You like Van Gogh? I like Van Gogh. Van Gogh is my thing. Gosh, you are so unoriginal. And you have “Louder than Bombs” on vinyl? Ugh, come on. The Smiths? Could you be more cliche? And oh my gosh, are you seriously wearing Clubmasters right now? Do you even need glasses? Really with the red lipstick? Just stop.
More often than not, I find my interests being invalidated by critics of the “indie girl” aesthetic. So I like high-waisted shorts and Polaroid cameras—what’s it to you? I am not defined by my interests and style choices, and even if I was—is it really your place to be criticizing me based on that?
Girls, don’t be bullied into thinking that your interests are overrated and that your sense of fashion is just a stereotype. If you want to take an Instagram photo of your favorite T.S. Eliot poem—do it. If you want to get a cute little tattoo of a mountain range on your collarbone—go for it. Rock those high-waisted jeans; get that perfect winged-liner.
If we flock together, it’s because we understand each other. If we seem like copies of copies, it’s because we know what we like and who we are and it’s perfectly normal to fall into a niche. I like The Front Bottoms too, and no they’re not my thing—they’re our thing, and that’s okay. I rock a lot of polka dots. I prefer Sylvia Plath to E.L. James (but actually, ew), and I’d rather watch a Quentin Tarantino film than the newest Hollywood Rom-com.
And I’m not trying to be “different” or “quirky,” I just like what I like and I’m sick of apologizing for it. I’m going to Instagram empty coffee cups and wear red lipstick until the day God rips me off this earth. So if you need me, I’ll be at the nearest art gallery listening to Sufjan Stevens and being content with who I am.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming of moving to the Pacific Northwest or brewing your fair-trade coffees in a chemex. This is where we fit, just like everybody else does somewhere. We’re dream-chasers and artists; intellectuals and deep-feelers. We crave the extraordinary, the inspiring and the aesthetically-pleasing. We are creators and mountain-dreamers; vinyl collectors and book-lovers.
It’s frustrating how in a community that prides itself on authenticity can still be so critical and judgmental of it’s own. We all want the same thing: to be loved, accepted and recognized for who we are. And while we all have a lot in common, we’re definitely not all the same. We are human beings, each with unique passions, experiences and hearts. I grit my teeth whenever someone writes me off as “just another indie girl.” Because I am so much more than that, we all are.
It’s become this crazy back-and-forth. We’re expected to read literature like Burkowski and Vonnegut, but when we talk about it we’re being “fake” or “pretentious.” We die over the sounds of Morrissey and Neutral Milk Hotel, but “everyone else liked them first” and we don’t “really get them” anyway. And God forbid if we get a septum piercing or dye our hair a pretty pastel, because then we’re absolutely just “trying too hard”.
Well, I’m calling bullshit. Trying to measure up to society’s ridiculous standards is impossible and valueless, no matter which niche you fit into, or if you don’t fit into one at all. Regardless, girls, you just keep doing you. Listen to the music that makes you heart soar and read books that make you cry. Wear what you want, say what you feel and don’t let anyone make you feel lesser for wanting more. So lace up your Doc Martens, dance to Joy Division, and celebrate the irony.