I can’t tell you how much I heard that word back in high school.
Keep in mind this was the early/mid 90s so gatekeeping regarding music was insane. If you couldn’t name the deepest B-sides of a band’s catalog, you were instantly branded a poser and relegated to the depths. Or if you said that you liked music videos, you earned a sneer and some derisive rant about how MTV is killing the music industry.
I can’t tell you how many times I had that word thrown at me as a teenager. I’ll never forget one time that two “friends” of mine – who I legitimately thought were good friends – decided to make up some band and rave to me about it. I was actually interested to hear more, and when they dropped me off at home, told me they just made it up, and said that I was just a poser who went along with fads because others told me to. They sat in front of my house laughing while I went inside and fucking cried because I legitimately thought I was connecting with these two people I thought were cooler than cool.
To this day, when I get into something, I constantly feel like I have to prove that I really enjoy that thing to others. “LOOK, I REALLY DO LIKE THIS THING, I HAVE DONE SO MUCH RESEARCH AND LISTENED TO SO MUCH STUFF.” I think it’s one of the reasons I tend to hyperfixate on things when I first get into them, so much so where it can seem like an obsession. Then it just kind of fades into the background over time.
I see people who write and make music and draw and paint and sculpt and take pictures and I just want to be one of them SO BAD. But any time I start getting into something, I’m reminded – somehow, some way – that this is probably not the spot for me. I have this constant sensation of “you’re just a poser sitting on the windowsill looking in”. This is how I feel when I write or do photography. I enjoy doing them, but I’m always so scared to show it to the world because I’m just waiting on that one person to come along and tell me, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE.”