The Thought process of Clothing as Identity:
Here is what I am thinking, there are 15 or 20 identities available to adopt (like in highschool, the jock, geek, punk, goth, etc.), we pick the one that expresses who we are the most. The confusion and frustration with identity arises when we can't accurately express who we are because the appropriate images are lacking.
What are your thoughts, I am thinking that the images aren't as defined as I make them out to be, they lend themselves to mixing and matching, the only limit is how much money you have to express who you are. Which is really the root of the problem.
It is really all a myth isn't it. That the more money you spend the better expressed you will be. Or maybe it's just wrong, maybe there isn't the link that I am drawing. What do you think?
So, I've been thinking, image is a way of communicating using stereotypes. This just isn't a deep expression.
Response by the Manimal:
Not a bad idea Jeff, the identity selection, but I'm not sure about your correlation of money and expression. Hippies for example have one of the most unique senses of expression and reject the ideals of money and accumulation altogether. The only group that I can think of that directly requires capital as an expression of itself is those who consider themselves nothing more than market participants, the Trumps of the world.
It is the struggle, as you had said, between identities and the mixing of these categories that creates expression, money to me is a different entity in itself. I am not Riley because of the amount of money I have in the bank, it undoubtedly may affect who I am, but it is not expression. If you are buying your identity I think there might be much larger problems at hand.
PS. Does anyone know where I could get a COOL identity?
My Response to Manimal:
I have come back to this post a couple times and I think I have my reply. Trump values moneyHippies value hanging outLast night at the circus I left thinking about what it means to do something just for myself, not for other people to see. I think writing poetry, a song, or just creating in general is something that I do for myself. What I wear is for other people, it portrays an image. That image puts me in a group (whether I want it to or not). Trump types don't dress up like hippies because no one would take them seriously. What I am getting at is that I have these values and I want other people to see them, so I dress a certain way. That is what marketing has done is attached values to styles. "If I buy this cologne I will be sexy." (RL ?) - it's not just about smelling good, but I will have the same sex appeal as the guy with a six pack and a tan if I buy this cologne. This guy is sexy and RL is saying the essence of this isn't his body, but their cologne and they have captured that essence and will sell it to me.My point is that values are authentic and they are cheapened by the image that is attached to them. For example, if I want to be rich and powerful (the trump type) I don't have to work hard I can just buy a suit and a bad comb over. It is a shortcut to identity.