Anyway, I've just started this Mass Media Course, and it got me thinking about how much I hate that society and culture shape what I should wear. My wife and I watch "what not to wear." on a fairly regular basis, and while I have my snobbish/critical side, I hate watching Mrs. Pretty and Popular, class of 77, and her identical male cohort get paid to repeat high school history by snickering at the poorly dressed and clueless subjects of their tv show. It's culture enforced conformity taken to a new level. I have to admit, though they make their subjects look much better when they're done.
So, getting back to my trip to one of the billions of O.C.'s malls, I can't seem to find a store that fits my tastes. There are so many subconcious messages behind what someone wears, and I don't always like the way it "defines" a person. I don't want someone to categorize me by my pants and shoes. Still, I can't help doing it myself, watch:
Dave Matthews/Phish fan and probably a stoner and or frat-jock: shops at Steve & Barry's
Favorite band is My Chemical Romance or Staind: shops at Hot Topic
John Mayer and Jason Mraz on the iPod: go to the Gap. Guess whats new this fall, something Khaki...again!
I also can't stand how men have so very few choices in style. Men's clothes are either too safe for my tastes, or too obnoxious. I am an artist and a rock musician, but I don't want to look a "rockstar." Also, Khaki cargo pants, how the hell are they still cool with anyone not at a Dave Matthew's Band concert!? I was there, back in in 1998, so were my cargoes, Dave played two encores, but unfortunately, so do the pants.
I am also grossed out by American Apparel's neon child porn look. The shirts I make are from AA shirts, but I won't be caught dead wearing a vest and hot pink pants with a polo with popped collar and visor shades. Polo's are for Best Buy, Pizza Hut, and tanning salon employees. I am weary of all the studded belts, skulls, grenades, grenade hearts, grenades made of skeletons, guns, flowery guns, guns with hearts, basically any peice of ammunition combined with anatomy or flowers. I don't want my shirts emboidered with family crests and ivy and lions and bombs. Thats for the Euro 'bags. These are european, or (mostly) american males trying to look european, with pointy-toed boots, tons of jewelry, and a faux hawk full of product. I remember these guys from the highschool football team. They got drunk, stumbled into Metro Park, and haven't found their way out.
There's a great site (and abook) about the cultural phenomenon of "douchebags" and beautiful women. You can see what I mean at http://www.hotchickswithdouchebags.com/ .
I had noticed the sudden surge of these people, but couldn't quite articulate what they were or what it was that I couldn't stand, but the book put it all in perspective:
Greasy foreheads. Spiky frosted hair. Oiled-up faces dripping with Tag Body Shot spray. Armani Exchange T-shirts and rank cologne wafting off their backs like fetid pollen clouds as they pump their fists and attempt to grind into any hotties nearby. Young beauties oblivious to the hulking monstrosity clutching at their butts like snapping turtles on Red Bull.
From sea to douchey sea, ours is a culture plagued by this festering blight. By the dark forces of über-douchebaggery.