Bucking the trend

Image taken from kj.vogelius's photostream on Flickr under Creative Commons License

Sometimes, when things are just so appealing to the vast majority of people in the world, they suddenly lose their appeal to me.

It’s not that I particularly want to be unique, or to brag about the fact that I haven’t read Harry Potter or watched a full episode of  Master Chef. It’s just that for some reason the appeal for me to read, watch, eat or otherwise engage with these trends is exactly inverse to their growing popularity.

Sometimes there is an element of stubbornness to this.

For example, I am very proud of the fact that I have never paid for my kids to go on one of those ‘amusement rides’ in the shopping centre. I think it is crazy to pay something like 4c per second for your kid to bob slowly up and down or turn around in a circle. Besides – they get practically the same level of satisfaction from hopping up and pretending to drive the thing sans the costly movement!  I m stubbornly satisfied that, not only am I saving money, my kids are not missing out on anything of consequence.

With Harry Potter I’m not sure. Am I missing out on something I should be engaging with? Is it detrimental not to have read this work of fiction and contributed to J. K. Rowling’s coffers?

When the big Twilight craze was at its high point I ended up borrowing the first book off a friend and gave it a go. Of course with Twilight, and to a degree Harry Potter, you can’t help know at least broadly what it’s about because the world around us becomes so saturated with it. But being a bit of a feminist I wanted to understand what everyone was going on about with this Bella character. I can safely say that had I not read it, I would not have been missing out on anything.

I’m reasonably sure that the quality of Harry Potter is better than Twilight. And it’s odds on anyway that with two growing boys that I’ll be drawn into reading Harry Potter as bedtime stories sometime in the coming years.  But for me personally, I’m happy to leave it. There’s no appeal.

It was the same with the Jennifer Anniston hair cut (not that I could have pulled it off anyway) and more recently the dress over leggings look (which incidentally is apparently on the way out). There is just no appeal.

I’ve never had any attraction to particular brands either. Right now if I buy new clothes I shop at Cue. But that’s chiefly because they’re one of the few less exclusive retailers accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. I have no hankering for a Louis Vuitton bag or the  Pandora jewellery currently seen adorning so many arms. And whilst many people buy their expensive salon shampoos, I’m now washing my hair with bicarb soda and vinegar (and loving it! ).

Maybe I don’t have the confidence to try to run with new looks? Maybe I feel too old to take on young fashion trends? But that doesn’t explain why I don’t get into the hype about books or …food trends.

In July last year Masterchef created a macaroon craze. I’d never tried a macaroon before. But the hype did nothing to increase my desire. I had no particular interest in trying one. I only tasted my first one a month or so ago when a friend brought some in to work. It was nice, but not worth queuing for.

A friend from work and I were talking about the two staples of interior decorating. They’re doing a spot of renovating and she happened to chose Hogs Bristle quarter strength for their walls. We may have two pages of assorted whites and creams to choose from but 95% of us will chose either Hogs Bristle quarter strength or Antique White USA. She didn’t know it was popular. I have one room in our house painted with Hogs Bristle quarter strength. I didn’t like it. So the rest is painted in Raw Cotton quarter strength.

Some trends I do engage with. Facebook – love it (though it is a tad too addictive but I manage that fairly well)I was very sceptical of Twitter for ages but finally tried it, and have come around to liking it after being on it a couple of months now. In terms of staying up to date with world affairs it’s great.  And hey, it may label me a typical ‘white person’, but now that I’ve been there, gee I’d love to have a spell living in New York (one trend that will probably never die).

What’s your relationship with trends?

If something is popular does it turn you off or are you lured by the popularity?

If you see a long line will you join it because ‘they must be waiting for something cool’?

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/kj_/3719931129/sizes/l/in/photostream/ with thanks to kj.vogelius.


About greenleftyidealist

Green, left and idealistic. A mum, a runner, a rogainer, a public servant and wanna be writer. My dog is golden.
This entry was posted in consumerism, identity, image and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bucking the trend

  1. Carmen says:

    The dress over leggings look is on the way out?! Holy shit why doesn’t anyone tell me these things!! Maybe if I had an ipad2 I would be able to keep up…

    But in answer to your questions: My relationship with trends on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being a bearded, forest-dwelling-hippy wearing loin clothes made from squirrels tails, and 10 being an iPhone toting sucker that when the Charlie Sheen trend hit the news I followed him on twitter faster than you can say #winning, I reckon I’m about a 12. I love Harry Potter, Zac Efron and unscrupulous designer bags I can’t afford.

    Then again, perhaps it is all relative because I have not tasted a macaroon either and have no desire to. I also haven’t and don’t wish to read The Secret or Eat Pray Love. The mere thought of listening to Kyle and Jackie O on the radio makes me want flush my ear drums out with fetid sewer water! And don’t even get me started on 2GB..

    As I get older I like to tell myself that it is okay to join in the trend, so long as you are making a conscious choice to do so. I got the chance to see Oprah last year and wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything, even if I did think the hype was completely over the top and people teased me for ‘selling out’. I think it is okay to get on the end of the line for something cool, so long as you know what – and to an extent why – you are on that line to begin with. At the end of the line you have to be happy with whatever ‘cool’ is.

    • You will never catch me listening to Kyle and Jackie O either, though I momentarily toyed with ‘Eat Pray Love’ but then the number of copies I saw being poured through on at the railway station killed it for me.

      The informed or conscious decision to conform to the masses or not. I’m a big one for ‘mindfullness’ as I call it. Being aware of why you do things if you’re going to do them. So that sits well with me.

  2. toemailer says:

    I don’t follow trends very well. I know what Lady Gaga looks like but wouldn’t recognize her music beyond a guess. I also tend to get turned off by things that become very popular as if some instinct tells me that the masses tend to have terrible taste, or at least do not want to take any responsibility for their choices 🙂

  3. Marija says:

    Found your blog through facebook – yes a trend i do enjoy purely for communicating
    Kyle and Jackie O – No way – total twits
    Twilight, Harry Potter; or even Lord of the Rings – No interest whatsoever!
    imac- own an ipod purely for running and love of music, but no ipad, iphone 2, 3 or 4.
    Macaroons – just sugar, colouring and eggs whites? Had better ‘wog’ cakes in my time, and I think Adriano Zumbo is an over priced store with what all these trends have – ‘good marketing’.

    What good marketing does is only fill the pockets of clever business people. Take Napoleon Peridis who sources make-up from the cheap and nasty factories out of China and somehow has made it to be a superior product in the department stores. Little does the consumer know that it is rarely used in any fashion show. He came out with a ‘primer’ for your face, and all it is a face cream with high price tag!

    However, on a personal note I must admit that while I dont always like ‘trends’ i do follow some ‘brands’. Might come down to having a personal taste in what items i find comfortable or what makes me feel good. (Yes the feeling on a new pair of black pants/jean/leggings which have not faded by numerous washes make me happy).
    I must also admit to reading Eat,Pray, Love. However only made the purchase at the airport before travelling OS last year and had no idea about its popularity. Chose it purely because i liked the title (more good marketing).

    So i guess i am a fence sitter when it comes to following popularity, and will continue to ear my leggings (as I have only recently gained confidence to even start wearing them and find them extremely comfy). Put me down as a 5 or a 6.

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