What Went Wrong With… Faux Sub-Culture Style?

A collage of celebrities wearing punk clothing and punk fashion by What Went Wrong With

Sub-Culture styles are only genuine when they are first created. If you were a “Punk” in the late seventies, you meant business. If you dressed “Hip-Hop” in the late eighties, you meant business. Ever since the nineties however, with the arrival of mass-production and mass-marketing; Sub-Culture fashion has become a part of Big Business. Forget all the time and effort it took to create a rugged look, in the late eighties and early nineties you could buy “pre-ripped” jeans or “distressed” jackets. By the time the noughties arrived, almost every “underground look” could easily be achieved by purchasing commercialised clothing and accessories from any store in any mall.

The genesis of any Sub-Culture style begins in the streets, and it slowly begins to represent the lifestyle and opinions of a small sub-section of people. This minority of people work hard to achieve a different look, they hand pick and hand craft unique items of clothing; more often than not as a form of rebellion to the status quo. But as soon as any of the associated arts (such as Punk Rock music) is seen to be profitable, the aesthetics get borrowed by the mainstream machine and slowly the style itself becomes a part of popular culture. This is what eventually destroys the look, style, and the art itself.

Gangsta Rap for example formed its own unique look in the late eighties and early nineties. However once Hip-Hop (and by extension Gangsta Rap) became a mainstream controlled commodity, everything about the style became contrived and meaningless. In the late nineties, a rolled-up trouser leg stopped representing gang affiliation, a shaved line in the eyebrow stopped representing rank, and a tear tatt on the cheek stopped representing the tally of kills. These days, Hip-Hop fashion is as hollow as the music genre itself.

In the present day when every item of clothing seems to be a throwback to yesteryear, we see the rise of a strange Post-Modernist style; a mixture of Punk and Hip-Hop. The problem with this is that although both these genres began as underground art-forms, the present day versions are now representative of all things Pop. Middle-class Gangsta Punk, is an amalgamation of all things which used to be counter-culture from Hip-Hop, Graffiti to Punk all mashed together by the fists of a money-hungry businessman. The end result is a safe commercial attempt at sub-culture fashion and style.

Take a look at any lame celebrity, and at some point you will see them dressed in a leather jacket covered with metal studs, a faux Mohawk, making the “sign of the horns” with their fingers, trying to look subversive. Then they go on stage and sing some of the most bubblegum, safe, nauseatingly dire Pop muzak known to man. This fake look is now so far from the “art” it’s almost ironic. Just because these celebrities have shaved the sides of their heads, or rock black eyeliner, it doesn’t make their shitty music any harder. Miley Cyrus is not punk, Chris Brown is not cool, Sia is not alternative, A$AP Rocky is not a Thug, Noel Fielding and Russell Brand are not goths. Look past these people’s façade, and you will see that their exterior is a distraction from their lack of talent.

These days, a celebrities’ artistic output never matches their choice of fashion. Overrated lames like the singer Lorde, are described as goths just because they wear dark lipstick. Lorde in reality is neither introverted or interesting, and most importantly her music is soulless. Just like Lana Del Rey a few years back, these mainstream hacks are described by journalists as if they’re underground, but take a look at their music video or listen to their album and you will realise that their fake-depressed personality is a construct to add pathos to the hollow art they produce. I mean if BBC Radio 2 is playing their record, it is automatically some middle-aged, middle-class shit, and they’re the antithesis of cool as soon as some fucker on E! comments on their look.

We’ve now got to a point when people buy albums retrospectively just because they are seen to be classic by the masses. Both fans and celebrities get meaningless tattoos on an entire limb in one sitting, they pierce their body even though they hate pain; all to achieve a look and style which is neither representative of their emotions or representative of their opinions. Then the media keeps reinforcing the credibility of these lame dicks and like some kind of mass-hypnosis; the public then believe the hype and more products get sold. In reality none of these fucks are underground or remotely credible.

Any aspect of fashion which may have once been counter-culture such as tattoos, or gold teeth, are now only worn by wannabes and fakes. Tattoos don’t represent anything any more, they do not hold any narrative. Gold teeth are now gaudy and tacky thanks to these false celebrities. These bunch of fuckboys who love pretending to be street, who relish masquerading as dangerous; are in reality as weak as their album, as fake as their look, and as counterfeit as their retro screen printed tees.

These wannabe Punks are just some punk motherfuckers.

4 replies »

  1. If you really really want to know why almost all celebrities live life by a constructed fake facade for the sake of earning “respect”, well then read Alice Miller’s “The Drama of the Gifted Child” , also known as “The Drama of Being a Child” and “Prisoners of Childhood”. I recommend “The Drama of being a Child” as I think that that’s the most recent version of it, and that’s the title of the book I have now.

    This book has saved my life, and in my opinion it nails the core of human suffering. There is a lot of pain that comes with reading this book and I normally wouldn’t recommend it to people, because no one wants to see the truth. But well I just couldn’t resist this time. And you need the pain and truth to live a FULL live, not a stifled and half lived life according to a false self with a facade…

    And reading it first time will probably not convince you, I was like that at first, but when I was really ready for it’s message I read it for a second time and then it really hit me that the book’s message is true.

    Otherwise, if you’re not into this book well…

    All this fakeness and stuff well, grandiosity and narcissism. Ahhh it’s so hard to explain without delving into topics which are in that book…

    Well I’ll just say that these people only feel loved for who they aren’t.
    They don’t love themselves, for who they really are deep down.
    It’s really hard to explain without explain what the book says as well, so I’ll just leave it at that.

    If you’re not interested in her books, then at least visit her website, just search Alice Miller on google. Damn I can’t stress enough, this woman saved my life for real!!!!

    • Even though I don’t doubt that the books of Alice Miller have helped you personally; I don’t think that the topics discussed in her books (childhood trauma, abuse etc.) are a blanket answer as to why celebrities act a certain way. The topic of this particular article was the picking up of false trends in order to be perceived as “fashionable” or “in vogue” by the youth market. This has been a marketing and PR gimmick from the beginning of the 20th Century, and most fashion choices are made by stylists and consultants and not the celebrities themselves. From the products they endorse to the clothes they plug on the red carpet, even the things they say; everything celebrities say and do is carefully controlled by the media machine with the full knowledge that a celebrity recommendation or approval will in turn make money for products which the same machine has a vested interest in. The whole construct surrounding celebrities is, at the end of the day, a money making machine… a business. The celebrities themselves all have varied backgrounds and upbringings; ranging from ex-child stars to working-class kids, single parent families to regular families, high-school drop-outs to college graduates. When they all act the same or dress the same, I am more inclined to believe that their outward appearance is a façade created by their management, agents, and their label/studio rather than a painful upbringing.

      Thanks for your reply, and sorry for the late response.

    • Wow such a great response.
      Well I didn’t think you was looking at it from that angle, so I think I misunderstood you in the article.

      But I do understand now from your reply, and it makes sense. The image and facade most of these celebrities present makes a huge amounts of money for these companies. I mean look at subway for example, they make goddamn sandwiches, but they’re endorsed by athletes. It is as if eating subway regularly will make you healthy like these athletes, but yeah you know the deal right?

      But well I didn’t really mean to use Alice Miller’s books as a blanket answer to this, but I was more specifically talking about their facade and false self. A self based on achievement, rather than staying true to their feelings. But I’m not gonna delve into that now, because it’s all in the book.

      But yeah, I misunderstood the article and what you tried to convey in it, sorry my fault :P. And thanks for such a solid reply, I enjoyed reading it.

      And by the way, are these PR machines really like that? For real? Like for example I don’t know, Adidas tells a rapper to endorse their clothing, so they start to wear it and show it off in their videos? So it’s not really what these artists personally would choose to wear, but they do it for their record companies?
      I mean is it really that deep? If it is, then wow you got a good point there.
      I mean I am not totally naive to it, but I never thought that even what they say would be so controlled and owned.

      I mean the most blatant example that I know is P.Diddy and his Ciroc liquor, I mean he can’t stop shoving it in almost every music video he does. It’s so cringe worthy. :/

      But yeah, thanks for replying man.

What Went Wrong Or Right With This Article? (spam & shite will be deleted)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.