[Originally written some time in 2002]
As far as I know, there is not much of a real scene here in New Jersey. Granted, I have come across many people that used their entire allowance at Hot Topic, just for the simple fact of being able to say: "I shop at Hot Topic, I'm cool" or what have you. Oh yes, I am ever so impressed because you gave in and decided to support a corporation, while in the meantime, mommy is sewing your brand new patch onto your black backpack so you can show it off on Monday in school.
So yeah, aside from those that blatantly scream "I spend my allowance at Hot Topic to make mommy and daddy pissed", there are the ever present metal heads, hip hop dudes and a random spattering of punks—tho most of them are all about the fashion and will make faces at you if you don’t fit the stereotype. Then there’s the preppy douchebags and their fake ‘n’ bake girlfriends rolling around in plastic cars that they can't handle at high speeds—tho they do put so much effort into showing how fast they can go. Just can't wait to die, I suppose.
From what I have experienced, there is no united scene around here. Maybe I can't really speak for the rest of the state, because I haven't been everywhere in Jersey. Here in E-town, there's nothing. Oh, and that so-called 'club' one city over...it doesn't even deserve recognition. The only 'dress code' enforced there is green. Enough said.
Being inspired by certain things isn't bad, but blindly falling into a genre or trend is pure stupidity. It happens all the time, tho people are never aware that they do it, and they certainly make for good amusement.
Anyway, getting to the point. Yes, I have indeed reaped a benefit from the fact that 'unusual' clothing is more readily available. However, it also means that anyone who just thinks it's 'cool' or "my friends will freak when they see me in this" will grow bored and move on. There are countless times where I hear the story of "oh, I used to dress like that". The reason you don't now, is because you only liked the novelty of the clothing/accessories/music. Do you seriously think you're going to convince me to change just because you grew out of your phase?
That's always been good for a laugh. If I was going thru a 'phase', I'm quite sure I would have grown out of it by now. Let's see, I'll be 21 in December, which means I've been in my 'phase' for about six years now. That's sort of beating a dead horse, eh?
However, it is important to stop caring and not let the exploding 'trends' bother me, as I know that one day it will get boring, and the next 'new thing' will be sought after. While all the lemmings gather, I'll just continue to be myself. Of course I know that there are plenty of people who say: "This is just me". Sure, I'll believe that, considering the fact that the majority of the people who do say that [once again] are corporate Hot Topic products. Manufactured DIY is such an oxymoron. If it has pre-made, you are only impressing the other idiots who do not comprehend the purpose of DIY.
In any event I am straying from my point.
There are many different labels that people attempt to place on me, from 'goth' to 'punk', and other not so nice names], but I have never really considered myself to be any of these.
In my heart, I have a fondness for the circus and sideshow, which has been with me for numerous years. My best friend said that he considers me to be a true Carny, and since that is not an honor one can easily gain, I might as well start wearing it with pride. There is joy in modifying my body, to please only my own aesthetic. Clothes, hair, make-up and accessories follow the same vein. The music I listen to and movies I watch are because I want to, not so I can throw around my knowledge of them adnausem. These are just things that make up me, not because they are a part of some stereotypical genre or scene. You cannot lump me into your general categories, and it's simply because I don't belong in any of them.
Even while wearing clothes I don't consider being 'dressed up' in, some random woman passed me on the sidewalk and said "Cool outfit". My appearance can make a good conversation starter, but I have noticed after a few minutes, people are looking past my skin, and are talking to me. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I carry myself with confidence, and I do not allow trends to dictate what I should or should not wear.
In the end, I will always feel like the eternal misfit, because I know that there is no one else like me. However, I choose to embrace this, knowing that I am true to myself and don't need to play some character in order for people to like me, as I have no interest in fake friends. Take your scene and shove it; I'm proud to be a Carny, and no can ever take that away from me.