214 - Americana Brand-O-Rama

Leggings - c/o Lovelysally, Creepers - Anarchic via eBay, Tank Top - Vintage, Denim Vest - Vintage, Mt. Dew Hat - Gift from Brit!

In college, I took a class on branding. One day, in class, the instructor asked us all to think about the brands to which we had allegiance. Then, she went around the room and asked every student which brands they consider part of their own identity. Athletic students said Adidas or Nike. Label-crazed students said Coach or Luis Vuitton. Starving students said Top Ramen. Then, the teacher came to me. "What brands do you identify with, Madeline?"

I scoffed. "I don't identify with brands," I replied. "I think that brand allegiance is a form of mind control that encourages blind capitalism with negative repercussion for small businessour health and well-beingworker rights, and legislation."

My teacher laughed a little. "Is that so? Because I think you have some brand allegiances."

"Like what?" I replied haughtily, confident at my 20 years of age that I knew absolutely everything there was to know about life, and most certainly about myself.

"Well, how about Mountain Dew, for starters?"

Yes, interwebz, this instructor had seen me traipse into class, green can in hand, enough times to call my bluff. I am only half-ashamed to admit that I have a disgusting and out-of-place addiction to Mountain Dew. I KNOW, I KNOW. As far as soda addictions go, it is by far the most humiliating. There is no way, for example, to gracefully order Mountain Dew at a restaurant in front of a group of people. Most restaurants won't carry it (thankfully), but when they do, I'm so excited that I can't help but request one, much to the shock of my dining companions. You cannot play that one cool. "Yes, I'll take a Mountain Dew, please. Thank you." The second those words come out of your mouth, you can pretty much say goodbye to any chance you may have had of appearing cultured or refined. In some sick way, my Mountain Dew affinity speaks to my roots -- my lower middle class suburban teenaged contempt for all things bourgeoisie. BRAND ALLEGIANCE, Y U SO CONFLICTING?

Anyway, it makes perfect sense that when Brit found this hat, she had to get it for me. It's a very "Madeline" thing to exist in the world. As for the leggings? The kind folks over at Lovelysally sent them my way. I like to think that they represent the ironic re-imagining of my youthful idealism in the context of twenty-something cynicism. David Bowie, eat your heart out.

Thanks to Isabel and Rachel for hanging out yesterday and tie-dying and doing blog pictures and stuff!