Do you ever wonder where trends come from, in the time between their nonexistence and when every other person is trying it out for themselves? Occasionally you can catch a glimpse of the start of something that becomes popular- think of elementary school when that first kid in your class came back from a hot vacay wearing braids with beads at the end, and then every kid after that came back with braids and beads. But generally, by the time a fad is noticed, it’s because every person and their neighbor are doing it.
I think people are really hard on others for “copying” style when in reality unless you handmade everything you wear while also never looking at another person at all, there’s a good chance you were inspired by someone else. And that’s not a bad thing. Trends become popular because they provide safety for people who want to be accepted- they see the positive feedback of others trying something, so they try it themselves. For others who may consider themselves leaders of the pack, it gives them the opportunity to run with the idea and try to tweak it and make it their own.
I used to get my hair hi-lighted with blonde streaks because my natural color is a dark blonde (a little known fact about me is that I despise getting my hair done. Being stuck somewhere for several hours while they pull at my hair which gets super tangly when wet is just not enjoyable for me even though I love my stylist dearly and enjoy having time to catch up). After a while, I let my hair grow out and it turned into a natural ombré. This was around the time that ombré hair became popular, and without even participating in the trend, I was receiving compliments and inquiries as to where I got my hair done because it turned into a huge thing. It actually felt quite good to have my laziness and dislike for the whole process accepted by like, everyone, and never once was I accused of being a copycat or unoriginal for having my hair colored in the most popular style of 2015. I was comfortable being a follower, not a leader.
On the other hand, I do think it’s important for people to keep some individuality when it comes to following trends. Just because it becomes popular, does not make it a good reason to be gung-ho. Some of the biggest trends that got me confused included:
– the torn-up hard rock band tees, that only seemed to be a hit with girls who listened to Hollywood top 20 and hip hop music
– the transparent plastic heel that literally got foggy from foot sweat (uncomfortable and impractical)
– being vegan because it’s ‘cool’ but still wearing skins/furs/products of child labor
– showing off your calvins or any other underwear sticking out of your jeans pretty much just to show you’re willing to spend $30 on a pair of undies (I have some, I bought them at Costco, I wear them all the time. They just don’t stick out of my jeans the way gangsta high school kids from the suburbs show off plaid boxers)
I definitely am susceptible to being a copy cat at times, especially because I find a lot of inspiration on Instagram. Fluffy slide sandals? Choker necklaces? Sneakers paired with a dress? I’m hooked. And I’m not embarrassed! I think it’s so important to stay true to who you are and if that means looking like 10 other white girls in Uggs in line at Starbucks because Uggs are warm AF in the winter, then go for it!
I recently got a new prescription for eyeglasses and decided to check out Zenni Optical, which I highly suggest if you like to have variety in your frames because they’re so affordable. Since I don’t often wear contacts, I decided to try out a pair of glasses with their clip on lenses to have a pair of prescription sunglasses, and got caught floating down Fad River. I bought myself a pair of grandpa specs, thinking they’d make great aviator sunglasses, but also because I had a love/hate thing going on every time I saw a girl wearing them on Instagram. If you don’t know what kind of glasses I’m talking about, here I am giving them a try:
When I tried them on, I immediately realized the importance of staying true to myself. I felt goofy, because prior to these glasses becoming huge on the ‘gram, I would never have considered them for myself. In fact when I showed my grandpa at the time I bought them, he thought I had stolen his. There’s a part of me that loves these now solely for that reason and I intend to take them with me along with my grandpa’s favorite hat when I find my way back to his home in Poland sometime this year. Other than that, I fell victim to the trap that is trying to look like every other girl on Instagram. Again, a follower not a leader, but this time it made me uncomfortable.
If I can give you my two cents, which I guess if you made it reading this far you’re allowing me to do, I would just suggest that before you follow a trend, you should ask yourself this: if I were the only person to wear this, would I still like it? If I stood alone would I stand proud? As long as you answer yes to those questions, I think it’s safe to say you should rock whatever you want to wear. With that being said, can we please try to stop the squiggly eyebrow from going viral?