Not Normcore

I spend too much time online. A frequent question from friends/family/new acquaintances is: how much time do you spend online working? The answer generally is "I don't know" or if I'm feeling mildly amusing a quick "too much." The truth is I hardly time myself and from writing one article to reading another to randomly browsing Tumblr many days it's easier to calculate the few brief hours I'm not at my computer. I tend to not even realize how much information I've been absorbing (which run the gamut from genuinely interesting to completely banal waste of brain space) until I bring up something in conversation and realize from blank stares that what I thought was common knowledge was actually obscure--mentioned in one or two articles and made an impression on me but relatively unimportant to the rest of the world. My latest fascination: Normcore is one such Internet phenom few people off the web for healthy amounts of time seem to be talking about. The first article seems to have appeared in February and the subsequent pieces are rather reactionary. Normcore is "fashion for people who realize they're one in seven billion" "embracing sameness and blending in." In style terms it's very plain clothes with a 90s influence. People who subscribe seek ardently ordinary clothes--you might look like a Seinfeld character or the stereotypical white sneakered tourist. Of course this "style isn't important, plain clothes rule" mentality is just as shallow as those who seek the latest designer handbag. The brands are still important, labels matter (even if they're occasionally cheaper labels) and it isn't about price or ethical consciousness (i.e. thrift shopping) but a very dull image. Your sweatpants could be Chanel and cost thousands of dollars, just make sure they're plain and pair them with your latest TopshopxAdidas collab sneakers. It's another fashion movement that pretends to not care about clothes or fashion, by a group of people who are actually obsessed with how they present themselves to the world, acquiring a veritable uniform of bland clothes. That pretension is what bothers me the most: wear boring clothes all you want, but let's not pretend that because you're in a track pants and sneakers you're somehow less obsessed with appearance than a girl in a dress. It's also the prerogative of people who already exercise privilege to not care how they are represented--you aren't as likely to be seen as a "lazy slob" in Normcore if you meet our society's other standards for beauty. So yeah, Normcore...I definitely don't see my style going in that direction.


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