I Like People Who Are Individuals

I really admire people who aren’t afraid to show what they’re made of and their personalities. What I don’t like: When people do odd things for no reason at all. It’s very easy to mistake these two, but there are differences.

Case in point: One of the boys at my high school wore a small black backpack with a picture of Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad on it.

harley quinn backpack

At first glance, I thought, “Wow, that’s weird. I wonder why he’s wearing a kids’ backpack.” Not that Suicide Squad is the kind of thing you really let your innocent kids watch at their sleepover. But I wasn’t expecting a teenage boy to want to be seen wearing a that kind of backpack.

Except he did, and continued doing so for the rest of the year. I was surprised and it occurred to me that he didn’t care. He didn’t care.

And I loved it so, so much. He was letting everyone know that, yeah, he liked Suicide Squad, and yes, he liked Harley Quinn. If you didn’t like it, cry a river, build a bridge and get over it. It was a statement, if not terribly profound.

Now here’s an example of the opposite of that. In middle school, I was pretty critical of boys in general. Especially the ones who tried to stick out to be special. Especially the ones who wore pink backpacks.

One that wore a pink backpack. He drove me crazy. I never spoke directly to him and he didn’t seem to notice my existence, but that pink backpack made me mad. What exactly was he trying to say? Was he promoting breast-cancer awareness?

Or was he just doing it to strike up conversation? It’d be like, “Hey, dude, how about that bright pink magenta ding dong you got there sitting on your back like a rectangular flamingo, my dude?”

He wasn’t trying to make a statement. He was trying to get attention. That’s not the same as being yourself.

Anyway, I’m just saying all this because of two of my favorite musicians, Lindsey Stirling, and Florence from Florence and the Machine.

Lindsey’s music, which is a really cool mix of EDM and violin, is amazing. Even more amazing are the costumes in her videos. In Roundtable Rival, the dresses she and her back up dancers wear are so expressive of her taste. Fishnet leggings, long flowing dresses, corsets, and cowboy boots, giving you a sort of steampunk vibe. I simply have to marvel at her originality. Even in  We Are Giants, where she’s in partial CGI, she wears striped leggings and a Lilo and Stitch hat. Never afraid to show what she likes and who she is.

With Florence, she doesn’t back down from using her voice at all. Where there is power, there will be power, and she knows it. None of her songs are ever boring, and she’s not afraid to be bizarre with her videos. Just take Dog Days Are Over.

Kudos to those two, and if I ever see the kid with the pink backpack ever again wearing the same backpack, I’ll come around and thank him for promoting awareness. If he looks confused, I’ll take it that my hunch was correct. When are they not?

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