Yakarma is a b*tch (and so am I)

I’m sitting on the comfy couches in the Echo office, waiting for a copy editor to finish the edits for my section. I pick up my phone, do my traditional Facebook and Instagram check, and then click on Yik Yak. Ah, Yik Yak. An entertaining, constantly updating app that will always make me laugh when I need it most. As I’m scrolling through, giggling and cringing (sometimes at the same time), I come upon a post with 34 upvotes an hour after someone wrote it: “Patagucci-$150, Bean Boots- $100, Vineyard Vines- $100, looking like everyone else- pointless… Shit I mean priceless.” I scrolled past it at first, not thinking much of it. But I returned to it. Something about it stuck in my mind.

I’m a walking cliché. A white, upper-middle-class girl from just-outside-of-Boston. I own Patagonia fleeces and vests and I’m the biggest supporter of Lululemon leggings you’ll ever meet. I don’t love (or even like) pumpkin spice lattes, but I do Instagram the shit out of the trees in the Fall and my Pinkberry tart fro-yo with strawberries, chocolate chips, and honey. I don’t own Bean Boots, but I own something similar, and I do have some Vineyard Vines shirts hanging in my closet next to my flannels and oversized sweatshirts. #blessedornah?

Some might call me basic, others might call me unoriginal. I just say I am who I am. But, after reading this Yik Yak, I wonder if everyone who is like me thinks the way I do. Do some people think that they need to wear Patagonia (I will never, call it Patagucci), Bean Boots, and Vineyard Vines because everyone else is? Since I was 14 and I was visiting my older sister at Colby, I noticed that these three brands littered the campus. The so-called “Freudian slip” in this person’s Yik Yak (shout out to you whoever you are, by the way… you made the Opinions section of the Echo!)— pointless, later corrected by priceless— proves my point. Although almost every Colby kid dresses the same and succumbs to the stigma to do as such, we shouldn’t. We don’t have to. It’s pointless, as this Yakker has so cleverly said. So, why do we do it? Why do we all wear Patagonia, Bean Boots and Vineyard Vines (among other brands such as North Face, Lululemon, and J. Crew) when we don’t necessarily want to or don’t feel like it goes with our style?

I remember the day that I got into Colby. I did my victory lap around the black box theater (I had opening night of a show in three hours), and the first thing that one of my friends said to me was: “Better stock up on Bean Boots and Patagonia!” She already knew the norm at Colby even though she didn’t and still doesn’t go here (insert “Mean Girls” reference here). So clearly, the stigma and expectation spreads far and wide beyond the Hill, all the way to the magical land of Chestnut Hill, Mass.

I’m just rambling at this point, Maybe I’m not. Sorry if I bored you with random words and brand names and mentions of Yik Yak. If you weren’t totally bored out of your mind, maybe think about this: when you wake up and search your closet for a clean Patagonia fleece, opt for a different look. Tuck away the Patagucci (okay, I succumbed), Bean Boots, and Vineyard Vines for a day, and wear something that’s actually you. Now that’s priceless.

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