Today I'd like to address a point that is hurting not only the fashion industry, but the lives of people every day. I have a close friend that I've been friends with for years, but it struck me the other day how little I really knew her. People these days have started losing more and more of their individuality, and it made me realize how you can be such good friends with someone and not know who they really are because they're a reflection of everyone that they come in contact with.
"It is better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation"
- Herman Melville
I'd like to begin with discussing when people start changing their personal style to "fit in". You know these people. They want to borrow your clothing CONSTANTLY, just happen to dye their hair the same color as yours the week after you get yours done, start shopping the same places you do, go out and buy all of your clothes, and basically just take over your style. It's not just that these people are taking fitting in way too far, it's that they lose their own sense of style along the way.
"They can imitate your style, but they can't imitate your creativity"
Fashion isn't the only area of our lives that can be imitated by others. I remember an instance last year when I wore a Def Leppard shirt to school, and a friend (we'll call her Jane) asked who they were. Jane had no idea who the band was. The next week, she wanted to borrow the shirt and claimed that she'd known who they were all along and had been faking her nescience. A week later, she's wanting to borrow all of my other band merchandise from bands like All Time Low, Pierce The Veil, and other bands that she called "weird" just a short time ago.
"I know imitation is the highest form of flattery, but stealing one's identity is totally different"
Jane will alter her music tastes depending on who she's with. When she's with one of my other friends, Morgan, she'll be obsessed with Fall Out Boy. When she's with me and my friend Raven, she's in love with Escape The Fate, and when she's with my friend Breanna, she listens to Avril Lavigne. None of us know what Jane is really like because she changes everything about herself depending on who she's hanging out with, and this doesn't end with clothing and music. I could add what she reads, her personality, her opinions on things, movies, and basically anything you can think of. If someone came up to me one day and asked me to describe her, I couldn't because the only side of her I know is the one that changes for everyone else. Jane could be a fantastic person, but I'll never know because I'll never see that person.
"I've been imitated so well, I've seen people copy my mistakes"
How can the world of fashion, music, or any of the creative arts evolve if everyone just copied one another? No new ideas would come around, and we'd be stuck in a never-ending cycle of the same things forever. Is that what we want for our lives? I want to courage each and every one of you to stop looking to what others do when making decisions. If you love a dress, don't send a picture to a friend for approval. Buy it! If you love different music, play it as loud as you can! Be your own person, and don't be afraid to let yourself show.
"No man was ever great by imitation"
Do you know anyone that takes imitation too far? Tell me your story in the comments below!