In April I saw Pink live at the Prudential Center in Newark. I happen to love Pink- she is talented and brilliant and empowering. She wears her individuality proudly: she is who she is, and doesn’t care what you think.
But here’s the funny thing I noticed about the Pink concert: the amount of people there who looked like Pink. I don’t mean facial resemblance: I mean people who have imitated her look. Same haircut. Tattoos. Clothing style. Everything.
This aesthetic is not solely devoted to Pink fans though. I live close to a live music venue, The Gramercy. As The Gramercy is standing room only, I often see the attendees lined up outside, waiting to get in so they can procure the best spot. More often than not I can tell exactly what type of performer is playing without googling the name on the marquee by how the crowd is dressed. The crowd often mimics the musicians.
So. Are people fans of the music, or devotees of the musician? Are these things mutually exclusive?
I am not going to dress like Gene Simmons circa KISS. I am not going to cut my hair and dye it so I can resemble Pink. But what makes people mimic the style of a performer? Is it the Oscar Wilde statement about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Or is it something else? Do we feel more comfortable adopting a style if we see someone else wearing it? Is there something deeper?
Music plays a very large part in many peoples lives. Music helps define moods and feelings in ways other things can not. So I understand why it’s easy to idolize a singer or a band or a performer- they are relatable and make you feel, and often verbalize all the secrets that you keep buried deep inside. You listen to their music and you don’t feel weird or lonely: you think, wow, this person is just like me. And you revel in the thought that you are not alone, there are others who share the same thoughts and ideas and feelings. I get that. But is there a point where it goes from a healthy outlet for the mind to a dangerous obsession? What is the point where idolizing a celebrity goes too far? Are you dressing like Pink because you think “Wow, that’s a great look, and I know that would work for me” or “Well, Pink does it, so I guess it’s fine if I do it too.”
There’s nothing wrong with copying a style: there’s an entire industry devoted to that. We all do it to a certain extent. But remember, you can wear anything that you want- it’s window dressing. But you have to be comfortable with the way you are on the inside. Your clothes, your haircut- they don’t really make you confident. How you feel about yourself does. Don’t adapt a look just because you think it will make you awesome.. Do the things that will make you feel awesome. And that may. or may not include dressing like a pop star.