We're Allowed To Like The Same Things

*Audrey Hepburn is confused by her phone and your stereotyping
Being female means living in a world where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. This statement applies to many instances across the board, but on my mind today is being "a cliche." If you act as if your interests are unique and so different from all of your friends you are diagnosed as suffering from "special snowflake syndrome" (which I do believe exists to a degree). However, if you happen to engage in more popular interests then you've become a cliche. Do you enjoy Audrey Hepburn films? Of course. Apparently all of your interests must be run through a machine that sorts out the too obscure from too well known and hands you the nice middling interests at the end that places you in a safe camp where no one can complain that you're trying too hard to be different or one of the mindless drones.

The definitions are a cliche are: a trite or overused expression, or a person or character whose behavior is predictable or superficial. Being predictable isn't necessarily an insult, but treating an interest because it is common as if is automatically superficial, is an insult. Treating shared interests between women as "cliches" encourages competition between women instead of friendship and makes young women think it's somehow better to be unlike other young women. While we have stereotypes for jocks I've never heard someone called a cliche for liking baseball or football; I've never heard it's a cliche to love fried food or going to the beach during the summer. Can you imagine if we turned every popular activity or interest into a cliche? Yet, young women who enjoy posters of the eiffel tower, Starbucks, and selfies with fall leaves are just so typical. It's not wrong to be different--to have more male friends than female ones or find black and white films boring, and to hate pumpkin spice lattes or generally feel many of your peers "don't get you." The last thing is merely part of life and perhaps and indication you need to expand your friend group. However, it is wrong to think that your different interests somehow render you superior.

I get the pull to align yourself with the different; as a fashion blogger I don't really want to wear the same dress ten other bloggers are wearing. But while trends annoy me I feel it is sillier to dislike something merely because it is popular than to admit to enjoying something others also like. A lot of people being fond of something can be an indication of quality--I'm more likely to stop at an unfamiliar restaurant if the parking lot outside of it is full or if I can see people at the tables inside, if the locals eat there it's pretty trustworthy. Why can't we apply this same reasoning to fashion trends, movie stars, or anything else? People get tired of hearing college girls hanging up a poster of Audrey Hepbrun from Breakfast At Tiffany's on their walls, but they overlook the other admirable qualities of that past starlet which make her a good role model--someone who worked tirelessly as a humanitarian and is quoted as saying "for beautiful eyes look for the good in others" is hardly an icon to be ashamed of.

This all reminds me of a quote by Ira Glass, "I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I only believe in pleasures. People who call reading detective fiction or eating dessert a guilty pleasure make me want to puke. Pedophilia is a pleasure a person should have guilt about. Not chocolate." I try to think of that quote when I see judging eyes rolls at my admiration for Sofia Coppola films or even fashion--it's wonderful that other women enjoy what I also enjoy and their participation with my hobby or interest doesn't diminish my relationship with those things. I want us to like the same things. Good things are worth sharing.


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