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Arts and Entertainment

Meaning of “arty” continues to evolve

By Andrea Braver
Published: November 2010

Artsyness: a term used to describe students who dress in a specific way, hang out in a particular section of South, partake in precise activities, and act in similar mannerisms to one another.
The term “artsy has evolved from referring to mediums of art such as acting, singing, photography, and drawing to an image.
The evolution has occurred partially because of students’ fashion choices, partially as a result from the conformist nature of many, and partially for reasons simply unknown to most.
Many South students who engage in artist or theatrical activities dress and present themselves in a way many would call “artsy or “indie.
These arbitrary labels classify students whose fashion picks consist of, for the girls, high-wasted skirts, shorts, and pants, florals, and clothing that is reminiscent of the 80s. For the boys, it consists of straight leg jeans, corduroys, and tighter sweaters and shirts.
While many students who enjoy the arts tend to dress like this, many stray from “artistic dress.
In fact, the definition of “artsyness is incredibly arguable and has strayed from initial intentions.
“I feel as though the term artsy holds no weight anymore, senior Lauren Johnstone said.
She feels as though being “artsy is not something you can change.
Senior Murray Levy, an avid musician and DJ, feels as though his style does not accurately depict his personality.
One’s choice of fashion may or may not represent his interests and hobbies.
“Many people referred to as ‘Ëœartsy’ have no affiliation with the arts and many people who are involved with the arts are not referred to as ‘Ëœartsy,’ Levy said.
At South, a particular group, classified as “artsy, didn’t set out with the intention of redefining themselves to fit into a particular mold.
“When you simplify a group of people into a word you represent them by something that is not truly them, Levy said. “Then people can have their ideas about the idea and end up feeling alienated or in some way have a set of ideas about people they haven’t even met.
Junior Taylor Ollivierre, who has taken a form of Mixed Media/Glass since her freshman year, notes that “artsyness has been limited to specific group of students.
Although she is involved in the arts, Ollivierre would not consider herself “artsy.
“It’s hard to be artsy when you aren’t friends with the particular group that has become known as artsy, she said.
Johnstone agrees.
“There are kids that are perceived as artsy because of simply who they are, she said.
For mainly unknown reasons, the arbitrary label of “artsy has developed into a widespread phenomenon encapsulating only a specific group of students. These students are involved in theatre, music, physical forms of art, anything you can name.
However, what is setting them apart from the rest of the students involved in the arts is arguable. Factors such as dress, attitude, style, personality, and social groups certainly play a role, but it’s not quite enough to explain this deviation from societal regularities and labels.

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