So a friend of mine had an interesting idea for a series of shorts. The premise: We hang out on Venice beach people watching and make snap judgements about people then ask them if we were right. I know, sounds like major fun right? It was. Venice beach has to be on the top ten list of best places on earth to people watch. Especially on a Saturday afternoon where the balance between crazy and sane, rich and poor, bad-ass and non-bad ass is in perfect harmony.
Venice beach has whatever you need. Both in the way of people and chatskis. Trying to guess every detail about a person by just looking at them is incredible fun but also speaks volumes to how we perceive each other and societal norms. It’s one thing to be an investment banker. It’s another thing all together to look like one. Would you want people to know your profession, likes and dislikes just by looking at you? On the plus side you would not throw people any curveballs and people would walk into any interaction with you with a bit of a heads up. You could even screen out people by basically broadcasting who you are prior to any words being exchanged.
The downside is you would be living in a box and you would never surprise anyone.
SURPRISED PERSON: With that neck tatoo, I wouldn’t have pegged you for a horticulturist. That’s cool. What’s that? You also love Norah Jones? Right on!
I’m sure some people dress and groom with no second thought as to what it says about them as a person. I used to be that way but then I realized i needed to steer crowds into a way of thinking whilst I walked on the stage and before I uttered a word.
Race also played a role. We assumed every Indian was in medicine or tech support. I know, that’s hella wrong. Remember these were knee jerk judgements. Marketing and the segments marketing has created has subconsciously permeated both our individual and collective psyches. We leave the house with a focus on maintaining our brand. How many people dress completely different from day to day? Tomorrow go completely against type and then the next dress exactly the way people in your profession, hood, social order dress.
Mix it up folks. Because we guessed right an alarmingly high number of times. And when we were wrong it was rewarding in a different way. Being stumped just confirms that it’s still important to actually get to know someone.
So put a book cover on your “book” and make folks read your insides to learn your story.