I’ve always loved exploring new spheres and territories in the vastness of internet. I think we can learn a lot about current events, trends, people’s mindsets and psychology through something as simple as, for instance, reading comments, watching videos and posts in different social medias. And I’ve come across something new for me: lack of originality.
Of course I’ve seen people copying each other before, but recently it became much more evident, at least for me. My “investigation” started from youtube: same kind of content, same videos in different channels. Even the editing looks alike. Being a huge music enthusiast as I am, I haven’t found a new good song for almost a year now, so I just keep listening to the old ones. Because guess what, everything sounds the same. Same songs, same beats, music videos (a little p.s.-I’m gonna use the world “same” a lot in this post, so sorry in advance). Similar singers/rappers/performers, that not only look alike, but sound just the same. Having an ear for music, I can’t distinguish who’s singing the song anymore, because it’s either same kind of rap, same high pitched voice of girls, and same “sweet” voice of guys. And when someone stands out with their different style, they mostly flop in the modern industry of copycats. That also applies for cinematography. Instead of making new movies, people started to remake old ones, or do movie adaptations of the already existing cartoons. The actors are the same, as if there are no other ones except a small group of the most “loved” ones.
Then my investigation smoothly transferred to TikTok. Yes, the one you either love or hate. As usual, before making an opinion on it, I decided to try and see what the hell it is, and why everyone is so obsessed with it. And I gotta say: tiktok has two sides, the one where everyone is just repeating a dance routine or some meaningless dialogues from different shows/movies (mostly from keeping up with the kardashians), sometimes even uploading 5 videos of dancing to the same song, with the same movements. And the other one is something I’ve been binge watching for the last few weeks: the creative side. People showing how they’re creating content and interesting projects, telling about their life-hacks, showing their art, doing reviews, full of their own individual opinion. Yeah and the third side-people creating comic content or showing their pets, which is still much better than the first category. And now a million-dollar-question for you: what do you think, which side is the more popular one? Obviously but unfortunately the answer is the first one. It makes me feel really sympathetic to all those amazingly talented people, who create awesome content, but don’t get the proper recognition they deserve, while those, who just steal ideas and copy, without adding something from their own, get awarded with tones of likes, followers, fame and why not money. Social medias have had the greatest potential of becoming an online “gallery” of all the creative people, sharing their unique visions and art through all its forms, but now it just became a factory that produces the same dolls, with same faces and clothes. I really think it’s unfair for all the real creators out there, doesn’t matter in what sphere they are. People spend hours thinking of a good content, something funny, informative or just aesthetically pleasing, then do all the montage and preparations by themselves. And then someone just steals their idea, or posts a meaningless selfie or their naked body calling it “spirituality” and boom, gets thousands of likes and comments. The world has turned upside down. Art is called art for a reason. It should involve different things, full of personal, unique, objective, distinctive details and perspectives, doesn’t matter if it’s music, writing, photography, painting or anything else. And now art is slowly loosing its genuine nature.
Same goes for instagram or pinterest. Everyone’s now following the trends rather than making something authentic and different. And I can actually feel sorry for the person who had a photo or video idea, created it, and everyone else started doing the same, and most of the times getting even more attention than the actual creator. People got to the point, where they create special “presets” that have automatic adjustments for editing, and sell it, and lots of other people buy and use it. So now everyone’s profiles look the same, not only with content, but also with editing style and color schemes.
Getting inspired and just blankly copying are two absolutely different things. You can get inspiration from someone or something, but copying equals stealing. Whenever I have an idea, for instance a photo with sunlight, I already get in my mind what I want to do, how I picture it. However sometimes I scroll through pinterest, just to get inspired from all the beautiful photos out there. But what’s the point of doing an exact duplicate of something, that already exists? Imagine an artist living in the same period as Leonardo Da Vinci, and deciding to paint another Mona Lisa. Do you think he’d succeed? And again, I’m not a saint, I can’t say that I never got inspired from a particular photo or video and wanted to recreate that. But even in those cases I always tried to add my own individual details to my creation, or give credits to my inspirer, like I did before in my blog posts.
You know, I perhaps wouldn’t open this topic, if it wasn’t too much, and if it didn’t spread from internet to our daily lives. People now are trying to become like each other and it actually looks ridiculous. Someone creates a “trend” and everyone else just follows their icon. For instance, there’s a big group of girls in my country (and I’m sure everywhere else too), trying to look like the Kardashian-Jenner family: same dark black straight hair, lip injections, permanent brows, same make-up, contouring, eyelashes, long fake nails, with which you can’t even function like a proper human. And each of those girls thinks that they’re so original and beautiful, and sometimes even accuse someone else of becoming fake copycats. I mean hello, have you seen yourself? Or guys all keeping long beards and doing the same haircut. How do you want people to recognize you, if there’re at least 10 people looking like you at the corner? This whole looking alike thing has one advantage-you can easily hire someone to play you, if you for example want to take a day off from work. People copy not only looks, but personality traits, tastes, lifestyle, interests even professions. For me it highly resembles when a child is trying to copy their parents, for example using their mom’s make-up, wearing their dresses or high heels. The child thinks they look awesome and cool, but in reality we all know how it actually looks from outside, we’ve probably all been there and have such kind of photos, wearing something three times bigger than us. Consequently when you do something that isn’t yours, it will fit you just as much, as the clothes of adults to a child. Remember that. Using metaphors and comparisons always helps to understand reality much better.
And again, I’m not trying to offend anyone, as I said before, everyone has their right to do what they wanna do, I’m just trying to show, that originality is so freaking beautiful! It’s something we all say as a cliche expression, but rarely understand the true meaning of it. I realized it recently, even though I always kept saying that. I’ve also had my own imagination of a”perfect” girl. Blue eyes, tanned skinny body, beach blonde hair. That’s my type, something I’ve always wanting to become. Only recently I started to realize that there are so many girls like that, who look exactly the same. And even if I don’t have my dream blue eyes, or the perfect body, at least I look like me. I haven’t met anyone like me before, and it’s so cool! Because if I had all those things described, I’d feel bad knowing that there are at least 10 other girls looking exactly like me. I always loved being a separate individual, with my own looks, tastes and art. Obviously there were people in my life, who somehow inspired or effected me, my style and tastes, but that’s far from copying.
Try to value everything that you already have, because that’s who you are. The looks and talents that you copy aren’t yours and will never be however hard you try. Even if you do lots of plastic surgeries, wear hair extensions and colorful contacts, or steal someone’s lifestyle or ideas, you won’t feel yourself good and confident. You’ll always have the feeling, that you’re missing something, that something isn’t right and nothing will be able to compensate that. And your idea of a “perfect look” or lifestyle will definitely change through time, and you won’t know whom to copy anymore. One day you’ll say and do one thing, the next day you’ll contradict yourself because someone else said or did something else, and believe me, you’ll look pathetic and ridiculous for people surrounding you.
So don’t be afraid of being you, no matter how you look, what you love, what you think. Speak up your mind, stay true to your principles, your style. And it will be normal, when throughout time your opinion, mindset, lifestyle, tastes change, you won’t feel inferior, because you’ll know that what you have is all yours. And don’t afraid of being judged just because you’re different, we all are. It’s so strange that people are so different yet so alike. Another thing to be thankful for. Internet shows us, that no matter how weird and strange we think we are, there are lots of people just like us, with the same weirdness. It’s always comforting to know, that whatever’s happening to you, happens to anyone else and that you’re not alone. So we’re already the same in a way. Try to preserve the part of you that is different.
And even if now is a moment, when copying and doing the same things get valued and rewarded in a strange way, one day it’ll pass at such a rate, that all those copycats will just be forgotten forever. There is justice in the world, even if sometimes it works slowly. So chose being authentic rather than doing something that everyone else is doing, even if that thing is trendy, popular, and brings lots of recognition. Remember fashion fades away, but your individual style always stays with you. Stick to that and don’t loose yourself in this mad world of similar products straight from a factory. Who you are is amazing and beautiful and you don’t need to become anyone else, because that person already exists.