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Originality: Where’d You Go, We Miss You So

They say that chivalry is dead. And make no mistake, this article has nothing to do with chivalry except for if it truly is gone, has it taken originality with it? It’s no mystery that this twenty-first century world in which we live is upbeat, fast-paced, and ever-changing. The flip phone I had less than ten years ago is now an artifact to be seen at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C, and the myriad of Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirts I once wore every single day is now hopefully in a better place (mostly because it’s not in my closet). While technology seems to be updating every day, it doesn’t seem that all other trends are following in its path. For example, if Apple doesn’t come out with a new iPhone update every year or so, they will soon find themselves irrelevant, or subject to a company takeover. Yet, some of the most popular brands from the 90’s, like Adidas and Converse (who haven’t changed their signature looks in over a decade) seem to be some of the most popular brands bought today. The latest trends in fashion and music, and sometimes even technology, are simply recycled trends from years past. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it raises a very important question: where do we go from here?

If you’ve been keeping up with New York Fashion Week, or just following a few fashion bloggers and icons on Instagram, you’ll notice that some of the latest and hottest trends are simply just improved trends from years past. Bell bottoms, Adidas Superstars, and even flash tattoos are just a few of the trends that are making their way back into the fashion world. In fact, as I was doing some ‘Back to College’ shopping I mentioned to my dad that I wanted a pair of Adidas Superstars and he nearly choked on his water. He couldn’t believe that the tennis shoes I once begged him to not put on because I thought they looked weird had become something that I now thought of as stylish enough to wear myself. Similarly, I vividly remember getting temporary tattoos in gift bags after going to birthday parties as a little kid and immediately wanting to cover myself in them. Unfortunately, my mom didn’t allow them because she thought they looked silly. Fortunately, my inner pre-teen is finally being appeased these days as temp-tats are back, they’re just shinier and hipper than ever.

It’s not just fashion that’s repeating itself; music and technology seem to be stealing from the past as well. Even with our technological abilities growing exponentially every day, we cannot seem to shake the great items from years past. While you now have the ability to take professional-looking photos with your iPhone, one of today’s most popular cameras is a Polaroid camera. Additionally, there have been quite a few lawsuits between musicians, with one claiming rights to a song that the other claims they already wrote. While there may truly be a finite number music notes combinations that can be created, and an even smaller number that is appealing within a certain genre of music, it seems very unlikely that in just 2015 we have reached our music maximum and nothing new can ever be created again.

Now, some may say that we are simply a society that is learning from the past in order to better our future. And while this is a very supportive and constructive system, it does have its downsides. Without any new ideas being generated and by simply relying on our past successes, we are creating a world in which artists, designers, musicians, and all other creative minds will begin to dwindle without any new inspiration. Make no mistake, I don’t think that the end is near or that we’ve even come close to reaching our creative capacity. I simply believe that our world relies heavily on social consciousness, and the number of individuals willing to step outside the box is shrinking. It’s with you, however, the creative thinkers and believers, that we begin to create a chain reaction of inspiration that spirals into the next generation. A wise person once told me, “originality is when something seems so obviously clear as if it already exists, but it doesn’t.” So for the sake of your children, and your children’s children, think hard, think deeply and think passionately; find that originality within yourself and share it with the world. 

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