Without sounding too up myself, I cannot stand the idea of being copied. It all boils down to playground politics. You had it first, she sees it on you, she gets it, they all see it on her. Whatever it is you bought becomes not a reflection of your personality, but a reminder of how hard it is to be unique. I feel for celebrities. They might have something custom made, so that is reflects their own personal image, only to find that a week later there’s a Primark version donned by every 14-year-old girl in the country.
I have a strong dislike for the word unique. It’s so overused that it can’t possibly bear any reference to what it’s supposed to mean. From a very young age we’re told that we’re all ‘unique’, that we’re all different and special. Yet when I look around today, everyone looks like a different version of the same thing. My dad went to buy a Barbour jacket the other day and I wouldn’t let him. You are not a farmer, you don’t live in the country and you are not a teenager with no sense of self. What’s worse is that the smaller the sub-culture, the more the members of it all look the same. The more people rebel against society the more they all look like each other.
Saying that, there was a girl at my school, a couple of years older than me, who would have retained her ‘look’ and essence, even if you stripped her naked and shaved her head. It wasn’t gothic, boho, punk, rocker, chav, or anything you could put your finger on. She was just different, whether she liked it or not. I envied her so much.
It has occurred to me recently that maybe it is possible to be unique, not necessarily in the way you look, but in the way you think. We’ll never fully grasp the exact way in which another person thinks to themselves, forms an opinion, remembers things, relives their dreams, carries a mental photograph, writes a poem. I bet when you think about it, you can’t really even work out how you’re thinking about it… My point is, it’s the way you think, not what you wear, that makes you who you are. The reason being, you have no control over it. If the way you think is wonderfully bizarre it will manifest itself in the way you act and the things you do. True uniqueness doesn’t come from people trying to be different, it lies within the people who can’t help being different.
Sitting down to write this blog, or write anything, I usually start off by thinking ‘how can I format this so that it’s different from everything else I’ve read?’ The truth is, being 100% different is up there with one of life’s biggest challenges. For us mere mortals, that enjoy a relatively normal life, standing out is hard work. Perhaps that’s why Lady Gaga is so successful. She’s somehow conjured up a character that is so out there, very few people can match it. Is that was it comes to then? To be unique you have to first be a bit wacky? In some ways, yes. However, to be absolutely different from everyone else, there has to be a difference in that person’s intelligence, their thoughts, and of course, the talent to carry it off. After all, there will only ever be one Michael Jackson, or Freddie Mercury, or Bob Marley, or Marilyn.