The age of self expression is upon us, and it’s not just about the way one speaks, but self-expression through dressing, actions and reactions to events in one’s life. Conventionality has long since been abandoned in an effort to live your best life coining up phrases like My Life-My Crew-My Rules,My Life-My Race-My Pace taking up acronyms such as YOLO (You Only Live Once). Extensive tattoos and multiple piercings that always rub society the wrong way, millennials have decided that they would ignore ‘if you cannot beat them join them’ and create their own game where everyone is a winner.
A lot has been said about the sensitivity of this demographic cohort. Before one goes public with anything they must carefully sift through it to ensure they do not rub any group of people the wrong way. “I think what you just said is so offensive since I’m a dark skin middle aged African woman” someone would comment randomly, when all you tweeted was how angry you are because a black goat ate your cabbages. People no longer want to be identified by a single term, there are several channels one needs to go through before they get there, for instance it’s not just ‘East African Jane”, it’s “1% South East Asian, 99% East African, right-shoe-first-wearing Jane”. It’s really not that complex, unless you have more than twenty friends with Jane’s identification tendencies.
‘Blackfish’ and the tides of cultural appropriation
A controversial picture was recently making rounds on social media where an Instagram influencer was darkening her skin tone and curling her hair to pass off as black, since such features garner you more followers and likes. This comes as a shock since Caucasian features are predominantly seen as superior in terms of beauty. Although this may be very debatable, since African features are verbally demeaned and still Instagram models cinch their waists and enhance their derriere. This comes in complete contrast of the usual where women of darker skin tones lighten themselves to appear more attractive.
The days of “When I grow up, I want to be like my father” are way behind us, not because our fathers are people we would not wish to emulate, but because every person is so intent on forging their own path that it’s quite ludicrous to be like him, their already is a him for the world any way, what is the need for two? Millennials embrace and celebrate individuality, in a systemic faction that makes space for all kinds of people, a global connection that laughs and enjoys memes on how lazy we all are, or the addiction to coffee or the simple things like fawning over a picture of a kitten.
The new world
This concept of doing what one feels like should not be as frowned upon as it has been, surely the laws of society were written by man, and therefore can be as easily unwritten. Besides, even when we recluse ourselves to the laws of man, the laws of nature trample it, and it is within the laws of nature to conform as much as possible to change for survival.