Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Normcore: The effort of being effortless

Recently I came across a magazine article talking about a new phenomenon called "Normcore".
Okay, maybe I am the last person on Earth to hear about this thing and for all the cool kids out there it is already out of fashion again, but to me it is still worth talking about.

According to Wikipedia Normcore is:
"[...] a unisex fashion trend charaterized by unpretentious, average-looking clothing. [...] Normcore wearers are people who do not wish to distinguish themselves from others by their clothing."

Yes, as a diligent student I know that you should never use Wikipedia as a source, but who am I kidding, right?

The point is, that apparently it is no longer desireable trying to be special or different. Instead people rather feel like belonging to a large group without really standing out.This trend is completely contradictive to everything the internet has enforced since its' early beginnings: While it is a platform where many of us strive to show our talents, our looks and our passions in order to set ourselves apart from the great masses, Normcore stands for blending in and a more laid-back, less driven kind of lifestyle (which already makes it a lot more diverse and complex than Wikipedia suggests).

In a sense Normcore means to just go with the flow without caring about being mainstream.
This idea itself seems to be a concept worth trying, but what happened over the past few months is, that the internet blew it up. It turned it into a fashion trend revolving around wearing 'ugly', but comfy clothes from the 90s combined with a pair of trainers (which should either be from Nike or New Balance, duh).

What really disturbs me about this development is the fact, that by giving being relaxed and casual a name and categorizing it with certain attributes which make other people follow it, the whole idea of being relaxed and casual goes to waste.
Now people make an effort to look like they are actually doing the opposite which obviously contradicts the main idea of Normcore. Now, being laid-back means to wear a Superdry-hoodie, a pair of old jeans and Nike-trainers.

Just search this term on the internet and you will find a never-ending flow of pictures featuring young people who went through the trouble to select an outfit which is supposed to look natural and almost careless, but conveys an exerted image.
Picture taken from
Just as with every other "trend" born in the internet every few months my method will be as follows:
I acknowledge its existence and just continue with my everyday life without giving another flying fart.

For more information, refer to this article by Alex Williams for The New York Times, which I found particularly interesting.

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