“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” WRONG.
I am myself in the most honest form I have ever been. I’ve always encouraged those around me to be true to themselves and do their own thing, even when there has been many an occasion where I’ve repressed my own identity.
Let’s be real honest right now and I’m sure many will agree that if there’s one thing us females are guilty of, it’s imitation.
SIDE NOTE: What is it with some grown women wanting to dress in the same thing simultaneously on purpose and exclaim “TWINNING”?! Just typing that made me nauseous.
I’ve always had my own thing whether that be a certain hobby, nonsensical expression, being a bit too obsessed with yellow, how I present myself or just my approach to certain situations.
Although it is so hard as a woman not to compare yourself to other females, I have usually stuck to my own preferences no matter how much comparison intrudes on my thoughts. It’s not always made me feel great but I do have to give myself credit for staying that real.
Trust me when I say I’ve been learning the hard way it’s a shit “monkey say monkey do” world out there just as many of you have also probably found.
As an aspiring fashion designer I spend a lot of time fretting about the originality of my ideas and trying not to look too much as fashion for inspiration to avoid any chance of being accused of copying. We are told at uni that people will learn from copying, that karma will basically bite their incapable, unimaginative backsides.
However, that isn’t always the instantaneous outcome we’d hope for.
It is hard in any career, I imagine, to stand out when there are so many people doing the exact same thing as you. But, in fashion when you are judged not only on your work but how you look, your personality, how you post on Instagram or who you associate yourself with, the need to be original almost becomes obsessive.
I would love to think I could put an outfit together, post my work, show illustrations or express design ideas freely without someone copying but that’s just naive. So I guess through a few incidents I’ve come to believe women should perceive imitation in the following way; it’s a challenge to arise to when we are imitated, we aren’t defeated or victims or any of that bullshit. Make something better, wear your hair bigger, do that lil bit XXXXXtra… you know what I’m saying. It’s a game.
The same way there will always be homophobic people or racism, there will always be those who rely on you for their own “identity.” Of course this applies not just to design but to pretty much everything.
It’s sad and I pity those who do take the time to intentionally copy but I have a problem with those who cuss you then imitate you; it ain’t flattering, it’s hilarious. This has happened to me with my freckles, hair styles, outfits, how I speak, music I listen to etc etc.
All in all, this whole concept of maintaining genuine identity is a case of survival of the fittest and of course it is blindingly obvious when someone isn’t true to them self.
I shall carry on doing me and good luck doing you boo boo 😉
Written by Jessamy Mattinson