Sunday, 12 June 2016

6 punk rock ethos to live by

punk rock vibes zine

If I've learnt one thing about punk rock attitudes, it's that everything is subjective. Including the term punk rock; it means different things to different people. Punk rock is not exclusively a style, but it can be an attitude, a music style, an ethos, a mentality, a community - it's different for everyone. This is my interpretation of punk rock and in true punk rock form, I created a mini zine about some empowering punk rock ethos that we should all live by.
Question everything 
Literally everything. That's from established definitions, cultural and social norms, gender roles, stereotypes, to things like why there so much sugar in everything. Question where information is coming from, and how it effects you. Nothing is completely unbiased or objective, so it makes sense to consider where the information you're absorbing is coming from. Remaining curious helps us consider alternative perspectives and viewpoints which helps us become more empathetic. Another thing I've learnt is to reject ‘tradition’ if the only justification for its existence is 'that's how things have always been.'

Just wear the thing 
Beauty is subjective, if you believe you're beautiful, you are. Other people's opinions  do not define you. Wear that article of clothing  that 'doesn't suit you' if it makes you feel beautiful. Destroy the belief that you can't pull off certain looks. In the words of Oscar Wilde, 'you can never be overdressed or overeducated.' Personal style becomes so much fun when you start dressing for yourself and stop basing your style decisions on what other people and society tells you you should (or should not) be wearing. Throwing away the rules is empowering and freeing. At first it's easier said than done but if I ever get self conscious, I always remind myself that my body is my own, and my body is no one else's business.
Do It Yourself
Do it yourself (DIY) is all about getting what you want with what you have. It's starting where you are, using what you have and doing what you can to get where and what you want. It's about creating change for yourself, working with your strengths, being creative and expressing yourself. Making zines, blogs, youtube channels, music, and every other creative venture out there to empower yourself. Whether you're creating physical or digital things, it's ultra fulfilling to craft something. DIY is one of my favourite punk ethos because it provides accessibility for so many people. It allows you to create a space of your own and craft your own rules away from those who don't share your perspective (or outright make you feel as though you are wrong!)

Once you get through the door, leave it open. Help other people through. Celebrate other people and their success. Comparison if the thief of joy, don't compare your success with others. Everyone's success is different. Community is about being inclusive, helping each other out and being generous in whatever way you can. We're all in this world together so helping each other out is important. I think this goes hand in hand with creating alternative spaces and listening to other people's perspectives and voices. 
Embrace Difference
Embracing difference is a super important one. Punk and alternative scenes have for a long time been an accepting place for those who are different, but not one hundred percent of the time. Acknowledging, embracing and accepting differences helps foster positive relations and general betterment for everyone. Differences make us great and keeps things interesting. Be as subversive, unconventional,and mold breaking as often as you want. Accept differences in others and avoid being judgmental (except if someone's getting hurt, then judge away) and challenge existing prejudices - we all have them, but the good news is we can challenge and unlearn them.

It's about recognising what is important to you and embracing that. It's not about being different or standing out, or being 'authentic.' Individuality is about accepting yourself, accepting each of the building blocks that make you as an individual, everything that is important to you, the things you are, and the things you are not. It's about trusting yourself, your voice, and embracing the current version of yourself. Limit comparison to others and learn to respect and embrace your own voice and style. You do you, and own it.

I had so much fun making this little zine and post, thanks for reading! I hope you feel inspired enough to incorporate some punk rock into your life!