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.