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Personal Style: Has Unique / Quirky Gone Mainstream

Is being unique really a thing in 2017? 

Words by me (Rosa Fairfield, photos by Linda Smith
















I saw a job alert recently looking for people with a unique, quirky sense of style. A lot of people have described myself and my style as quirky or different over the years... but it got me thinking. Am I really quirky or unique in today's society? What does it even mean to be unique these days?

A lot of the youth culture (that sounds fancy) today is all about standing out from the crowd and being unique and different. (Isn't that the same for every generation though? In the 1960s with the flower child movement and the 20s with flappers, being young is always about rebelling against the generation before.)

Today almost everyone seems to have a blog or a YouTube channel and is promoting their own personal 'brand' (I am so tired of hearing that word). It's pretty much the norm to see people walking around with pink hair in the city... or wearing vintage clothes... bright colours or something uber edgy.

But, if being unique is considered mainstream then is it really unique? It's like The Hunger Games effect. The Capitol citizens are all dressing in an expressive way... but because they're all doing it, it's simply not unique. They are just following the trend. However, it would be unique if one of those people decided to wear jeans, a t-shirt and no-make-up. Being unique is all about doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Therefore, I guess if you really wanted to be a unique millennial in today's world, you would have: no social media accounts, no cell phone, would dress in a bland way, never travel and get a 9 to 5 job, get married in your early 20s and start popping out the babies. 

I think it says a lot that advertisers are searching for 'unique people' to promote their campaigns aimed at millennials. Advertising is always about appealing to a target market... showing those people that they should buy the product because this is a person or situation, idea or way of life they can relate to. Therefore, by saying you are looking for 'unique people' is just untrue, you are actually looking for your average millennial because that's what that group of people tend to find appealing.

On a different note, I read an online essay the other day (true story, I clearly have no life), about how it is now desirable to have a quirky unique personality. The essay was looking at a few famous actresses who are adored and considered quirky. 

The author was debating if it was actually because of their unique personality or in spite of it. Was their 'quirkiness' only considered charming because they were also considered conventionally beautiful? If you took away the way they looked, would they just get labeled 'weirdo' and be left without fans or work? Is it only acceptable to be 'quirky' or 'unique' if you are 'attractive'? Would love to hear your thoughts on that one, I'm not sure what I think of it... it would certainly be a very cynical way to look at things.