Attack of the Clones

I don’t know what happened over the past 15 years but it seems that female clones are everywhere. You know what I mean. The groups of 3 – 5 girls who are all dressed alike, have the same dyed, keratin-treated hair, the same ultra-white sneakers you need to put your Ray Bans on to avoid temporary blindness, and the same Valley girl way of talking. You would see them in cafes most of the time, sipping their Grande Caramel Macchiato very timidly while tweeting and talking to one another at the same time. The ones who are thankful and proud that they don’t have a single ugly friend in their crowd. Oh wait, is it posse now? Or squad? 

I chuckle while I’m typing this because, really, when did it become OK to be a clone?

For as long as I can remember, I have always hated conformity. Wait… Hate may be a very strong word. Let’s just say I’m not a fan of it. For me it’s equivalent to being lazy — not thinking about who you really are, not being imaginative enough to get out of the box. 

When I was a kid, I have always wanted to wear jeans when we have school parties or during, what we call, civilian days. For me, it’s a sign of adulthood; a sign of independence. But my mother wouldn’t hear the end of it. She said that I don’t look good in pants. That I look best when I’m in a dress, with tights, and sneakers on. And I know that I do and I know that I like it. But there’s a nagging feeling inside me because I know that I stick out like a sore thumb from my other classmates. 

I remember my mother buying me a purple umbrella (my favorite color) with pumpkins, bats, witches, and candles  printed all over . The umbrella screams “Happy Halloween” and I loved it! But I also remember my grandma looking at it weirdly and saying it’s scary, may aswang, and it’s not fit for a little girl. Which made me question my love for it and tell my mom about it. My mom said don’t listen to what others say about what I should like. Like what you like, she said. 

I remember my mom asking my other grandma to sew me dresses for my birthdays and other special occassions. Both of us would look at fashion magazines and pick out our favorites. We would then put together our own design based on our picks and would come up with a dress that is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. She discouraged me from buying directly in department stores because, then, I’d look like 5 out of the 8 girls in the room. And it was true. 

These little growing up anecdotes are bunched together and contributed mainly to who I am today. My mother probably knew that I was a bit different from others and acted on it faster than I did. And for that, I am thankful. 

Because, really, when did it become OK to be a clone?

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