Being Unique vs. Being Original: Is There a Difference?
People like to think of themselves as unique, and they will even interchange the word ‘unique’ with being ‘original’. But are they the same thing? Can you be unique without being original?
Someone who decides they want to stand out may dress in a style that is outside the norm. If you look at people who adopt the Goth look, they often look similar from one Goth-dressing person to the next. They may still stand out in a group that is not necessarily into that style. If they went to a Goth convention (if such a thing exists), no one would stand out. You would see variations, but it would be a common theme.
Perhaps you could be considered unique if you decided to wear all your clothes inside out. You may even be considered original by doing this. What is certain is you will get many people giving you a strange look. These looks could be exactly what you are going for.
There are also people who reinvent styles that have existed well into the past. Look at the Steampunk movement that has become popular in the last decade or so. This is a style that encapsulates a period where steam technology dominated the planet. However, it incorporates modern day technology and fashion. It’s a hybrid of old world meets new. But among the Steampunkers, for lack of a better term, don’t they all look alike, for the most part?
Why not combine Steampunk with Goth? It gives a dark twist to the genre and at least initially, will let you stand out. But what happened when it catches on and everyone starts adopting it? Is it still considered unique or original?
There are those that try to set trends, either in fashion, technology, or both. The ones that do it often enough are called innovators while those who follow are copycats. It would be difficult to find people who would deny Steve Jobs was an innovator. Many believe that Apple will never be the same without him. Others believe he set the stage for Apple to continue as an innovative company for many years to come.
No one knows for sure what the future holds. However, people will continue to try what they feel is new when in fact is often just a variation on an existing theme. It’s like the old saying, “The more things change, the more they remain the same!”