Who copied who…and why you shouldn’t care.
Raven Symone did it to Lala. Lala did it to Cassie. Cassie did it to Rihanna. Rihanna did it to Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga did it to Dita Von Teese. Think Cassie was the first to partly shave her head? Or Amber Rose was treading uncharted territory by rocking spandex outside the gym? Think again.
Earlier this summer, Kesh set the record straight over Twitter. The DJ-turned-designer informed Diddy that Cassie didn’t start the supposed “movement” (in the words of TV personality Lala Vasquez, who had just added her own twist to the Cassie-inspired do). According to Kesh, who had the hairstyle months before, the increasingly popular trend had been going on in London over a year.
Jack Davey, female vocalist of the multi-genre duo J*Davey, however, was seen sporting shaven sides since their debut in 2005, and Kelis graced the pages of Bon Magazine back in 2007 with a similar cropped do. In actuality, the partially-shaven look has been around for decades.
It dates all the way back to the eighties when the hip-hop trio, Salt-N-Pepa were telling you to “push it real good.” But the true pioneer of bald and beautiful is fashion icon Grace Jones, who donned the do in the late seventies and has been sporting it ever since.
But not to worry, ladies. Your original swaggers can be fully restored just as easily as you jacked it off Ri Ri when you got your zodiac sign tatted behind your ear. Simply follow this 5-step swagger recovery program and you’ll be swagger-jacked free:
1. Admit you are powerless over swagger jacking—that your sense of style has become unoriginal.
2. Come to terms with your unoriginality.
3. Admit to fellow fashionistas and to yourself the exact nature of your wrongs.
4. Make a list of all persons you’ve swagger-jacked, and be willing to make amends to them all.
5. After having a fashionable awakening, carry this message to swagger-jackers everywhere, and practice these principles in all your trendy affairs.
Not buying this mindless manifesto? Well, neither are we. All the swagger-jacking that’s been going on these days makes you question what other fads celebs have been falsely credited for. But it should mostly make you wonder why the heck we should care. Model Amber Rose received a lot of attention for daring to wear spandex with no additional coverage of her derrière. The look quickly became Rose’s signature, but a year ago Meagan Good fearlessly displayed her curves in the clingy fabric…no cover up needed.
Truth is, there’s rarely any trend that hasn’t already been around—everything from finger tattoos to wearing your boyfriend’s jeans. It seems as though these looks are only noticed when it comes to which celebrities wore it first or who rocked it better. Why must the media put us at odds with one another only to fuel unnecessary beef, instead of give props to women who inspire other women? Simply put: Positive press doesn’t sell.
Now trendwatchers seem to be holding their breaths waiting to see who will replicate the risqué getup Rihanna rocked in Las Vegas earlier in July. The songstress, known for her fashion risks, wore a blazer with two starred pasties barely concealing her goods. Turns out Lady Gaga wore them in the streets of London in April of this year. And who could forget that the sticky stamps (well, one of them) also made an appearance at the 1999 Video Music Awards on Lil’ Kim.
At some point or another, we’ve all swagger-jacked someone. And that’s fine! Who cares who “started” what anyway? In this pointless pursuit to be original, let’s just take time to commend other sistas for fashionably paving the way.