A Caricature of Himself
A while back my friends coined the term, “a caricature of oneself,” to describe the phenomenon of kids named Sully who live in Southie and wear scally caps on the regular. The term is meant to describe a person who has — hook, line and sinker — exaggeratedly bought into a certain look/stereotype that has become incredibly mainstream and predictable. Over the years, it has been applied (but certainly not limited) to the following:
- A girl sitting in Starbucks, dressed in head-to-toe Lilly Pulitzer and Jack Rogers sandals, typing on a laptop covered in ACK, Vineyard Vines and lacrosse bumper stickers.
- Any guy in Allston with an ironic mustache and cutoff jean shorts.
Most of the time, the term is delivered with a considerable amount of veiled derision designed to make the object of the comment question his or her very carefully-constructed identity. (Did I mention that my friends are mean girls?) Recently, though, it was hurled at someone who took it as a compliment — the very first person in the history of the term to do so. The pretentious, elbow-patched Cantabrigian considered the term to be a positive critique of his self-awareness — a reinforcing observation that his established personality is readily available and obvious to onlookers.
Somewhat taken aback, my friends considered the possibility that the exaggerated masses they had spent the past five years ridiculing were actually aware of their own predictability and ready to own up to it. My friends may have won a few battles, but ultimately were the caricatures going to win the war?
Awash in self-doubt, my friends considered the awful possibilities and ramifications of such an outcome. Unprovoked, the aforementioned Harvard Square caricature then quoted Shakespeare, via the haughty Polonius in Hamlet, remarking “to thine own self be true.”
So, where does that leave us? My Friends: 1. Caricatures: 0.
Posted by Amelia