Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 23, Tuesday, December 7, 2004





THIS is an article that might help people to comprehend the often misunderstood, discriminated and definitely frowned upon "Yo-generation" (by the way, my regards to whomever came up with the term "Yo-generation". It is disrespectful and it shows how little you know about us people). Actually, this article is nothing of that sort. In fact, the whole philosophy of the "Yo-generation" is based on not caring about giving ourselves such tags and definitions. We do not care about how we dress, how we style our hair, what perfumes we use and what not.

We are….
Quite frankly, when I get up in the morning, my wardrobe depends on one basic fact- I put on something that is clean. I can guess that a lot of people are going "Then what's the point in trying to talk about you and your people's fashion sense?" The point is, not caring about what your wear is a fashion sense all in itself. This does not mean that everybody who is indifferent to fashion trends automatically becomes a part of the "Yo-generation". No, it is a bit more complicated than that. As our philosophy goes, you cannot become cool just by picking up a magazine and reading an article on winter clothes. In fact, we consider that to be a major sin. If you want to be cool or trendy or hip then you must not try so hard. I cannot stress that enough. Do not be a try-hard, do not be a wannabe, and do not wear a complete basketball uniform along with a bandana just because Nelly is doing the same thing. Your first job is to get rid of all those preset notions you had about what makes you stylish, trendy, or hip. As far as I am concerned, one of the hippest brand names on the face of the earth is "Bongo Inc". (If you do not know what I am talking about then shame on you. Go visit Gulistan right now!) Our clothes are about whatever makes you feel good, and if it feels goods then it has to look good as well. This is not a theory, this actually works.

Maybe I can make things a little clearer by mentioning the "Don'ts" in terms of the so-called "Yo-generation's" fashion sense. You will never catch us wearing something extremely gaudy and extremely tacky. We never put on something so loud that pedestrians must put on shades to avoid walking into a bus. And we hate, and I mean hate the new oh-so-chic "Desi" look. All those fusions with Fatuas and jeans and beads and what not is all too confusing for us. If you have ever seen somebody wearing such clothes and whom you consider to be one of us, then let me tell you that we are also pretty busy laughing at him. Although there are no such definitions of what you should wear so that we do not laugh at you, our basic point is that it has to look good , whatever it is. And quite honestly, loud colours, flashy outfits and fusion looks is just not cool.

Of course we care a lot about hair as well but I guess you have already figured that out given the recent rise in hair gel sales. The weird thing is whether we spike our hair up like punk rockers, or let it grow long like Mojo Risin himself, it has nothing to do with trends or the in look for the winter. Most of the time, for us there will be some reason behind styling our hair in a particular that will seem insignificantly small to others, but will mean the world to us. Whether it is to shock our parents or because of a grudge against our school principal who demanded short hair, you can rest assure that it will never be because of someone like Jawaid Habib. It is therefore once again to pointless to try and define what hair style makes you part of the "Yo-generation". As long as you are okay with it we really do not care.

Seek the truth…and the truth shall set you free
The "yo-generation" is not at all "yo" like the rest of you people think. "Yo" is a term which we use sarcastically. To make fun of those who do not get us but try to be like us. If you people think that you are giving us a compliment by referring to us as the "yo-generation", you could not be more wrong. It is similar to calling someone a "Wigga". Please do not try and define us. It just goes against our whole philosophy when "in-duh-viduals" try and do that. We try so hard to live our lives without even caring what we do or wear or how we style our hair, you can imagine how much we care about what somebody else wears or follows. It is not an issue for us just like everything else superficially unimportant. How can people even be concerned enough to even pick out a name like the "yo-generation" for us when there are so many more significant issues to worry about. Have you ever considered that deep down inside the real reason that we do not care about what the latest fashion trend is or how to style our hair according to a beauty magazine is because we feel that there are more things in this beautiful unlucky world to worry about? Take a second to think about it and maybe you won't be so materialistic anymore. If us confused young kids with no aim in life can do it, then I am sure you can as well.

By-Strictly LS desk


‘YO-MAN! WUZZUP! Like I've bin lookin for yo man, like I am in shit man like I am totally whack, man."
"Hey bro' like I feel you man…"

It's the 'Yo man! Wuzzup!' culture invasion time. And times are really hard for us 'dinosaurs'.

Surely you are at loss, not quite able to understand whether Bugs Bunny or Dino the dinosaur on the verge of extinction is the topic in discussion. Well, sorry to disappoint you; we are only trying to talk about today's young adult males and their style statements.

On a second thought, it might very well be about Bugs, only here he would be a young male 17 to 24 of age and very cartoonistic in his manners while the dinosaur is anyone unfortunate enough to be 25 and above.

You'll find him at any underground concert, school/college campus, 'hanging with his homies' outside a coaching centre, or just 'chillaxing' at one of the numerous fast-food joints with all his 'peeps'. He's a colourful character, this one, and may come in many guises, styles that will leave you scratching your head in confusion. Meet the 'Yo-generation' male.

The Yo's come in a variety of shapes, colours, and sizes, sporting looks that mystify all those who don't belong in their generation. A lot of what they wear is influenced by their musical tastes, for the Yo is a very musical creature.

You have the R/M/A (Rock/Metal/Alternative) freaks, for whom black shirts/tees teamed with blue jeans is like a uniform. As they head-bang to the tunes of Linkin' Park, Creed, Papa Roach, or the local favorites like Aashor or DnA or Arbovirus, and others, you'll find them sporting a variety of interesting hair-styles straight spikes, frizzed spikes, coloured hair, tattoos, and body piercings.

Then there are the 'hip-hop' crew, with their loudspeakers, Nelly-style sports gear, bandannas, baggy pants, and their 'pump up da volume' kind of raw energy. These guys are the ones who speak a language you'll need a separate dictionary to understand.

You have the fusion crowd, with their fotuas and jeans, long hair, and beads. These are the more 'spiritual' types, believing in musical harmony between the east and the west, so team up a guitar and tabla, and you've got an instant audience to appreciate you.

There's a small, but growing Yo sub-group, whose members watch a lot of Hindi films and TV soaps. These are mostly recognizable during weddings, when they turn up in their funky, colourful punjabis and hit the dance floors, jumping and gyrating to bhangra, dandiya, and anything else Bollywood has to offer. You can also identify them from the way they speak, peppering their English or Bengali with a lot of Hindi. The latest trend amongst these types is for longish, straightened hair in the style of Sonu Nigam, or 'Aryan' in the soap 'Kahani Ghar Ghar ki".

Finally, there's the 'whatever, man' crew, who have a broader taste in music (or so they like to claim), don't follow any particular style and still make the people of the dinosaur generation look at them in wonder. Full of opinions, these guys love to tell everyone what they think, and that's where the story ends, because they are too busy looking down their stylish noses at everyone else, including other members of their generation to actually put all their 'brilliant' ideas and aspirations into action.

Every generation has its own look and flavour, the hippies of the 60's, the rocking 70's, the disco 80's and so on, and even after all the eyebrows they raised with their outrageous fashion statements, the youth of each generation left their mark, and in a positive way too.

The current 'Yo' generation, for all their colour, variety and idealism, lack that zest, that spirit of their trail-blazing predecessors. They lack respect, and this does not refer just to their lack of basic manners; they lack respect for society, for education, work ethics, for any established institution whatsoever, and they also lack the drive, the initiative and dynamism needed to move to the next level.

Sure, they have the outfits and the look to make heads turn. But that's just where it ends. Today's Yo generation is like the icing without the cake, the trappings without real substance beneath them.

The youth of every generation is seen as restless extremist with weird and wacky ways of thinking, acting, and living. Yet every generation in the past has produced something worthwhile, set events into motion, and pushed its respective society into progress, we surely hope that the current generation, with their 'whatever' attitude, confused state of mind and total disregard for anything normal, would be able to bring about a wave of change as well.

By Dino and T-rex
Model: Taskin Rahman
Photo: Zahedul I Khan


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