Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A uniform marks you as belonging to something. There is an identity, whether by choice or prescription. Tribes, teams, students and inmates all are identified by uniform elements. Does the sense of identity differ if the decision to belong is made for you? Is being swept up in a team victory any different from becoming faceless in a school assembly? I'm curious if the perceived worth of particular emotions override the loss of individual identity. And even if the lessening of individuality is in fact a loss.

Uniforms not only give the wearer an identity, but also to some extent, equality. Within your tribe, you are all marked the same. Your visual identity is consistent. To what degree you accept and uphold this consistency must surely rest on whether you chose to belong. Just ask any school student the myriad of  modifications they can make to subvert uniform policies. So even then within large tribes, smaller tribes form, further marking themselves. Creating a uniform identity.

In Huxley's Brave New World, the idea of prescribed identity and uniformity is foundational to their society. Fascinating and terrifying, and providing me with plenty of clouds in my daydreams.

Nicole Pollard by Georges Antoni | Rush for Elle Australia, July 2014
Aldous Huxley | Brave New World


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