Bennett also mentions that subcultures are not as solid and static as they used to be, he speaks of neotribes instead of subcultures (Bennett, 1999). But even though these style elements might not belong to a specific style or subculture, for outsiders, the ‘mainstream’ people, they might still be viewed as alternative. These days many young people form their style in the way Polhemus describes. Their style is very individual. They do it for themselves, trying to express themselves and form a unique style that fits their personality. Such a person doesn’t necessarily have to be part of a broader subculture and behave a certain way and only interact with people of that subculture. Take, for example, videos on YouTube such as “Grunge-inspired Lookbook” by Roxxsaurus. She mentions beneath her video:
The people I have been following for some time on YouTube who dye their hair in bright colors do this because they feel they are part of an alternative community. This includes people who identify as being goth, punk, emo, scene, or just alternative in general. Many of them don’t necessarily identify with one specific subculture, but they take some inspiration from one style and some from another style and this way a unique style can be formed that fits with that person. These style elements can be hair (bright hair colors), but also certain clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc. Forming a personal style by only using certain elements is described as a “supermarket of style” by Ted Polhemus. He states:
Genxegesis: Essays on Alternative Youth (Sub)Culture …
These concerns can be linked to the problem of social pressure. In order to be accepted, and to be part of a group, individuals have to live up to certain expectations and judgements. If they fail to do so, there is a chance that they will be rejected by other members of the group. They can be excluded, and therefore no longer be part of the group; they become outsiders (Gray & Bjorklund, 2014). This also relates to larger debates in youth cultures studies on the relevance of ‘sense of belonging’; whether people see themselves as part of a group, scene, community or subculture, to be part of a certain group entails living up to certain expectations. People want to form an identity of their own, and be able to distinguish themselves from people from other (sub)groups. They want to show who they are and what is valuable to them.