Here’s my quintessential “manic pixie dream blogger” outfit. It’s weird to realize I’m so head-turning in the real world and so pedestrian online. People unabashedly gawp at me on the street, but in the blogosphere, I’m just another “cupcakes & kittens” modcloth darling. Even though cupcakes and kittens are not really my thing. Give me shortbread and ferrets any day of the week.
There’s a fine line between trying to stand out from the twee vintage girls and implying there’s something wrong with twee vintage girls. The last thing I want to be is the “Not Like Other Girls” girl – like, what’s wrong with other girls anyway? I don’t want to build up my identity by stomping on someone else’s, even though I certainly have my moments of “all these people are literally clones of one another”. But that’s quite rich of me to say while also promoting “being yourself”. Who am I to simultaneously decry a large number of ways to be oneself? So someone has a lot in common with a certain subculture. Big deal. There are seven billion of us. None of us is as unique as we wish we were.
And that’s not even getting into how much of identity is culturally determined. It’s not like you can just strip away environment and find your “real self”. Your real self is part and parcel of your environment.
I respect the modcloth girls. And hipsters and biddies and bros and fandom geeks and crunchy vegans. They might seem monolithic, but at least they know where they belong.
Even though I don’t necessarily want to be any one of them.