A funny thing happened on Main Street today….

29 May

My son and I took a little break and went down to Main Street today.  Main Street in Huntington Beach is just like Main Street in Anywhere, USA… boutiques and restaurants that are where the masses congregate on sunny weekends.  The only difference between the H.B. Main Street and Anywhere USA Main Street is that ours is a big surfer tourist area because it leads onto a pier, and on weekends it’s not just crowded- it’s packed.  So we’re wandering around people-watching (one of our favorite things to do), and I’m cluing into some interesting behavior.

The groups of “punk girls” with their tattoos and piercings and perfectly manicured “I don’t care about your fashion” look were glaring and mocking the “indie rock art chick” girls for being snobs and the “prissy girls” for being superficial.  The “indie rock art chick” girls with their tattoos and piercings and carefully manicured  “I’m discarding mainstream fashion for retro fashion and craft fair jewelry that makes me oh-so-unique” were rolling their eyes at the “punk girls” for not being cool enough and the “prissy girls” for being superficial.  The “prissy girls” with their perfectly manicured hair, nails and spray tan and designer clothing are looking in disgust at the “punk girls” for being intimidating and the “indie rock art chick” girls for being weird.  I was watching group after group of cultural stereotypes pass each other on the street, giving each other the “evil eye” stare down quickly followed by snarky whispers to friends and noses immediately turning up into the air.  The lady vs lady disdain was uncomfortable- but what really got to me was the fact that there isn’t ANYTHING  different about any of these groups except the end result of how they choose to portray themselves to the world… which makes their disdain fully ridiculous an unnecessary.

When I make sweeping generalizations about the 3 mentioned groups, in NO WAY am I meaning to insult anyone.  Because when I was younger I could have been quickly tucked into the “punk girl” category, over the past few years I probably could have been more easily tucked into the “indie” category, and as I’m getting older I’m getting prissier every day… so I’m a pretty solid combination of all 3 groups.  But the uniforms are usually so extremely defined and well planned, that they can quickly be picked out of large crowds.  But not only that, these groups rely on being defined by their exterior- but loathe each other because of the exteriors so much that it’s almost comical.  Almost.

The “almost” is because there’s no reason under the sun for any of these girls to be treating each other like shit, because they are all exactly the same.  There is no difference between a girl getting covered with tattoos and a girl getting a boob job and botox.  There is no difference between a girl spending hundreds on a punk uniform and a girl spending hundreds on designer clothing.  There is no difference between a girl spending hundreds on piercings and body jewelery and a girl spending hundreds on spray tans and hair extensions.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Every one of these situations is a girl making attempts to fit into their social peer group that they’ve chosen, and spending the time, money and effort to properly adjust their appearance to be accepted in these peer groups.

Take the body modification:  Is there really any difference between unloading huge amounts of money to sit for hours and hours in pain having chemical inks permanently injected into your skin,  and spending huge amounts of money to have a procedure done that puts artificial implants into your boobs?  I know the immediate argument is “But tattoos are an artistic expression and boob jobs are to fit into a shallow social stereotype”.  But really… look deeper.  Both procedures are done so that the girls are more comfortable with their exterior.  Both procedures are done so that the girls feel more proud of their bodies.  Both procedures are done because it is what is socially acceptable in the social groups they have chosen to be accepted by.  On first glance- they seem to be so different… but when you dig down to the root, they come from the exact same place.  And this can be said for every aspect of how these ladies all choose to present themselves to the world.

I guarantee you the average “indie rock art chick” spends just as much money at Urban Outfitters or H&M than the “punk chick” spends on boots and studded belts as the “prissy chick” spends on… well… whatever expensive designer clothing “prissy chicks” buy (I’m getting prissier as I get older, but I’m still broke so  have no clue where those ladies shop).  I’m close friends with ladies from all these groups- and there is no difference between any of them.  The politics might be a little different, the life priorities might be a little different… but that’s it.  So I left Main Street today extremely sad at the fact that so many girls have so much hate for so many other girls just because of how they look- when their attention to detail in how they look is the unifying factor between them all.

So with those observations in mind- ladies, please feel free to ponder this.  And if you find yourself snubbing another lady because of something petty like what social club they belong to (and don’t feel bad if you have because it takes a conscious and continued effort to not do this)… please try to stop yourself.   We ladies have to stop treating each other like shit- especially over things as stupid as what uniform we put on in the morning.  Ladies hating ladies for any reason makes me really sad… so can we please all make a group effort to treat each other a little better?  Thank you and good night.

(ps:  The one group that didn’t get shitty about anyone were the hippy girls.  So thank you, hippy girls, for being smiley and loving like good hippy’s should… or for being too baked to care.  Either way is totally ok by me!  xoxo)

(pps: I almost forgot!  I finally got my jewelry line up and running!  So in addition to the new sunglasses line, I now have necklaces available!  If you wanna see them, click the image below to get swooped away to my webstore.  Yay!!)

Cats with Moustaches, Mirrored ghosts, and wooden whispering bunny necklaces!

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24 Responses to “A funny thing happened on Main Street today….”

  1. christine k May 30, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    I love this blog…especially after going back and forth between NJ,land of fake tans and even more fake handbags, LA, land of plastic in general, and NYC, land of oogle punk girls and hipsters, its really sad to see how girls attack other girls, or try to put them down because they arent as hardcore into their scene as other girls are. Some of these girls try so hard to set an image..concentrate on something more productive! I find the girls who try so hard to be the most outrageous, the most different and ‘radical’ are usually the most boring. It must take a lot of work to look and sound that ridiculous. Its just so attention seeking and just exhausting to listen to some of these girls conversations.

    ..And another thing…dont we get enough shit from people anyway? its hard enough to be taken seriously when youre a young woman…its just makes it that much harder when we’re constantly refering to other girls as ‘that bitch’. It just looks shallow and insecure.

    • Kristen Ferrell May 30, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      There is no difference at all between the crusty punk chick who has a full face tattoo and chooses to be homeless and eat out of dumpsters, and the prissy girl with the gigantic fake porn star tits, fake tan, and designer clothing. Both these girls are extreme versions of their chosen social group- taking the attributes of their groups to the highest level. The more extreme their persona’s are- the more alike they are…. but the more they hate each other because of their differences.
      The hatred is shallow and insecure. But women are raised to hate each other, and are raised to hate themselves more. So the catty-ness swells and swells. It happens within the social groups too… not being “punk enough”, or not being up on all the appropriate indie bands, or not wearing the latest high end clothing. They’re all ways of knocking down other girls to elevate themselves to a higher social standing within the group. I would love to say it gets better as we get older… but in most cases, it doesn’t. And it’s really sad.

      Though I will say about the oogles… after seeing that website http://lookatthisfuckingoogle.tumblr.com, I am horrified that THIS is what now constitutes for “punk”. This isn’t a knock on girls… but a complete lack of understanding as to how refusing the most basic personal hygiene, functioning at the level of someone who is mentally retarded, and eating roadkill is a “movement”. AND how this movement stemmed from the same one that produced Ian MacKaye. I looked at that website and got sick to my stomach. I honestly just don’t get it.

  2. Kristin Strasser May 30, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Well said!

    You should check out this website for hilarious descriptions of a ton of different “scenesters”- be sure to check the descriptions and playlists at the bottom. Maybe you and sully can play scenester bingo with it the next time you’re people watching? http://yourscenesucks.com/

    Also, if you haven’t seen the Portlandia series with Fred Armisen, you should really check it out because they play with a bunch of different stereotypes.

    • Kristen Ferrell May 30, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      Oh my gaaawwwdd!!! That website is hilarious!!! I think it may be my new favorite! Thank you, lady!!
      😀

      • Kristin Strasser May 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

        I liked this quote from the about page.

        “Wouldn’t it be more of an act of rebellion if you didn’t spend so much time buying blue hair dye and going out to get punky clothes? it seems so petty. stop me if I’m being offensive. you wanna be an individual, right? you look like you’re wearing a uniform. you look like a punk. that’s not rebellion. that’s fashion.”

        – slc punk

        • Kristen Ferrell May 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

          YES!!!! Wonderful quote!! They all are uniforms. There is no rebellion in it… or at least not anymore. So to hate each other because the separation of uniforms is bizarre. And 100% counter-productive.

  3. Sarah Wallace May 30, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Women are programmed to stay divided because if we united into a supportive and empowering sisterhood we would end war, famine, discrimination, and pointless video games and the men wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.

    • Kat May 30, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      But… but… I LIKE pointless video games. *sad face*

      • Kristen Ferrell May 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

        (Don’t worry, Kat… if the gender war goes down, we’ll let you keep yours.)
        xo

    • Kristen Ferrell May 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

      *sigh*
      I know. I doubt that we’ll ever see any major social unity among women in our lifetime… but I’m pretty into striving for little bits here and there on a smaller scale. If we can stamp down the hate on a smaller scale, hopefully it will grow to effect a larger scale, and then maybe our grandkids will see a little bit of that united empowered sisterhood on a large scale. Maybe?
      That’s what I’m shooting for, anyways.
      ;D

  4. Kat May 30, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I’ve seen the same thing, Kristin. It’s everywhere, and it’s really sad. Eugene isn’t quite as bad, as most places I’ve lived, but you still see plenty of sneering going on. Especially between distinct groups of subcultures… the glares would drop an elephant at 200 paces.

    • Kristen Ferrell May 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

      Eugene isn’t as bad because there are so many more hippies. Even the shallow Southern California hippies don’t play the girl-hate game… so I’m sure they’re SUPER accepting up north!
      I watching those “elephant-dropping” glares go down makes me feel gross and sad. And the pointlessness of it makes me want to grab these ladies and shake them because this is one of the ways that men don’t keep us down- but WE keep OURSELVES down.

  5. hayley g May 30, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    yay too baked to care! lmao.

  6. candice May 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! The whole issue is so silly to me, because it’s always been painfully obvious to me that (like you said) there is no real difference between these groups. As for me, I just don’t fit in to any group because I’m WAY to cheap when it comes to my appearance. Everything I buy is usually used except for when I get to treat myself to something extra special from an independent shop that I really love, such as yours. I just don’t have the money, willpower or care to keep up a certain look.

    Speaking of your shop, I would have bought up all of your new glasses and necklaces if my money wasn’t going towards my doggy’s palliative cancer medications. The new stuff really, really, really, really turned out wonderful. Congrats again!

    • Kristen Ferrell May 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      OH NO DOGGY!!!!! I’m so so sorry to hear that!!! Poor baby!
      My opinion is that rampant clinging to any group identity is the sign of low self esteem and insecurity. And it’s pretty much a given that someone tearing down others is a sign of low self esteem and insecurity. So if people worked a little harder on making themselves feel better about themselves, then all this would solve itself. But since we live in a society that raises girls to hate themselves so much that cutting and severe eating disorders is now a problem with girls as young as 10 and 11… well… this probably isn’t going to get better on it’s own. I want to give all the little girls in our country a gigantic hug because my heart breaks for them.

  7. amyjeen May 31, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    How your brain works and how you express yourself make you one of my most favorite ladies despite the fact I’ve never met you in 3-D. Or is it 4-D…I can’t brain today.
    Also because you make pretty pictures and thingies that make me pretty-er lol.
    I HUG YOUR HEAD !

  8. Brandi May 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Hippie’s! Never trust a hippie! It’s all “peace and love” until they jack you up and fuck you over! ;-P
    But, seriously… which of these lady groups best rock these wears you are peddling? I love the new jewels. I think they will look great with studs and spikes. ;-D

  9. Luna June 8, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    too baked to care…that’s me too!!! oh but for the record, this hippie chic lives by the motto, “peace and love or I’ll kick your ass!”

  10. Chelle Rose July 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    I love your new necklaces so cute!!!

    http://cocoscarousel.blogspot.com/

    • Kristen Ferrell July 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

      Thank you for your shout out!!! You’re adorable and your blog is so so pretty!! ♥♥♥

  11. LRA August 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    AWWW!! This makes me so sadddd!!!!

    I think that people just looking at me would classify me as “prissy”, but really, I dress the way I do because of my job. And probably the fact that I live in a conservative place doesn’t help either.

    The thing is… I have a secret burning desire to look like you Kristen, just for a little while with your awesome hair and all tatted up and your feisty fashions!! Just for a little while… you know, to try it on! That would be *so* *fun*!!!!

    Why can’t we girls just get along! We have so many other obstacles in society to deal with… we need to support each other, not hurt each other.

    Shout out to my lovely ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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