Picture this. I’m at work yesterday and coming down our main strip in my retail store and there’s this couple walking toward me. I don’t really take too much notice of them… just that it’s an average, everyday-sort, young mother pushing a stroller and then there’s some guy that’s trailing along behind them.

She comes by me and stops to ask where the clearance areas are (actually she said “sale items”, but I hate that expression since I believe all the merchandise is ‘for sale’, and what she’s looking for is clearance). I inform her where the areas are, and immediately as she’s turning toward one of the areas I pointed out, the guy with her gives me this oddly hip-hoptastic fake look and turns into the shop behind her. Not sure what the look was supposed to mean, but I think it was to try to intimidate me for some odd unknown reason… like the obviously gay boi working in the Old Navy is gonna be silently hitting on your girl with a secret clearance code signal.

Here’s where my thoughts churned. He’s a tall, skinny, pasty-skinned white guy. Real gawky and plain, but boy was decked out in classic stereotypical hip-hop flair. Wide-brimmed cap turned sideways, oversized basketball jersey over an oversized tshirt, white shorts reaching to about mid-calf (in my world those are wide-legged capris), the classic expensive athletic shoes which have no validity in any fashion taste, and to beat it all the over-exaggerated mannerisms of the stereotypical hip-hop person.

Now it’s not my place to judge anyone on who they are, but my issue is when people are struggling for an identity and it’s not them. He had all the must-have basics down but he was obviously not. Why do people try their hardest to be something they’re not? Maybe it’s because of his plain-ness that he’s trying to hide behind this persona…thinking that if he can find someone who likes the persona he’s trying to pull off, his actually looks and demeanor won’t matter…

But is it worth it to be this false persona?? I know that I would love to be able to pull off the goth look and persona, but I know that I could never pull it off. You have to work within yourself, your life and your experiences to become yourself. Not tv, movies, music or whatever means.

Now some people actually do find themselves through these means. One of my very close friends found himself through music, but the difference is he became secure with himself, and everyone around him was secure with who he was despite us being different. He picked up the sort of emo/rock look and has completely transformed from someone with no identity at all to someone you totally believe. He hasn’t strayed from us, he has picked up an additional circle of friends, but I’m very happy with his progress. And what’s more is that it FITS him. And this comes from years of going clubbing with the boi and him trying to take on the club-boy look, which was totally not him or his personality, and i’m glad he figured it out.

But with the people like the guy I mentioned above, have you ever been around someone you know is just trying their hardest to be someone they’re not. This was so obvious to me. His mannerisms didn’t fit him, his clothing didn’t fit him (literally as well lol), and just the whole aura he was trying to pursue was so definitely not him. What was even more odd was that who I assumed was his wife/girlfriend/friend/whatever was very casually/everyday dressed (i.e. so obviously not like him). Maybe it was that fact that made him stick out like a sore thumb, but I don’t think so.

What’s your call?