Friday, May 16, 2008

I HATE! Sheep

Have you ever walked into a shopping mall, perhaps in the suburbs (and I'm not discriminating against the suburbs here, but it's just that this trend seems to have garnered the most support in non-city locales), and instantly noticed that every teen girl you encounter looks exactly the same?

Ok - so, if you're confused about the title of this post, let me clarify that I'm not talking about actual sheep here. (Who could hate sheep? They look so soft and comfy!) The term 'sheep' is what my mother and (non-conformist) 16-year-old sister use to refer to the unfortunate uniform-esque look that so many teenage girls have adopted without thought. Specifically, when traveling in packs, this phenomenon makes it impossible to identify an individual girl in the mass of stick-straight hair and head-to-toe Abercrombie / American Eagle. Hence the term sheep - each and every one of them look the same.

I find the term sheep hilarious, and hence, have decided to write angerly about it, because in the fashion melting pot that is New York City, these so-called 'sheep' stick out like a sore thumb after being slammed in a car door over and over again. So in my case, I can spot a 'sheep' - complete with thermal half-button down Abercrombie top emblazoned with the unmistakable moose logo, faded and rhinestoned American Eagle jeans with strategically-placed pre-ripped knee, Uggs, and stick-straight flat-ironed hair - a mile away, as if they had been tragically stolen away from their native habitat and dropped helpless and alone into a foreign setting.

I mean, I understand wanting to fit in with your friends, but isn't becoming a carbon copy of every other girl in Middle America a tad overkill? Seriously girls - you look foolish. No one's going to appreciate your uncanny ability to look exactly like your friends after you hit the 17 year-old mark. If you're a typical teenage girl and acceptance is the most coveted thing since the Ugg boot, spare yourself the horror that will inevitably surface within you during the first couple of weeks of college when you realize that being an Abercrombie robo-clone doesn't fly anymore.

To be honest, when I see a flock of sheep walking toward me, I want to laugh. It's 100% pathetic that you have to loose every ounce of your individualism to retain your friends. I wonder what would happen if one sheep strayed from the pack and, gasp - god forbid, bought something at a store other than Abercrombie! Would she be cast out of the group? Would she be shunned by the opposite sex? Would her parents disown her? No! The only thing that might be derived from this situation is that one member of the group might finally step out of the collective shadow and be noticed as an individual.

Not quite ready (or brave enough) to shed the Middle America Mall Attire? Here's a suggestion: maybe keep the Abercrombie top, but pair it with a sassy skirt (Side Note: I can't believe I just wrote the word 'sassy', but it just seemed to flow through my fingertips and onto the screen) or wear the perfectly-manufactured jeans with a unique tee-shirt (read: one that not everyone else you know has in another color) and sneakers. Ignore the fact that I sound like the moderator for a kiddy fashion show at Sears - you see my point: it's easy to incorporate a few 'sheep' pieces into your wardrobe without completely succumbing to the teeny-bopper fashion set (and without being cast out of your group for straying from the dress code).

I don't know about anyone else, but whenever I showed up at school wearing the same outfit as someone else, I was embarrassed - not pleased. Maybe times have changed since I was in high school, maybe now it's cool to look exactly like the girl that sits behind you in English class. I realize this post was a bit of a diatribe, but seriously, Abercrombie uses child labor, the clothes are made from the cheapest materials possible, and frankly, nothing in the store is that cute. We're talking Abercrombie here, not couture!

Disclaimer: Before I get called out, I am freely admitting that I owned those chunky Steve Madden sandals that every other girl in high school at the time had. In fact, I had them in black and brown.

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