Hi, I’m Pretentious

I was on the rooftop of the Chambers the other day when someone approached my friend, AJ, and said, “Your friend, Justin, is pretentious.”

Well ain’t that lovely? I love when people I’ve never met say stuff like that. Isn’t it ironic when they make such judgments? Think Pot-Kettle.

For the record, and this in itself is probably totally self-absorbed, I think I’m a nice guy. I never shy away from meeting new people (no matter who you are or what you look like), I smile at people when we make eye contact, and I do my damndest to make others feel welcomed into conversation.

I also happen to be terribly insecure, and addicted to building friendship. Combine all the above, and you get quite the mess.

Lately I’m feeling disturbed by what happened at the Chambers. It’s not because someone dislikes me—I can handle that—but because someone dislikes me whom I’ve never really met. He’s someone I would have otherwise loved to have gotten to know (he is a friend of a friend).

I think it’s my hair.

No, seriously.

I was talking about this with Ty (my roommate) recently, and we laughed about it, but I think I should put the theory to the test.

I make my hair all spikey and hair-spray-ey when I’m going out on the town. Think Jersey Shore with only slightly less gel. (See my photo on page 66 of this issue). Most people like it. I enjoy wearing it that way. It makes me feel a little more confident.

My hair by no means conveys that I am a modest individual. It doesn’t tell the story of how insecure I am, or how nice I am (okay, how nice I try to be). It does signal the stereotypical gay male youth, filled with conceit and narcissism—titles that I do not think describe me (fingers crossed). This is vanity, not pretense.

I find it very hard to believe anyone would call me pretentious if I just rolled out of bed, and my hair was busted, but just because I’m a nice guy shouldn’t mean I have to have my hair a certain way. I like playing around with it. It’s part of who I am.

Or maybe I am pretentious. Who knows? I’ll go think about it in the tanning booth.

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