?
…set yourself apart from the hundreds and thousands of other wannabe lawyers/bankers/money makers…
The need to stand out doesn’t limit itself to the aesthetic world either. It’s currently the time of year to start applying for internships and jobs. You have to set yourself apart from the hundreds and thousands of other wannabe lawyers/bankers/money makers. As I see it, these days, unless you’re a super genius who is also an Olympic champion and head of three societies, making a successful application is like getting your soufflé to rise in the MasterChef finals. Of course, this is a serious exaggeration brought out by the pessimist in me, but for all the normal, perfectly hireable, hard-working students, with a string of good achievements but nothing exceptional setting them apart, the process is all the more gruelling.
As a twin, I’ve always been very aware that that was my perceived identity. In fact, to the family and friends that know us both the twins was and still is a label we respond to; something my sister and I feel is true, yet frustrating at the same time. Perhaps because of this, I can relate to those that feel the need to dress and style themselves atypically in order to stand out. We’ve both been through phases where we’ve tried to distinguish ourselves from each other (sometimes regrettably in her case, with the decision to dye her hair red and remove all coloured and non-leather items from her wardrobe). Going to different universities has without a doubt given both of us the chance to be addressed as individuals, yet there is only so much one can rebrand themselves. The twins will always be so, especially on home ground.
…the need to express individuality is a rising trend…
You have the weird, wonderful and the downright bizarre. With trend setters such as Lady Gaga, who definitely fits into the latter category with her fashion (think Kermit the frog dress and meat outfit), the norm is continuously being called into question. Appearance is a major way to express oneself and be creative: to just take control of something. We all do it in some form or another, whether it be through our dressing, writing or in the bedroom (ahem). It may be the case that the need to express individuality is a rising trend, but how boring would life be if there was no chance of stumbling upon Dumbledore’s long lost twin on the Circle line?
Image courtesy of Lady Gaga