Every once in awhile, when I’m out taking “photos,” or I’ve posted one of my “photos,” someone will come up to me and say “Oh, you’re so artsy.” Even some of my outfits that I wear (in the fall, not now) have been regarded as artsy. As soon as those words escape a person’s lips and they are directed at me, I immediately cringe. Why do I cringe, you might ask, dear reader? You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll tell you. But first, let’s evaluate this word artsy, and not quite synonym, but equally annoying cousin, trendy.
Unlock your phone. Open up Instagram. Proceed scrolling. I’ll wait. It shouldn’t take you long to find a post with a guy and his friends at a music festival posing for a photo but acting like it’s a candid. Or a photo of a girl and her friends posing in front of the overpriced and worn-out tapestry that they got from Etsy before a disappointing night at the frats. There are also people who post “profound” photos of a flower. I’ve even been guilty of that. Anyway, scroll through some of the comments. Go ahead. I’ll still wait on you. I’d bet my scholarship (no it’s not Posse) that at least one comment mentions the “aesthetic” of the photo or how it’s a “mood” (smh). And the real compelling thing about all of this headassery is that it extends to fashion. It’s why everybody thinks whoever has a camera and Dr. Martens is introspective. It’s really why anyone who thrifts and owns a camera is thought of as hipster.
But who is to blame for this headass phenomenon? Instagram? Celebrities? Tumblr? Delta Zeta? All of the above? Regardless of who’s to blame, putting people who follow popular fashion trends and add a Fujifilm filter to every freaking picture on their Instagram may seem like something positive to some, but it has a negative connotation for others. Like most things that Millennials (or Gen Z or whatever you are) are into, they become passing fads. They’re something that is replaced by another trend that catches our eye, and subsequently brands everyone who’s not caught up as “irrelevant” or “uncool.”
So when someone calls me “artsy” or “trendy” because of my photos or clothes, I cringe because what I do or what I wear isn’t a passing fad. I take photos because I love freaking taking photos and wear stuff that I think is cool and represents me as a person. Ten years from now, I’ll probably still be taking photos and although my clothes most likely won’t be the same as they are now, they’ll still represent my identity.
I guess this is a long winded way of saying be true to yourself. Yeah it’s cool if there’s a trend that you’re into, but don’t base whatever you do or whatever it is that you wear on what others think is cool. If I was allowed to use extensive profanity, I’d say ______ what other people think ( people over here at the newspaper are sticklers for profanity). But then again, if overused tapestry and faking candid photos is your thing, do that. I would hope it’s not though.