Jan 10, 2012


From the past century there's a memory I use to recall about feeling on my own skin the social differences between people. It happened in Hungary at the dorms where I was living at the time, that I was with the Latina team, girl taking and one of them, a quite rich girl from Ecuador, lets call her Emma, though I forgot her name, was telling us stories about her friends back at home. Her stories were nothing like mine, about walking home from highschool - a distance of maybe some 10 to 20 km (that's like 6 to 12 miles) -  just to save the busfare to spend it on candy, stamps or save it for a keychain of the New Kids On The Block. Her stories were about how her parents gave her and her siblings a lot of money every week to buy their things - lunch money, shopping money, etc. - but they spent it all on gas. They where the only ones of their friends to have a car (Emma had her own car, it wasn't shared with her siblings) - and their friends loved driving around, so sometimes they used up all their weekly money on gas in a day. She told us about the constant quarrels with their parents because all the money went to gas.

Then, she told us, one day to add to the matter, her friends decided to prank her by painting the bumper of her car fuchsia. I still remember Emma looking at us out of herself.

"Fuchsia! Can you believe it? Fuchsia!! I was so mad at them!"

I didn't get it. I mean, back then I didn't know how to drive, less did I have a car! I saved up money for a keychain, wore the same shoes to highschool for three years, the same uniform and the same backpack. I think I wasn't even sure what color was fuchsia exactly. (Yes, I could be certified as a 100% straight man, according to cannon perceptions.) I don't know if she was laying to us (she should have been driving in Ecuador at the age of 15-16, and I never bothered to check if that's possible), but she did love telling us all about her glamorous, rich life, and that was okay with all of us... I guess. But be it as it may, it stuck with me that - for some reason - fuchsia bumpers are bad. There's something about fuchsia on bumpers that sends rich people screaming and we all should understand why. Other than that for me it was just a color.

That was until yesterday. No, nobody painted Sookie's bumper fuchsia - if so I'd be blogging from jail -  but as I was driving home, a black car rolled right in front of me.. with fuchsia rims. THEN I understood! Fucking shit! Fuchsia! If that color looks so bad on rims, how the HELL would it look like on the bumper! I tried to find a picture to illustrate the source of my horror and the reason of my temporary blindness, but there's no avail. All pictures of fuchsia rims simply look lovely and girly and only needing a Hello Kitty head with a lot of bling on it. No, this thing was so horrendous, so horrendous... that there are no words for it. (Specially because the car was pitch black and the rims were VIVID, LOUD, SHRIEKING fuchsia.)

Then it kinda got me thinking about something else: fashion. I know that back in our days Madonna and her raggy style with black roots and poor bleaching job was the headache of our parents, and today we have weird-faced, ugly-nosed Lady Gaga prancing around in clothes and hairdos so hideous I'm sure it's all to keep the attention from her horrendous face, BUT what has happened in the past 18 years that we got from shrieking at fuchsia bumpers (in the rich segment of society) to going bonkers for fuchsia rims? I turn again to Kurt Andersen's article for Vanity Fair, "You say You want a Devolution?" (January issue, page 40, with no other than Lady Gaga on the cover), and I must say, sorry, but there have been a some sort of evolution in fashion in the last 20 years, because we went from "No, fuchsia does not go on my car" to "yes, please, FUCHSIA!". But what else? Yes, we do pull from the past to do our fashion, even in the more "creative" and "evolving" decades, by taking a hint of Victorian here, some romantic Renaissance there, picking a thing or to from Ancient Rome or Ancient Greece, a flare of the Barbarians and even pulling inspiration from the Middle Ages. (Accents at the waist, flowing sleeves, certain types of layering...) So, we copy, and often the success is in what copies because we have seen it somewhere and we can relate. We copy in fashion. But then, there's something that doesn't stop and carries from one age to the next picking and pulling on the one before. Is it fashion, is it true rebelion or is it simply a generational temper tantrum that might not even find it beautiful or groundbreaking, or a way to "express themselves" but simply a way to piss us off, shock us and make us react, so that we notice that they are there.

It's like a generational spoiled child that chooses to grab the attention of adults by being bad, outrageous to earn a scolding because somehow it can do it by earning praises.

Evolution, Devolution, Fuchsia... the world doesn't seem to care where it goes anymore, as long as it makes the headlines.

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