Monday, June 10, 2013

You're Not Vintage!

I keep seeing this statement on youtube, in the comments of vintage-loving gals who are sweet enough to post a little video outfit of the day or beauty tip for fellow retro enthusiasts. It's a pet peeve of mine and I'll tell you why:

For one thing, a simple click on the user name behind most of these comments will tell you all you need to know about them. Most of the girls who troll the vintage girls on Youtube are under 18 and have a very skewed notion of what is 'vintage'. They feel that it is either a: a badge of honor worn only by girls lucky enough to have an entirely authentic vintage wardrobe (and that this term applies only to pieces prior to 1960) or b: is somehow associated with Adele and Katy Perry, stars who are continually labeled as having a 'vintage' aesthetic by the media. Some of them have the idea that 'rockabilly' automatically means 'vintage' as well, which just baffles me. Rockabilly is a style of music...if someone calls themselves 'rockabilly', I seriously hope they are also fans of the music, whether they dress in retro styles or not. But that's beside the point; telling someone 'You're not vintage' (or most commonly among the uneducated troll-kingdom: 'Your not vintage') is not only based on ignorance but also preconceptions that are born of societies where labels are a means of gaining acceptance among our peers. It's sad, really.

Here are my thoughts about what constitutes 'vintage', some of which you've already seen me mention in videos: 'Vintage' is a broad term and is entirely subjective. Just like what someone deems to be 'Rock n Roll' will vary from one person to the next, what is 'vintage' in one person's eyes will be 'so not vintage' to someone else. Yes there are technical and official definitions of both terms but what they specifically means to someone is based on their own interests and desires. Telling someone that they're 'not vintage' is like saying 'that ain't rock n roll'. For every accusation, there will be hundreds of supporters willing to fight for what they feel deserves the label.

Which is why labels are such a ridiculous presence in pop culture. What possible good do they serve? Other than as a tag to help group together posts on social media networking, perhaps...I see no use for them. If you label YOURSELF, fine...knock yourself out. But don't impose your ideas on others as though somehow your adolescent word is law.

For those of you who frequent my blog, youtube, facebook or Instagram: Hopefully you know by now that I don't support labels or tolerate catty opinions from those who do. If I see a darling girl who wears J Crew dresses and a flower in her hair being bashed for using the term 'vintage' to describe her style, I'm likely to make a snarky comment in her defense. After all, who are YOU to tell that sweet girl what qualifies as vintage? If we were to rely on the media to label things for us, the following pictures all came up under a Google search of the word:

I actually think all of the above photos are representations of a thoroughly modern aesthetic. But it's also obvious to me that they're inspired by the past, as most fashion is, and therefore it doesn't bother me a bit that they're searchable under the word 'vintage'.

Now, if the above photos were listed as 'authentic 1940's or 1950's', I might have a problem...but they're not. And if they were...well that's a rant for another time.

Til then, please be nice to each other and let people call themselves and their style whatever they want to. It's not going to hurt you to simply stay silent.