So this person who has the Bad Seattle Fashion blog on Tumblr has received more than his 15 minutes of fame, and a lot of hate too. Is anyone surprised? Several counter Tumblr blogs have arisen to thumb noses at him: badassseattlefashion.tumblr.com and greatseattlefashion.tumblr.com (from someone who hasn’t even been to Seattle, ever).
I have to admit, as a resident of Seattle and of Capitol Hill–where many of BSF’s photos are taken–I too was angry that he should pick on so many of my neighbors. At first.
We are a casual neighborhood, although it is not impossible to find people dressed “fashionably” any day of the week. But for the most part we are casual, eclectic and wonderfully “out there.” Steampunkers, cosplayers, artists; the tattooed and the pierced can be found in abundance. Sometimes I think of my neighborhood as a large aviary of exotic birds, each with plumage that matches his or her likes, interests and life style. And each of us admiring the other for his or her selection.
And best of all, the majority of us like it that way.
So the question, to me, is: Why is this person so upset and so bent on making nasty remarks in his attempts to pull down people he doesn’t know?
I decided to take a closer look at his blog and I’ve found, I believe, some very interesting clues to this behavior.
He’s new to Seattle. He’s moved here from Chicago.
A photo – plus a description from someone catching him in the act of sneaking a photo – reveals he’s not only older but “non-descript.”
He tends to single out “types” such as heavier set people, older people, cosplayers, steampunkers, etc.
He misinforms about where the photos are taken.
He attended some sort of fashion show and was very proud, if not downright crowing, that people were praising his sense of fashion.
This is what I get from the above points:
Seattle is notoriously closed to newcomers. It takes a good two years to really start feeling at home and making friends. I can attest to this; I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Those first couple of years can be quite lonely. And loneliness can breed anger. And if you’ve stepped into an area brimming with people you have little to nothing in common with that anger can fester into behavior unbecoming a gentleman.
Considering #1 and #2 above, a move to a free-wheeling place like Capitol Hill can be quite a shock, especially to an older person who has settled into things being a certain way. To be faced with a young population (both in age and in attitude) can be equally isolating.
Call it pop psychology but people who seek out types to oppress are usually acting out of fear; fear of what they don’t understand. They tend to be closed-minded and unwilling to open their eyes, minds or hearts to simply accept the different. As a result the more they can tear someone down, the bigger they think it makes them look (unfortunately many people tend to think the oppressor is a bigger asshole).
His misinformation of where pictures are taken is another sign of his needing to build himself up in other people’s eyes. Two instances: the photo with the woman in the leotard at a restaurant. It’s a café, not a restaurant (I’ve been there a few times myself) and it is on the ground floor of a building that houses one of Seattle’s premiere acting schools and a large ballroom wherein dance classes are held daily. As an ex-dancer/actress I can assure you, those breaks between lessons and rehearsals are perfect times to dash into the closest café to get a cup of coffee or a quick bite to eat before going back to work. He took this picture without considering the situation (if he was even cognizant of what else was in the building) and is making out like he hangs out at exclusive places. The other instances with the young lady in the Seahawk t-shirt (this is Seattle, Seahawk clothing/accessories ARE fashion) was taken at what he described as a “chic” restaurant whereas a friend of mine described it as a “kinda funky bar.” Can’t wait to see if he actually goes someplace chic and fashionable.
His absolutely smug delight at receiving some praise about his own “fashion” sense says it all. He needs approval, acceptance, strokes. You can almost see him preening proudly as he goes over every syllable of every word of praise.
I strongly believe he has very low self-esteem. He may, or may not be alone but either way, he’s lonely. He has a paralyzing fear of rejection of self and is so maddeningly jealous of those people who can express themselves with what he calls bad fashion that it manifests in mean and nasty remarks.
He no doubt gets a big kick out of the anger that his blog has brought forth. I can imagine him reading eagerly every remark as if it is some sort of validation of his power over others. Again, jealousy and a need to bolster self-esteem.
Unfortunately his “power” is ephemeral as those of us on the hill will continue to love our steampunkers, tattoos, piercing and chubby young ladies who totally rock cute skirts and dyed hair with a love and zest for life that he so desperately wants but can’t see his way clear to obtain.
Yes, at first I wanted to whack him upside the head, break his camera and send his sorry ass back to Chicago. But now, after analyzing his remarks and his photos I have come to the conclusion that he is a sad and sorry individual who is to be pitied rather than reviled.
He reminds me of the last scene in the original movie “The Fly” where the half man/half fly being is trapped in a spider web crying out “help me, help me.” Instead this poor man is trapped in the confines of the web of what he deems is “fashion” and there is no one, at this time, who is willing to help him. He has pissed off too many people.