Like at least half the internet last week, I was charmed and quasi-revolted by the very funny socalitybarbie of instagram. She must have had one of the fastest follower-gains of all time, going from 5k to 900k in about a week. So I read about her #authenticlife on various news platforms, while fb suggested similar memes, including The Kinspiracy, because SocalityBarbie really likes to make fun of kinfolk readers (and she now has more followers than the magazine.)
I don’t think I’ve ever read a Kinfolk, but I do recognize the trope. It’s hipsterification of classic small-cities, like Seattle or Portland Or, or Austin, or Portland Maine. And with it comes good coffee, thank god, and lots of restaurants.
First I laughed at the kinspiracy, and then I felt kind of bad. It’s like laughing at a really mean joke. Living the #hashtaglife makes it easy to parse anyone into a stereotype. Simply residing (by chance of birth or choice) in one of those regions turns one into a joke.
My first thought after reading all of SocalityBarbie was – I no longer want to wear glasses. (My vision is 400-something, i.e. not clear enough to read my own laptop screen when it’s on my lap. Contacts don’t work for me, I wore them for a long-time.)
My second thought was: damn, we have that Pendleton blanket on our couch. (My parents gave that to me something like 20 years ago, no doubt because it was on sale at LL Bean. Which happens to be in the next town over to where I grew up.)
So there’s this annoying doubled-ness that happens when the thing you, and thirteen generations of your family prior, becomes the popular thing. And so, while I’ve never hashtagged #kinfolk, I have no doubt grammed a latte. And worn Bean Boots.
And So, Let’s Get On To The Trendspotting!
What does it mean when #liveauthentic and #neverstopexploring can so rapidly become #meanmemes?
It’s going to be fully-not-cool within a year. What is the “it”? American Heritage. Adventure Living. Authenticalia.
Something other aesthetic will overtake it. Because those themes represent core human drives. People actually do want to live in a way that feels honest, because when it’s real, it feels good. People actually do want to have adventurous lives, for the many part. There is pleasure in feeling a sense of place.
And SO, What Fashion Decisions Have You Made Today?
ONE: I’m going to stop wearing glasses. (Except when I’m using the computer, watching tv. And driving. )
I was, in part, inspired by this amazing episode of Invisibilia called “How to Become Batman.” It’s about sight, and fear, and also societal expectations. I started wearing glasses (as opposed to contacts) when I worked in another industry, and looking smart was way more important than looking pretty. Now that I’m fully immersed in fashion, this is no longer a relevant requirement.
TWO: We are going climbing.