Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day!

Although the Chinese have their own Valentine’s Day on August 6th this year (the 7th day of the 7th month on the Lunar calendar), they have been borrowing and celebrating the Western Valentine’s Day since the 1990s…

But two Valentine’s Days is not enough justification for Chinese couples to dress like one another all year long like “Jack and Jill” in the background here:

I was actually trying to take a picture of the guy on the left, but when I noticed Jack and Jill in the background I wanted to laugh and barf all at the same time… It’s because even though it’s amusing to an extent, it sickens me to see so many Chinese people dressed exactly like their lover. I initially wondered if it happens more often in China because Chinese people are more narcissistic and want to marry/mate with a clone of him/herself, like these two lovebirds at IKEA…

But eventually I reasoned that it’s a bit of pride in their significant other but more significantly the comfort in conformity that compels Chinese couples to dress identically. As explained in Simmel’s short essay entitled Fashion (at the bottom of the page), man has a dualistic nature that simultaneously compels him to be an individual and a conformist… Eventually one wins out over the other, and in terms of sartorial practices in China there is certainly a higher propensity to conform (for example, wearing the exact same thing as your lover).

I mean, I’m not against couples expressing their love around Valentine’s Day, but for the rest of the year, I really, really hope I don’t see this:

Call me a grinch or a scrooge or whatever, but I’d rather see highly (or even moderately) individualized sartorial aesthetics start to pop up around the streets of Shanghai and China than a bunch of Chinese people dressed the same…

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