March 14, 2007

Hugs Before Uggs: Rather Boot Than Wear the Boots

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I am a hypocrite.

A dirty, stinkin’ hypocrite.

Throughout my life, there have been certain principles I have held near and dear to my heart, things that I have hated with great pride. Inevitably, each of these principles — usually in regard to some aspect of popular culture — was discarded when I realized I was being stupid and/or stopped caring. In middle school it was boy bands, freshman/sophomore year of high school the color pink, junior year, Pink, senior year, Juicy sweatsuits, and, until this year, text messaging. It’s been Joey Fatone, Rent the movie, popped collars, leggings and the “Milkshake” song. Invariably, all of these fell to the wayside of hypocrisy as I have had to face my own fickleness time and time again.

This time, however, I can proudly say that I will not give in. I will be able to look myself in the mirror and hold my head high, reminding myself each day what a wonderful, unique, principled individual I am.
And why, dear readers? Because I will never wear Uggs.

Logically, they should make sense, especially in Ithaca. They are warm. They are fuzzy. They were made, initially, by Australian surfers who thought it would be nice to surround their cold feet with sheepskin. My father, I believe, has a gross, molding, salt-encrusted pair hidden somewhere behind his surfboards. I’m wholly convinced that the Ugg foundation started the fad because they thought it would be funny for women to wear something so hideous as a fashion accessory.

Uggs are a symbol of everything that I loathe and everything I refuse to be associated with. They are worn by annoying girls in the middle of winter with miniskirts, and by even more annoying girls in the middle of summer. They are the epitome of the need for status, bad taste, stupid fads and JAPdom. They are overpriced, over trendy and the ever so obvious: ugly. By giving in and buying a pair, I am buying the label I’ve been obsessively avoiding my entire life.

My best friend (a self proclaimed Uggs enthusiast) has pointed out to me, over and over, that my refusal to buy certain products based on their JAPpyness is not out of hatred of the products themselves, but of my fears that by owning them, other people will automatically label me. My obsessive need to not be seen as a JAP is just as appearances-oriented as those who would buy Uggs for the label. And their feet are warmer than mine.

“So, great,” you say. Here’s some girl who’s so afraid of becoming a stereotype that she goes out of her way to maintain “principles,” even at risk of biting herself in the ass (coldly), and in doing so, becomes one herself. What does that have to do with me?

How many times have you heard someone say, “I hate when people quote Anchorman,” or “I am against Facebook on principle,” or “I liked Death Cab before The OC,” or, in the words of my lovely editor, “Dakota Fanning is spawn of the devil.” We all have a thing we love to loathe, not just because it gets us in the gut, but because hating it makes us, in our minds, unique and funny. It gives us security when we question whether who we are and what we like is just a product of good advertising. Ironically, this need to not be stereotyped makes us a stereotype, that of the “anti.” Antis thrive on the fact that they are anti-trend and individualistic. They are the reason the Cornhell community on Livejournal exists. They are the creators of such facebook groups as the “Anti-popped Collar Club” and “Leggings are not Pants,” both of which I’ve been a member of. Admit it, so have you. Or maybe I’m projecting. Maybe I’m just pissed at all those girls because they ruined Uggs for the rest of us. Maybe I’m just an idiot holding this ludicrous grudge against a pair of freaking boots. Or maybe we’re right all along, and Facebook is the devil, text messaging is the downfall of communication for our generation, Greek life is for the shallow, people who quote Anchorman endlessly are morons who can’t think for themselves, and The OC did kill indie music.

Either way — whether those of us who have a hate on for something really are pretentious asshats, or whether we’re right and as cool as we like to think — I will not change my mind. I will not bend. I will not break. I will never, ever wear Uggs. Until the day I give in and invest in a pair, only to write an annoying column about why Uggs are unfairly stereotyped. Until I do, I and my could-be-happier feet will be clomping around in the snow, trying to find answers.

As a side note, the writer would like to apologize to all the lovely females she knows who wear these highly-controversial boots. Please don’t beat her with your dirty shoes, okay? They hurt.