The irony of imitation; Why people feel compelled to emulate their peers

I have tried writing around six different introductions to this article and yet I cannot surpass this piece as something purely out of interest or professional. In all honesty, this is a rant about a topic that infuriates me. 

I questioned myself many times before even attempting to write this… Maybe I’m not accustomed to imitation and can’t train myself to be? Maybe writing this is my way of expressing my frustration toward the annoyance of imitation within peers? What type of a person does this frustration make me? Am I too proud of my appearance and am I putting my pride above the insecurities of others?

However, in fashion, trends enable fashion revolutions, and with trends come success and prosperity within the industry.

This however, is different. This is imitating the people around you to the point where you become unrecognisable. To say that a person has become ‘unrecognisable’ means that their need to be that one step ahead of everyone else, mascarades their actual personality, and the fact that they copy everything that you say you will do or purchase, regardless of if they actually like that dress/pair of shoes/ bag/ hair colour/ style etc. changes who they are, how people perceive them and how the people around them act towards them.

I find imitation to be destructive to relationships and interests. People will go out of their way to make sure that they have the same thing as you… but what do they gain from that? What motivates someone to copy someone else? Why can’t people look for things that make them happy, rather than live off of something that someone else has done or wants to do? Originality is so hard to find, but is not hard to attain. You, as a person know exactly what it is that you like, what you dislike, what suits you and what you are able to [afford, do and keep up with] So why force something onto yourself that someone else wants? Why can’t people make decisions that are based on what they like, what interests them, and not what someone else likes for themselves. Do what makes you happy, do what suits you best and make sure that you can justify your motives and be proud of the person who you are.

In my short sixteen years, I have learnt many things, but lately I have come to understand the power of competition and possession. Understanding why people feel as though they must be better, why they need people to believe that they’re an image of perfection, why they put unnecessary pressure on themselves. Then, that is the point where you have to wonder, what possesses someone to want to be exactly like someone else? What do they gain from it? Do they feel happy that they have imitated someone else, that they have gone out of their way to make their peer feel inferior? It is understandable that you may look up to someone, idolise them, their style, make them your inspiration. But when you do things in spite of them, to show them up, what type of a person does that make you?

I have come to realise the reason for this. Harsh or not, this is reality and when people feel compelled to constantly prove that they are better than someone or that they can keep up with someone else’s ideas and style, it is a sure sign of insecurities and jealousy. Insecurities about oneself drive people to aim to prove themselves in a manner where they will happily put someone down or purposely make them feel like a lesser person in comparison, just to manifest in their abilities to be ‘better’. Why pretend to be someone that you aren’t, when in actuality, you cannot bear to be yourself. How do you expect to be happy with your life if you are living through someone else?

What about the other person or people involved? The one who was so excited to tell you about their new venture, their new idea, a change that they were looking forward to, something that was going to be beneficial and special to them. Imagine how they feel when someone else takes credit for their idea, or purposely ‘shows them up’. It could just be my frustrations about this, however I cannot stand it when something that i’ve done or want to do and I have gone out of my way to be original and individual, gets copied by someone who I trusted to be happy for me, rather than become competitive. I lose interest in it and then have to find something new to do. It’s unfair, it’s conceited and irritating.

Try to imagine things from my perspective. When you try so hard to do something new, when you come up with a great idea in relation to your style, outfits, hair, accessories and general ventures, and that one competitive person forces themselves to prove that they can do it better, or before you, just for the sake of being able to keep up. It is damaging to relationships, reputations and personal wellbeing. I have said this in my articles many times before but “individuality is key to making fashion work for you” and it is applicable to everything, individuality is extremely important in life. Why go through life being a clone of someone else, when you can stand out and be noticed and acclaimed for your individuality?

Style is a symbol of individuality and is a way of expressing yourself, and more often than not is held highly for many people. It is something to take pride in, something to enjoy and it is a gratifying feeling to be able to express yourself in such a manner, without using words, just a vision of yourself that you are portraying through your style.

Without expression, we are just human clones of one another, and who honestly wants to disregard their own personal style and be like everyone else?

What do you think about this post?