We’re all posers

Kaanchee Gandhi, Editor-in-Chief

I am very attached to the things I love. It took me a while to develop a style and music taste that I felt strongly attached to after experimenting with many uncomfortable “phases.” How I dress, who I listen to, the art and literature I appreciate, are all a huge part in defining who I am now, my very essence of being.

So if I ever saw someone who normally streamed top 40s hits wearing a shirt from my favorite band, or the slacker in my English class reading one of my favorite novels, I would be slightly offended. I also – for whatever reason – failed to believe them.

How could this lowly human suddenly share the same divine interests as me? I could not conceive that they had developed this interest themselves, but rather, I assumed they were a poser, a fake.

I know now that there is no such thing as a poser, or if there is then we all are one. No one is born with an intrinsic love for art and literature. Part of what makes being human so astounding is our ability to develop a taste for these things without being born with an innate interest.

When I was a sophomore, I pretended to like Kanye West because a boy I was into liked him. I ended up really really liking Kanye (and not the boy), but for a while there I was a complete “poser.” If anyone caught me listening to him, they would question me and suspect I was not a true fan. It was almost as if I had an image for me set in stone that I was not allowed to stray from. My prior interests had mandated in others’ eyes what I could and could not be passionate about.

The fact remains that people should be able to do whatever they want as long as they are not harming others. Creating an image for someone based on your current perception of them and ascerting what they can and cannot be interested in is just as oppressive as telling someone they cannot do something because of their race, gender, sexuality, etc.

We live in an amazing age where we have access to different culture and eras at our fingertips. To confine oneself to a narrow spectrum of music and styles would be unfortunate when such a vast selection exists.

Believing that my peers were posers just because they were experimenting with something new (or trying to impress someone – I mean, who cares), was oppressive not only to them but myself as well. I would never want a list of which artists I can listen to and what movies I can enjoy, and to create that list for someone else is just shameful.

Because I try to no longer make assumptions about others, I am slowly getting more and more apt at ignoring my peer’s comments when they suggest I’m not “really” into that band. Now, if someone who doesn’t know me well scoffs when they hear me humming to Beyoncé or streaming Nicki Minaj, I can move past it. I also feel a little bad for them because they are not able to deliver themselves away from the cultural norms they have established for themselves.

In order to stop ourselves from mandating what we can and cannot listen to or wear, and we must first stop placing restrictions on others for the same things.