Thursday, 24 April 2008

A Loss of Individuality

On a recent visit to Manchester with the folks, my dad commented on how drab everyone looked. I say commented, it was more of an hour-long rant about how the city had no style of sense or happiness considering all the fuss that has been made about it by the press (and a load of other people, but mostly the press).

Actually, there were the odd one or two people who stood out. They probably stood out because everyone else looked very, very similar. It has provoked me to ponder whether the fact that we have too much choice nowadays is ruining our sense of individuality and confusing us with what the latest trends really are, forcing us to buy the same thing we always do.

There's a great line in the Simpsons, which I know is a strange thing to quote but it fits in really nicely with this argument. It's from the episode where Marge becomes friends with Ruth Powers. At the beginning, they're watching a telethon in aid of public-funded TV programmes and there's a comedian on it (who reminds me a little bit of Ivor Cutler, in the way that he reads his jokes from a little book). Anyway, he says "He goes into the diner, sits down and reads the menu carefully. And then, he orders the same thing he does every single day". This just sums up what I'm trying to say. When faced with a choice, we're much more inclined to revert to doing what we would normally do rather than being adventurous and trying other things.

Perhaps this is what happened with the Mancunians (or Manc Land as it has now been lovingly renamed - it's seriously not that bad!). They have tons of stores, both designer and high-street and the biggest Primark I'd ever seen (casing point, I haven't actually ever explored London, so that probably has a bigger one still) and yet everyone looked similar. Or at least old, like they hadn't grown up or changed their style in years.

As a result, I received some very odd looks from some of the locals since I was dressed in a bright red jacket. I stood out almost too much against the grey, black and general drab that other people were wearing. I don't know whether to feel sorry for them or not. A malaise like this could only be remedied by someone capable of rewiring the minds of each and every individual, like turning a little light on in their head.

I cast the dullness off as just being because of the bad weather yet in my head I knew that everyone genuinely had lost their sense of fashion direction. It's sad to see that even now people are either afraid or unwilling to try new trends or stand out from the crowd. I think the world would be a much more exciting place if we all decided to be a shade braver.

9 comments:

Tom Foolery said...

What an interesting post, I agree without colur life is very bland. I'm going to wear my red shoes tomorrow. Thanks for visiting my blog TFX

buttercup said...

amen to that. I wear a lot of color, and sometimes get strange looks, but its so boring to wear black and gray all the time!

Tina said...

I love to try new stuff but my boyfiend always says he likes to stick with what he knows.

I said well you had to try that as new thing in the first place to see if it was something you liked and knew didnt you!!?

Some people!!

Heather the Fabulous One... said...

good one, my friend...makes ya think...

babooshka said...

My purple retro 60's mac is not to everyone's taste, is not at all safe, and certainly different. I read the menu, because I want a choice, and I'm not afraid to choose. WEll done on the article.

Eva said...

Interesting thought. I think you are right about us retrieving to old habits when we have too many choises.
I, unfortunately, wear a lot of black (it covers up all the coffee stains, *LOL* - but I DO have a red jacket!

I love your blog! :-)

Faizal said...

Yeah, you know you're right. People hard to change to something new especially when it comes to make choice. I think I should try new thing too. However I still love black jacket but I have the brown one. Thanks for your encourage words on my post regarding my examination.

Have a nice day my friend.

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Catalonia Spain
thank you

Nic said...

This is really interesting. I also noticed that people in Manchester look so dark, gray, and black, especially in winter. I wonder if it's just the culture here, or people simply don't like other colours, or some reason that people like me wouldn't know or figure out...

Thanks for visiting my new-born blog. Stay in touch! :)