For any gardener, the battle against weeds is an unending strife. One aims to cultivate beautiful flowers and shrubs in which they intend to plant. The gardener chooses the plants, their locations, their sizes, and ultimately their fate existing in the garden. In order for these hand-selected plants to prosper, the unwanted flora must be eradicated. The weeds of the garden must be pulled to ensure the fulfillment of the gardener’s vision. So much time and maintenance must go into the care of the cultivated plants, yet one struggles to kill weeds. They sprout up naturally and can thrive, despite any work of the gardener to trim them back. Weeds are always around and, from what I can project, always will be. Adamant and numerous, these unwanted plants can easily overpower cultivated material and invade and conquer an entire garden. While the gardener attempts to trim them back or douse them in chemicals to drown their lives, weeds take on an almost immortal state. Roots can crawl deep and wide, making the process of regrowth increasingly powerful. Mass quantities of weeds become overpowering to the imperialistic gardener. They persist. As illustrated by Thylias Moss in “Tarsenna’s Defiance Garden in which I Love to Spit, ” these weeds form a garden of defiance.
Are societal movements no different? Moss introduces an interesting thought about race and other targeted identity groups in society. Certain types of people are unwanted in specific regions. In some gardens, they are weeds. However, amassing larger enough numbers or being resilient enough, a weed may survive and prosper despite the overseeing power. Many great social changes came about through weed uprising. In a sense, many styles and fashions–art forms of all kinds–stemmed from a simple weed. They started out as an ‘other’–an alternative or deviant clashing of ideas–and rose to amass a following. Sometimes these movements involve a way of life or challenge a predisposed thought. With many weeds sprouting every day, it is difficult to judge which ones will persist–as is the case of any form of life, plant or otherwise. Currently, an alternative style of fashion and music has risen. Seapunk is still in the developing and young weed state, but it may (as anything) rise to a state of longevity. It is currently a sub-genre of electric music and a fashion/design trend with an emphasis on nautical themes. Using its resources as a weed, it began rising through pop culture via social media. As it is consistently being linked and shared across the Internet, it is becoming a niche style trend with a cult following.
Although strange, it is an interesting case of weed-like growth. Like any fashion trend, the roots of its acceptance are unknown and likely impossible to understand. In some regards, it has been said to support environmental awareness and sustainability, with specific interest in marine life. However, despite the cause behind this trend, it is somewhat prospering. It has an active presence on Twitter (#SEAPUNK), as this social media outlet was one of its top means of growth, and a widely extensive collection of photos and sub-pages under Google’s search. The style, as far as fashion goes, involves a heavy use of sea-like colors–blue, turquoise, teal, aquamarine, etc–in contrasting and vibrant mash-ups. Clothing can involve a variety of graphic designs which incorporate dolphins, anchors, waves, and any other oceanic pictures. Some individuals dye their hair varying shades of blue and green. In addition to these themes, there is a huge reliance on mashups from varying forms of pop culture. Numerous references to the 90s are common. It is quite out of the blue, for as far as a style goes, but it is a representative rendition of how society construes fashion.
In addition to the fashion, the aspects of design and music are also worthwhile to explore. While the music doesn’t particularly scream ‘nautical’ to me, as it is not a remixed rendition of SpongeBob SquarePants, I would suggest it is simply another quirk–another stem from this societal weed culture. Arguing the environment awareness cause present for the Seapunk movement, the music could potentially incorporate defense for marine environments through the lyrics. Regardless of the purpose, the pure existence of this movement is what makes it important. With such a presence of social media in the world today, any niche, any idea, can be expanded and shared with others of similar interest. The so-called ‘weeds’ of society–the outliers, the alternative idea people–can form a solid relation and maintain a presence. This is not only the case with fashion and music, but, as illustrated by Moss, a means to an uprising and prospering of targeted identities. Let the weeds grow. Support #seapunk.