From the Blog

I’m Totally Unhip.

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I figured out why I was getting issues of Vogue Magazine in the mail, which was freaking me out and was #7 on my Anxiety List. Turns out, I fell for a cheap makeup scam and my order came with a free subscription to Vogue Magazine. And the makeup didn’t even turn out that badly, even if I am an internet n00b.

I canceled my subscription to Vogue because I don’t think I could be further outside their target market. I looked through the pages and thought, “Really? They are saying that looks good?” And, “Oh, those sunglasses are only $1700 dollars! I’ll take three!” And well, I sometimes have a hard time understanding the abstractness of fashion. It seems like a raucous parade of materialism and vanity.

It’s hard for me to identify with all the ghostly flawless skin, robotic faces, and shiny things. This is due in part because you CAN’T see my ribcage when I wear a strapless dress. This seems to be a requirement. If I looked over my shoulder coyly at those poor, poor paparazzi who can never seem to get enough of me, you couldn’t see my ribcage. Because I have back fat. Okay Internet? I said it. BACK FAT.

So there is very little in Vogue Magazine that was meant for me. I called to cancel, and they said a few more issues would show up in my mail. A few days ago, perhaps the last issue, The September Issue, arrived with 798 Pages Of Brilliant Fall Fashion. It nearly broke my arm when I lifted it.

It smelled all perfumey and magaziney. I looked through it as I ate cookies for dinner and wondered if I should have kept the free subscription. You know, just to see what the kids are up to these days.

I don’t have a TV, for various reasons. I haven’t listened to the radio in a while. I try not to passively ingest what we are told is news or information. I read the news online, so nearly all of my information consumption is self-selected. In other words, I am willfully, selectively, ignorant. If I were snotty, hotheaded and self righteous, I’d be the perfect candidate to leave judgmental comments on your blog.

Despite being on the internet for 10 hours out of the day, I feel remarkably “unplugged.” I don’t see TV ads. Radio ads are part of the reason I don’t listen to the radio. I have flash blockers and pop up blockers in my browsers. I’m not entirely insulated from advertisements, but I don’t know a lot about what I’m supposed to want. I’m unhip.

Now, relax. I know I want an iPhone. And a new computer. And a bed frame. And a shelf thing to hang my photos. And more books. And a puppy. I’m not an idiot. But I can’t say I’m trendy or have my finger on any pulses.

Because of my media isolation, I am easily over stimulated when I actually watch TV. Those who know me well, know that when I do get in front of a TV, I completely check out from any human interaction. You can’t talk to me if the TV is on. I don’t mean to be rude. But my little pea brain can only handle so many tasks at once. And since I don’t sit in front of a TV often, the glowing box is going to win. It’s shiny. My sister loves this about me.

TV ads have always been fascinating to me. My parents say that as a child, I was mesmerized by commercials. I didn’t watch The Wizard of Oz, but I stopped to watch the ads. I would stand like a statue until the show came back on. I guess also as a child, if I decided I was sleepy, I would curl up where ever I was, and go to sleep. In the middle of the kitchen floor, or whatever. Baby me, sucking my thumb, fast asleep. My parents laughed at me a lot.

I know I’d like to be creative and artsy and somehow make money and not starve. A lot of art is used to sell stuff. Advertising and marketing and glossy magazines. My concern is that because I choose not to be “hip” to things, it handicaps my potential as a designer. Design is cutting edge, and trendy before trends. Even looking at design and art schools lately makes me feel like I’m on the outside, looking in. It’s a world I don’t yet feel a part of.

I hope maybe I can pitch my “outside perspective” (aka uncoolness) as an asset, not a hindrance. Because not being hip, is, you know, super hip.


  1. I am told that, as a toddler, whenever a certain Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum ad came on, I would scoot across the carpet at Garanimals-tearing speed to watch it.

    Re: being trendy, well, there’s always retro.

    But apart from that — you’re an artist!! Do whatever the hell you want. You should understand basic design principles, of course, but beyond that, do what feels/looks right to you. Do enough of it for enough people and you’ll start to see what resonates, and what doesn’t.

    Make art. Hone. Repeat.


  2. You DO have a pea brain!!

    Not all designing is in the Hollywood industry. Being an artist, you know colors and how to use them. Not many people can say the same. Why would you want to be on the inside looking out? I am on the inside looking out and am aching to be the opposite! I want to be where all the sane people are! Hollywood is a small/large industry, however you want to look at it. But in reference to heart, it is a small, small industry. Why would you want to be a part of that?

    Don’t let her near a TV when you want to have a conversation with her.

  3. i know. everything you said (except the no tv part), I KNOW! i am behind the trends too, and it’s simply because it’s too hard to know these kinds of things. and the vapidity of it is depressing. i think not being a slave to the current whatevers is a huge asset. it makes you more unique and less sheep-esque. *nods*

  4. Yeah! And honestly, has anyone EVER walked down the street and seen ANYONE wearing the goofy-ass shit from the style magazines? I never have! (Of course, I live in L.A., and therefore don’t _walk_ down the street. But still..)

    Anyway, point is, real people don’t shop for and buy extremist ‘even cuttier than the cutting-edge!’ crap like that. You live in Portland and thankfully will not be artist/designer to the stars — even if you had the trend-chops for it, being steeped in that macabre circus of artificiality would murder your soul and, within days of being exposed to that crowd, you’d running screaming flailing to the sea, chucking their fat paychecks over your shoulder as you fled. The audience for your art shops REI, not YSL, and god bless them for that.

    Go with what you know and push your own boundaries, not somebody else’s.

  5. Here’s a quick and easy remedy for catching up on the latest trends and chatter:

    1. Find a TV with cable to use for about an hour.
    2. Turn on the TV, channel changer in hand.
    3. Spend 3-5 minutes on MTV, Nickelodeon, and each network. Repeat the cycle until the hour is up.

    After the therapy above you will be completely caught up. If someone had recently made a reference to a new celebrity, fashion, song, or consumer item that you were previously ignorant of, you will know what they were talking about.

  6. Here’s another thing that doesn’t make sense: Last I checked, magazines like ‘Esquire’ retailed at $2.95 per issue. Yet their fashion spreads feature clothing that retails at $500 per shirt. Or $7,000 per watch. Obviously, their target market can afford to pay more than $2.95 per issue, so why don’t they just stop bullshitting everybody already?

    By the way, may I suggest that everybody who lives in Los Angeles County please step outside the perimeter of Mulholland- La Brea- Jefferson- Pacific every fucking once in a while? We all may meet some non-Vogue, non-fake, non-rich, non-white, real, sane people if we do that.

  7. My co-workers are all about location! They all live in HW and see no reason to leave that area. A little part of me dies every day when I drive into work. I just wonder if I’ll get them back again. Don’t read those magazine, don’t watch styling shows. It’s so not worth it, they think the world revolves around them and everyone is watching. We are watching but in amazement at how ridiculous it is. It’s so ridiculous.

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