If you or at least your friends are into viral videos, then there's a good chance that you've seen this apparent show of pandemonium:
Having already been featured on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, the curious craze involving overzealous teens, fake streetwear, Ex Battalion's "Hayaan Mo Sila," and (most of the time) SM Dasma has taken over social media, albeit in a way that is not so pleasant.
Photos and videos of these young "haypbists" loitering malls in throngs have been circulating online for quite some time now as the butt of internet jokes. FHM has touched upon the subject but wasn't able to expound on why the local hypebeasts, despite their unconventional appearance, deserve your respect, too.
You need to be oozing with self-belief to wear something that could raise a few eyebrows, and give zero fucks about what the people around you are saying. The mere fact that these streetwear juveniles are comfortable in their own skin, strutting their stuff in a degree we haven't seen before, is worthy of admiration.
Notice the age bracket of these self-appointed hypebeasts—most of them just hit puberty and are still trying to find themselves. For them, this stage of existence is allotted to discovering and establishing an identity. And if championing individuality means tucking in their shirts and sweating inside those jogging pants, then who are we to judge?
While most of us treat them as social outcasts, these eager teenagers have harbored a sense of family among themselves. We'd rather have a group of idealists spreading good vibes than a gang of delinquents causing all sorts of trouble. Now, if they could only turn those mall invasions down a notch...
It's not their fault that they can't afford the expensive brands society and pop culture deem necessary to fit in. The unfortunate reality is that these fashionable kids have to work around a certain price tag to be accepted. Perhaps instead of ridiculing and going all elitist on them, we should focus on cultivating trends that don't alienate the lower sectors.
Remember when you wore ultra-skinny jeans and dark eyeliner? Think about it: majority of Filipinos have a tendency to latch on to cringe-inducing style trends. Admit it, at one point or another in your life, you were just like them.