byNamrata SheshadriOct 05, 2017 #FbPicks 1 Likes
So, I’m not a blogger or stylist or in any way connected to building a social media brand or image. But as a marginally observant bystander, even I have noticed the “copycat effect” in circulation these days. And let’s face it, anyone with half an eye can tell that there’s a difference between “Oh, she inspired me to try a new look!” to “B*tch stole my look!”
Gone are the days of plagiarism in stories and articles – or at least, it’s a little less because our ever-shortening attention spans mean people read less and view more – pictures are where it’s at. And with platforms like Instagram being used to launch and solidify the image and brand of people in “It-careers” right now – social media influencers, stylists, fashion bloggers – the question arises, where is the line between being “influenced” and just being an outright “copycat”?
OKAY: Celebrity Style Quotient
I get it. You see the stars at a red carpet event, or your favourite actress’s looks in her most recent movie, or even the Kardashians’ holiday style and you just KNOW you can work it too. No harm in that – most design houses dress stars for this exact purpose: to pique the interest of the masses and have their outfits flying off the shelves (or polished ebony hangers, depending on just how ooh-la-la those designs are). High street stores even host a range of almost-but-not-quite looks targeted towards the style-savvy hoi-polloi. This is commercialism and convenience at its finest.
OKAY: Fashion Bloggers
Many bloggers showcase their latest styles and buys precisely to trigger a wave of copycats – in the nicest way possible. It’s all about being a trendsetter. And, as with celebrities, companies use the mass appeal of these bloggers to showcase everything from exercise gear to fat burners to evening gowns to makeup – you’re meant to buy into the appeal of their preferences and want that look for yourself.
OKAY: Mix It Up
Borrow a little inspiration from one celebrity, pair it with something from your own closet, toss in the new shoes or hairstyle or brooch advocated by another blogger – fashion influence is fine as long as the end result is still “you”.
NOT OKAY: Pretentions
It’s one thing to be inspired by the new wave – but you know there are people out there who cross the line and try to pass it off as their brainchild. You over there, claiming you pioneered the dress-over-trousers look? Sit down honey, we all know you jumped on that bandwagon and probably copied the article in your Instagram post, to boot (and you didn’t even fix the grammatical errors).
NOT OKAY: Doppelgangland
Part of being a stylist or fashion blogger is also the drive and desire to stand out. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery (and there’s a cliché that’s been copy-pasted only oh, a million times or so), but there are those who attempt to clone their “inspiration.” When you copy the dress, the shoes, the bag, the hair, the makeup and even the pose – you’ve veered into disturbing territory. It’s every fashionista’s worst nightmare to walk into a party and see someone in the same outfit – but imagine the shock of walking in and seeing a total doppelganger! Be inspired by certain styles and pieces, sure – but stop short at stealing someone’s identity.
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