Thursday, 9 June 2011
I had a conversation recently that made me think. It was on people adopting a particular style wholesale but not liking the music or subculture associated with it. I thoroughly support people's right to wear what they want, even if it is a rather revolting garment like a burka. Not my body. But it was food for thought.
It has never really occurred to me that someone would dress like a mod and not like mopeds, Italian movies and the Small Faces. Similarly what on earth is going on if someone adopts that most musically inspired of appearances 'rockabilly' but doesn't really love rock n roll or r & b? I think we are mainly magpies but what of those who do seem to adopt the whole shebang? Potentially someone might really want to look like a metal head whilst preferring to listen to Cheryl Cole and surely there is nothing wrong with this?
On the other hand as groups of music/era/subculture fans use their appearance to recognise each other and form a cohesive community it must be downright irritating to get someone saying they just like the clothes but expropriating your social markers wholesale. As Londoners we get away with a lot, but some people have had to endure a lot to defiantly express their musical and cultural preferences.
However the risk is that you find yourself being 'holier than thou' and a bit elitist. I have to say however from experience of a long time as a Goth (once a Goth always a Goth....) that those amongst us who didn't get the music, movies, novels and style behind it didn't stay around for long.
My conclusion is that if you just like the way something looks, sailor jerry tattoos or whatever that's great, but if you don't like the music and subculture you cannot be expected to be taken seriously by those who do. You can't really call yourself a mod girl or a rockabilly girl if you just want a dusty do or to wear your hair in a bandana. Well you can, but who is going to believe it?
Thats my personal opinion, what do you think?