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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn


Monday, June 10, 2013

You're Not Vintage!



I keep seeing this statement on youtube, in the comments of vintage-loving gals who are sweet enough to post a little video outfit of the day or beauty tip for fellow retro enthusiasts. It's a pet peeve of mine and I'll tell you why:

For one thing, a simple click on the user name behind most of these comments will tell you all you need to know about them. Most of the girls who troll the vintage girls on Youtube are under 18 and have a very skewed notion of what is 'vintage'. They feel that it is either a: a badge of honor worn only by girls lucky enough to have an entirely authentic vintage wardrobe (and that this term applies only to pieces prior to 1960) or b: is somehow associated with Adele and Katy Perry, stars who are continually labeled as having a 'vintage' aesthetic by the media. Some of them have the idea that 'rockabilly' automatically means 'vintage' as well, which just baffles me. Rockabilly is a style of music...if someone calls themselves 'rockabilly', I seriously hope they are also fans of the music, whether they dress in retro styles or not. But that's beside the point; telling someone 'You're not vintage' (or most commonly among the uneducated troll-kingdom: 'Your not vintage') is not only based on ignorance but also preconceptions that are born of societies where labels are a means of gaining acceptance among our peers. It's sad, really.

Here are my thoughts about what constitutes 'vintage', some of which you've already seen me mention in videos: 'Vintage' is a broad term and is entirely subjective. Just like what someone deems to be 'Rock n Roll' will vary from one person to the next, what is 'vintage' in one person's eyes will be 'so not vintage' to someone else. Yes there are technical and official definitions of both terms but what they specifically means to someone is based on their own interests and desires. Telling someone that they're 'not vintage' is like saying 'that ain't rock n roll'. For every accusation, there will be hundreds of supporters willing to fight for what they feel deserves the label.

Which is why labels are such a ridiculous presence in pop culture. What possible good do they serve? Other than as a tag to help group together posts on social media networking, perhaps...I see no use for them. If you label YOURSELF, fine...knock yourself out. But don't impose your ideas on others as though somehow your adolescent word is law.

For those of you who frequent my blog, youtube, facebook or Instagram: Hopefully you know by now that I don't support labels or tolerate catty opinions from those who do. If I see a darling girl who wears J Crew dresses and a flower in her hair being bashed for using the term 'vintage' to describe her style, I'm likely to make a snarky comment in her defense. After all, who are YOU to tell that sweet girl what qualifies as vintage? If we were to rely on the media to label things for us, the following pictures all came up under a Google search of the word:


I actually think all of the above photos are representations of a thoroughly modern aesthetic. But it's also obvious to me that they're inspired by the past, as most fashion is, and therefore it doesn't bother me a bit that they're searchable under the word 'vintage'.

Now, if the above photos were listed as 'authentic 1940's or 1950's', I might have a problem...but they're not. And if they were...well that's a rant for another time.

Til then, please be nice to each other and let people call themselves and their style whatever they want to. It's not going to hurt you to simply stay silent.

Ashley

21 comments:

Heather said...

You're (or your for the uneducated) absolutely amazing! I love Ashley, and thank you for giving "permission" to those who would prescribe to a certain style to have a little (or a lot!) of leeway with it. Basically make "vintage" your own and work it the way it looks best for you.

Great post. And btw- it's nice of you to rant once in a while. You're a sweet girl, but ranting can get a lot off of your chest. <3 it!

Maritha Boström said...

My thoughts exactly! Very well written, thank you so much!

Melissa Dawn Design said...

beautifully put and couldn't agree more

Maggie Kolb said...

I'm glad I also have the power of snark.. My response to "You're not vintage"? "Obviously not, I was born in 1976."

Andrea Golindano said...

I genuinely love watching your videos, not just because you have a great style and are a really good teacher, but because you're a kind and positive person. This didn't read as a rant at all to me, rather it is a well-defended point of view. Keep doing what you're doing, I plan to keep watching and supporting.

Adi said...

I agree with you completely and I notice that it's the girls who are from the age range of 14-19 who do the labeling a lot. I always considered my sister's style to be rockabilly and not just of her wardrobe but because she listens to the music as well. Even to this day (12 years later) she doesn't give herself a label.

What I've noticed is that people didn't care about labels back then and it's the kids born in the mid/ late '9Os who are becoming too obsessed with labeling themselves and others. I'm 2O (21 on October) but I don't label myself as a "metal head" although many people might see me as one. I wear what I want, even if its something pink, floral, or "girly," and heavy metal just happens to be my favorite music genre, but certainly not the only genre I like.

I wrote a blog post about it called, "Stereotypes" not too long ago as well if you'd like to see it, but I understand what you mean about these girls bashing each other with what they believe is and is not vintage.

vegcourtesy.blogspot.com

Lorie B said...

Bravo!!!!

Unknown said...

This is wonderfully written and should be re-posted throughout the blogosphere for all to see. Ashley, you really touched on my pet peeve here and, I think, said it way more eloquently than I have ever been able to. I will be sharing this post with all that I know who love vintage as much as I.

Renée said...

Yes I have been seeing these comments as well, one that really raised my eyebrows was a comment on a video from The Cherry Dollface that said "you're not vintage, ladies in the 50s did not have ugly tattoo's"

?
(A question mark is always good when you're at a loss for words)

Sharon Giesbrecht said...

Well said!

Steph said...

AMEN!

Mysti Luxe said...

I'm reminded of an exchange I overheard one time about someone very new to the Rockabilly scene wanting some tips on how to become "more rockabilly" and a fellow poster was incredibly rude to her saying you cant just say you are, or do it over night, it takes yeeears. I imagined her saying it with an incredibly snooty voice. Who was this girl to dictate how someone else wanted to be? Sure it does take time to discover your personal style, and collect a wardrobe of pieces, but you are who you are and if you want to wear sweats and flip flops to a show, do it. Doesnt make you any less vintage or rockabilly than the next girl.

Unknown said...

THIS. JUST THIS.


I have had this rant SOOOOO many times. :)

art deco dame said...

Snobs take the fun out of things don't they!There is so much amazing on the Internet it shocks me people have the time to troll and spew negativity

Stephanie Jay Em said...

Here here! Honestly, my first love was definitely the goth/post-punk scene. One of my favorite things to do is to meld that with a vintage or rockabilly style. Part of the fun of clothes and general styling in a post modern world is that you can create a wardrobe around your personality. I'm definitely not a vintage purist, I like a little from a lot of places, but everyone should be allowed to do their own thing.

Crimson Gardenia said...

Lovely... well said!

Brittany_Va-VoomVintage said...

Ugh, I get so tired of hearing that phrase. "You're not vintage" well- I'm 27 so by etsy standards I'm totally vintage, being over 20. No one IS vintage in my book unless they're a great grandma! ;) I think anyone who runs around telling everyone that they aren't vintage should get off the computer because technology isn't very vintage either!

Foodycat said...

I love this! I was put off one of the big vintage enthusiast forums when too many people would post things like "I'm the only person who likes vintage in my town. The other girls just wear Stop Staring".

CoriLynn said...

I freakin love this post!!! You rock Ashley!!! Well-said!

Soefaj said...

That's all so true... I never aim to a particular 'style', I just wear and do with my face whatever I want, but in the past (when I was younger and in my so called 'black phase' of my life, too many people have askes if I was eather gothic or emo. I never labelled myself, for I just wore what the hell I wanted, but these people just always felt the urge to label everything the way they want it to be labelled...

- Soefaj

have yarn will create said...

Ashley, I adore you, and your style. You're a classy southern lady, with whom I identify a lot with. For one, you and my sister have the same name ;). I wear what I want to, I can pull off most vintage looks, but I, in no way label myself as "Vintage". Because I wear my red hair in victory rolls, or wear 1940's or 50's inspired clothing, and do my make up in a pin up sort of way, my co workers have labeled me as "Lucy" (Lucille Ball). I grin and bear it, though, I don't like it much, because that's not what I'm trying to do at all. But, then again, my view of her was that she was a bit overdone and exaggerated. My point here, is that is my perception of things. I agree with you, to one person, their perception of things differ from mine. If I'm going for a pin up look, it's a look, not who I am. I'm a person, not a look. My "looks" will change from time to time, that doesn't define who I am, or what I am. I enjoy the Vintage look, because that is my perception of what is beautiful. Just like I've got a few discrete tattoo's and a nose piercing. Not everyone views that as beautiful. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your opinion and youtube postings (as well as Facebook and here) very much!

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