(not so) random links

-following a link from a post on buzzfeed (one of my fave RSS feeds, it never fails to amuse/inform me!), i recently learned about the fashion blog of a 12-year old girl named tavi: style rookie. her site follows the familiar format of many a fashion blog: it’s filled with the requisite daily outfit photos, plus photographic documentation of her style experiments and (thrift and retail) finds, and snippets of this or that from the culture at large that amuses or inspires her. said blog and it’s author could be considered precocious by some, sure…but she seems like a fairly well-versed, articulate young lady with sophisticated tastes, despite her allegedly tender age.

and of course, after perusing her journal, i got to thinking…

is there such a thing as being too young or too old to be interested in style, or too young or old to bother with style? should young (or old) people focus on other things? should aged folks leave matters style to the younger folks? or is style ageless? is one’s young adulthood (say, their 20s, or 30s) culturally the only time upon which caring deeply about fashion and style is acceptable? or is that not true at all?

in reference to tavi and her blog: when is it appropriate for a girl or young woman (or boy/young man) to wrest herself from the whims of her/his parents or guardians to express their own sense of style?


see also: minor alterations, a recent feature from the telegraph that focuses upon how a select selection of designers dress their progeny.

***

-check out this article from the new york times called everyone’s narcissistic, it seems.

narcissism: it’s the word du jour!

and a very misunderstood/misused word, too.

and hey, the aforementioned article is timely and related!

to what, you say?

why, the discussion i started from the other week about whether photographing yourself/your style = narcissism?

heh. hee. πŸ™‚

***

-what do you think about ink?

some are of the opinion that tattoos are a regrettable trend that will fade and are a blight on otherwise beautiful skin, some feel they are a taboo that goes against the will of god, while many, MANY others find them exquisitely beautiful. (via the telegraph, and the new york times) how many? well, according to the telegraph article, 1 in 2 americans (and 1 in 5 brits) has a tat.

any way you spin it (as i see it), tattoos are a form of self-expression, a signifier of something that is of importance (or at least aesthetically pleasing) to a individual, culture, or subculture. for starters, at least…

but i ask you:

are tattoos a trend that are on their way “out”? or is the art making inroads, just now seeing greater acceptance? conversely, does their acceptance have a long way to go?

are persons who have tattoos to be taken less seriously than those who do not have them? do tattoos say anything about class or class structure? i.e., are those that have them of a lower class, or perceived to be of a lower class by society at large?

from a style/styling oneself sort of perspective: if you have tattoos, do you consider them when getting dressed? are they a part of your style, or separate from it in some manner (i.e. you don’t think about them in relation to your wardrobe/what you wear)?

***

as far as the quick and dirty this week, why don’t YOU comment with cool crafty/fashion related things that YOU have spotted around the internet(s) this week?

ready, steady…GO!

21 comments

  1. emma

    i have several tattoos all of them i treasure, though 1 that i wouldn’t get again now, i would never cover it up or remove it because i’m attached to it. They’re like self-influcted battle-scars that remind me of better and sometimes worse times. It does definitely affect the way i dress. Sometimes I feel a little less feminine because of them but then again, I was never particularly girly to start with.

  2. emily

    I discovered Tavi’s blog earlier today and I gotta ask, does Style Rookie have a ghost writer? Is Tavi the younger sister of an enterprising 20-something? Maybe it’s a testament to the author, but the writing seems a little too sophisticated. And doesn’t a Dharma and Greg reference coming from someone who six years old when the show was cancelled seem a bit suspect? Just askin’!

  3. kay

    If the outfits are an expression of self-identity, then there is never too young or too old an age to bother about style. That said, the interest in one’s own appearances shouldn’t overshadow other aspects of one’s life as well. There is too much out there to see and experience! πŸ™‚

  4. Leah

    I don’t think there’s really an age limit (minimum or maximum) on style. I was interested in fashion at 12, I was never stylish at that age. I don’t think I even am now, but I guess it’s just a case of whenever you feel like experimenting with fashion, then you should! Whether you’re 12 or 91. The other thing is, a lot of girls (not all of course) play ‘dress up’ when they’re children, so surely playing with clothes is nothing new.

    About tattoos – I have no problem with them whatsoever. I’ve seen plenty of lovely tattoos on people and as long as you’re happy with it, then it’s fine. I wouldn’t get one myself of course, but simply because I’m terrified the needle will hurt, despite being told it isn’t too bad.

  5. Ananke

    Tattoos are odd – I do think there is a huge aspect of ‘trend’ to them, and throwaway type stuff, even though it is permanent. At the same time there’s a ritual to it all and a permanence of style/statement that doesn’t happen with many other things in fashion. Tattoos can be purely artistic (which is a statement about you anyway) or something with great meaning. I think the most interesting are text tattoos – they combine so many things and ways of telling a story about yourself.

    As for me, I have three tattoos – one on my wrist, something small and inoffensive, but with great meaning to me, one on my shoulder in white ink, which I got because it looks awesome (there is meaning but I love the look of it most of all) and a third, the biggest, up my left thigh. It completely changes the way I look (even though I have very fat and cellulite-ridden thighs, the one with the tattoo looks great) but I got it primarily for the meaning.

  6. Sal

    Tricia, GET OUT OF MY HEAD! I’ve been mesmerized lately with how younger women are exploring style in real, bold, and brave ways. I don’t remember feeling like that was even an *option* when I was in my teens and 20s. I’ve also been busily planning a co-post with a coworker friend of mine in her early 20s, who has style to give away. I’m just fascinated by these younger women honing their styles so early.

    Personally, I think playing with aesthetic style is a wonderful way to investigate your growing and changing self. So much young rebellion is about exploring our boundaries and personality traits and questions. We want to know who we are, and don’t even know how to search for the answers properly. And while young people have always expressed themselves through clothes to some extent, it’s often merely to associate themselves with certain groups of peers: Jocks, punks, artists, preps. Those who explore style in an individualistic manner may be creating a way to learn about themselves that allows them to skip the whole drugs, booze, and parental hatred route. Plus, they are DAMN BRAVE to dress so differently from their peers.

    I would never have had the cojones. But I feel so much more confident and expressive now that I have the freedom (financial and social) to express myself through my style. Power to the youngins!

    I love tattoos. People get them for so many reasons, in so many places, and they reflect so much emotion (or lack thereof). Forgive the shameless self-promo, but I wrote a TREATISE on stylish tatts that I’d really like to share: http://www.alreadypretty.com/2008/05/per-request-stylish-tatts.html

    I don’t think the inked are taken less seriously, generally speaking, although I’ll admit to concealing mine for job interviews. I guess it depends where and what: If you’ve got “Satan Rules” scrawled on your forehead, it’s going to alter how people react to you. Less visible and less antagonistic/scary tattoos will get milder reactions.

    And I don’t think tattoos are a trend that will fade. My husband and I talk about how, when we get to the nursing home, it’ll be the people WITHOUT tattoos who are considered odd!

  7. E

    I’m with Yves – ‘Fashions fade, style is eternal’;that being the case, age doesn’t come into it! Ageism at either end of the spectrum is pretty negative.

    I think as well that we shouldn’t forget that some people are incredibly interested in style – but either choose not to express this through their own clothing, or live in a culture where they cannot, or that they simply can’t find the kind of stylish clothing that would like to wear because they can’t find something that fits, or that they can afford.

    As to tattoos – I find that they are one of the most liberating forms of body ‘ownership’. The only people I know who regret their tattoo are those who didn’t commit to marking their body in a certain, sure and permanent way. Mine are all meaningful and incredibly personal – as to stylish? I didn’t get them to be stylish πŸ™‚

  8. Rachel

    I agree with Kay, and others, that there is no age too young or too old to be interested in style, as what we where is an form of expression. The other morning I had my 2.5 yr old daughter dressed in pink madras plaid capris, a pink tank and a blue wrap top. While I was grabbing something from the kitchen she decided to finish off the outfit with her red lady bug boots and tie it all together with her red hat. I didn’t have a camera on hand, but I thought it was a great remix. Very young children express themselves and assert their independence through what they wear–and refuse to wear. Later, it seems, many become self-concious and conformist in their fashion. I think it’s great to see a 12 year old expressing herself in any form.

  9. ambika

    Why should there be a too old or too young aspect of being into fashion? To me, it’s more like being into sports or star wars or video games–things that people of all ages can have an interest in. I poured over Seventeen magazines as a kid, shopped far too much as a teenager, and even when supposedly giving up a certain aesthetic in college, was still *very* interested in clothes (though perhaps coveting Birks may not seem the same thing, it *really is*.)

    As far as tatts, I love mine, have no regrets about them (wanted one from the age of 12, was lucky enough to have the parents cave at 16) and can’t really speak as to their trendiness. Perhaps younger people ie: >21, aren’t as interested since that rebel cache is no longer there given their ubiquity? Even so, that doesn’t determine my love of tattoos on myself and others.

  10. Marlena

    Tattoos conveniently started being en vogue around the same time I turned 18. I’d never really thought about having a tattoo before that, but loved them. So I waited and waited to find the perfect thing to permanently ink onto my skin, and finally got my tattoo when I was almost 19. I still love that tattoo, and have since gotten several more. Other people I know, though, were more into the idea of having a tattoo rather than expressing something through the tattoo, and most of them are either involved in coverups (I just did one myself over a poorly done frog, pics on my blog) or spend every opportunity trying to hide it. That’s the only issue I have with the popularity of tattoos.

    The good side of the popularity of tattoos is that now there are lot more artists to choose from, and it’s a lot easier to find a good one. Also, the strides that have been made in safety and ink quality are amazing! I hadn’t gotten any work done for years when I got a ladybug on my foot a couple of years ago. I was so impressed with the quality of the color, I immediately wanted to get more done.

    I definitely think of tattoos as a means of expression. I covered my frog tattoo with another frog, since I feel like the frog tells a piece of the story of my life. The ladybug is one a pair that I share with my best friend. The daisy is in honor of someone important to me. And so on. I do have one more coverup to do of a pixie on my arm that I just don’t think is me anymore (and also, is just poorly done), and it’s taken me months to come up with the perfect design to express what I want to (loyalty and love for my family). My brother is working on two full sleeves, and likewise, he takes a long time to chew over what would be the perfect thing to add to the piece, though he has the added challenge of finding the perfect thing to fit in a specific space.

    I don’t think that tattoos are indicative of class anymore. Of course, if someone is sporting bad tattoos, assumptions may be made about their class/wealth. I think most people out of the “1 out of every 2 Americans” who has a tattoo probably have one small one in a well hidden area. Once upon a time, that would have been scandalous, but I think now it’s even sort of assumed that someone between the ages of 18 and 40 have something. Now it’s considered somewhat scandalous to have something very visible or large, and I think that’s because it makes people uncomfortable. They don’t know how to react, and, I think, are a little intimidated by someone who feels completely unfettered by societal norms for dressing and appearance. So many people base everything they wear, say and do on how others with perceive them, they may even be a little offended that there are people out there who don’t do the same.

    Anyway, I guess I’ve gone on enough! I think a lot about tattoos and class and trend. I guess you touched a nerve!

  11. alanna

    re: tattoos

    Haven’t they been around since always? I think they are ancient. Certain styles/motifs go in and out of fashion, but the practice itself seems timeless, to me at least.

  12. Margaret

    My only problem with style rookie is that she seems to think it necessary to continually add new items to her wardrobe. Otherwise, she is exploring her own preferences in clothes, rather than have them dictated to her…which is great, in my book!

  13. Penny

    I really love tattoos, I think full sleeves on guys looks really cool, but I don’t think I would ever get one myself (although I would love to) because I simply can’t make up my mind! Plus, I don’t feel like I have experienced anything significant enough to mark with a tattoo.

  14. michelle

    Reading the “Style Rookie” blog, kind of freaked me out. I don’t know if kids today are just mature beyond their years but I hardly believe that blog is produced by a 12 year old. If it really is Tavi the twelve year old writing it herself, she already sounds pretty jaded. She must have some influential fashion friends and family.

  15. Jocelyne

    After reading over Style rookie, i agree that either kids these days are more advanced, which is quite possible, or she has some sort of help. I was amazed to read her (or not her) writing and was in shock that she puts such interestingly creative outfits together.

    Regarding tattoos, I have 2 fairly large ones that I got when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. I like the later one better and most likely would choose something different today, but I still love them because they are a part of me and represent times in my life. And I agree tattoos are not just a fad as they have been around for many years.

    As for age and style, I think that style is something everyone has be it good or bad. Some people choose to creatively express it at all ages and some people get lazy when they are old or vice versa. It is a interesting topic and I agree with Sal, I have been seeing so many daring young people wearing the most creative outfits lately. I guess there were always those types around but I feel like this generation is on a more individual tip, which I think is great. It was so boring when I was young with everyone following the same trends and all wearing the same things. I guess it is still like that but I feel as though more and more young people are being true to their self.

    Thanks again for bringing up great topics to chat about!

  16. urple

    I am so sad that Tavi has (temporarily I’m hoping) abandoned her blog. I just recently started reading it before that last post. I loved her take on the fashion world and her witty statements. Without even knowing her age, she has a fresh perspective on the world and fashion.
    As for tattoos, I love them, but to a certain extent. My likeness has to do with aesthetics, placement, and taste. A nice looking tat to one person may not be nice looking to me. I’ve even been thinking about getting three different ones, and I haven’t even got one yet! People get them for so many different reasons (in memory of, pride, culture, expression, art) and I respect each person’s reason.

  17. Heather

    Wow, that “Think before you ink” article really made me angry! I didn’t know there were still people out there who think that way. It’s frustrating that the author has written off all tattoos just because she got a bad one on a whim. Pretty dumb, in my opinion. And yeah, celebrities have a lot of bad tattoos. Bad tattoos are pretty regrettable, but clearly to those people they mean something, so we shouldn’t judge. I think that, when carefully considered and skillfully, administered tattoos have the potential to be incredible (often beautiful) works of art. A teenager can make crappy doodles in ballpoint pen; does that mean that all drawing and painting is a reprehensible form of art? Should Picasso or Monet be looked down upon because some graffiti artist left an ugly scrawl on the wall of the liquor store? That article really didn’t make sense to me.

    Anyway, in answer to your questions…

    “are tattoos a trend that are on their way β€œout”? or is the art making inroads, just now seeing greater acceptance? conversely, does their acceptance have a long way to go?”

    I think they’re going to gain more and more acceptance as time goes on. The standards for good tattoos have gone up a lot over the years, and I think that’s a great thing. There will always be people (especially young people) who get bad tattoos but I don’t think that those decisions should be taken as a reflection of the tattooed population as a whole. That article made me realize that yeah, they do still have a long way to go as far as acceptance goes. But there are pockets of tolerance, particularly in urban areas like SF, where one can forget that anyone was ever against them.

    “are persons who have tattoos to be taken less seriously than those who do not have them? do tattoos say anything about class or class structure? i.e., are those that have them of a lower class, or perceived to be of a lower class by society at large?”

    At one point in time, tattoos did say a lot about the class or social function of their wearers. Think about sailors in WWII who got tattoos at their ports of call, or circus freaks. But I think that time is in the past now, and tattoos are now mainstream. Some are upset that their means of rebellion and setting themselves apart from the rest of society has been co-opted by the masses, but I personally don’t have a problem with it at all.

    Getting and having a tattoo is a highly personal experience, one that means something different for every person. Some people do get them for attention, others get them to mark important events in their life, others get them to memorialize a loved one, and still others get them to express devotion to a particular ideal. Some people just get them because they’re pretty. Some people get them for the experience of the body modification process (which is highly spiritual for many– check out some of Fakir’s stuff, if you have a strong stomach). I don’t think any of these things have anything to do with class. A good tattoo is *expensive*. Like, really expensive. I think if anything is a class signifier, it’s the quality (and perhaps content) of the tattoo. I don’t think anyone should be taken less seriously or be perceived as lower class just because they have a tattoo — which is not to say that doesn’t happen all the time in real life. But for myself I often find myself being *more* impressed with someone because they have a tattoo.

    Granted, if someone has a *bad* tattoo and are proud of it, I’m likely to think less of them. “Bad” can be subjective though. Like for example, I’d never date a guy wearing tattoos depicting scenes of violence, because any guy who chooses to permanently ink their skin with such things is probably not someone whose values I share (plus I just wouldn’t want to see it all the time). Or if I was conducting a job interview and the interviewee had a shaky Tweety Bird or Taz tattoo on their forearm, I’d probably think twice about hiring them because I’d wonder about their tastes and decision-making skills.

    “from a style/styling oneself sort of perspective: if you have tattoos, do you consider them when getting dressed? are they a part of your style, or separate from it in some manner (i.e. you don’t think about them in relation to your wardrobe/what you wear)?”

    I personally only have two small tattoos behind my ears, so I don’t really think about them much in relation to what I wear. In November, I’m scheduled to get a large floral tattoo that will cover part of my upper back and arm, so I’ll probably be better equipped to answer this question at that time. I suspect I’ll probably be more inclined to wear clothes that show it off. But in reality, my manner of dress probably won’t change much at all. I planned the tattoo so that it wouldn’t really impact my style at all, besides perhaps enhancing and accessorizing it.

  18. danielle

    As a heavily tattooed person, I must say that the influx of people acquiring tattoos has grown exponentially over the past 10 years. People aren’t just getting a meaningful piece of flash art these days; people are getting back pieces and sleeves. I know there have been groups of people in the past that get entire body pieces, but we’re all noticing every corner of culture now getting them. From business person to artist to whomever, they’re all getting huge tattoo pieces. The craft and skill of tattoo artists has significantly been driven up, I believe by the growing acceptance of the tattoo as an art form.

    I think tattoos these days are the equivalent of hair salons and sushi bars and things with “green tea” in them. All of these things are great things in the world, and of course, there are going to be over marketed and kitsch aspects to some or most, but will these things ever “die” like a fast fad or trend? No, because to every tacky side of life there lives the original, authentic, and classy version that everyone copied in the first place.

    About whether or not I consider my tattoos while dressing: OF COURSE. Naturally I am drawn to more subtle colors of dress, but my tattooed arm drives me to dress down a lot. I consider it to be an accessory and I don’t like wearing things I feel clash with it. It’s about the equivalent of feeling cluttered in an outfit if I put my glasses on.

    The only thing I really, really, hate about having such bold and obvious tattoos is the fact that it’s an open invitation for everyone else to show me theirs. I cant tell you how many people come up to me, ask me about my tattoo, and then lift up their shirt to show me their tribal arm band or their piece on their shoulder blade. I might be a bitch, but quite frankly, I don’t give a damn about a stranger’s tattoos. Or the people that grab your arm.

  19. r

    since my ink’s on my ankles this is something i’ve been think about more and more during these barefoot summer days. that is, tats as fashion statement. people look at my foot and ask what “it” is and i tell them about SKIN in as few or as many words as i suspect will be heard. i enjoy telling my small part of the story and am always curious (but only sometimes prying) about the tats of others.

    tats in general are at least halfway “in” for much of the US. many in major cities have them, the people in the flyover states see tats on the telly. as far as the workforce goes, companies seem to be split between tolerating body modifications and not.

    tasteless tats will be prevalent as long as being drunk and stupid is. original art that complements a person will always be rare.

  20. Marie

    My tat is like a little string tied around my finger. It’s a reminder that I am a “yum” person and not the “yuck” person I thought I was. It reminds me that no matter how nutso I though my situation was, that I always come back to the situation in a creative “how can I improve this” sort of way.
    I feel like my tattoo was something I was born with out. As soon as I was old enough and in the right state of mind, I had it added. I have a lot to say about tattoos, and I understand the “can you live with it forever” reaction, but I also wonder if the people who have that reaction are not perhaps the same people who wonder about living with certain parts of themselves for ever.

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