We’ve all heard the song, Bohemian Rhapsody, it was an era-defining song that shattered the norms of what a song is supposed to be like. Similarly, the very lifestyle of Bohemianism went against traditional norms of how someone should live during the 18th century. So what exactly is Bohemianism? Well, it’s the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary, or spiritual pursuits. To put it in layman’s terms, it means living your life the way you want without caring about what others think.
Boho has always focused on putting one’s own spiritual and artistic desire over following societal norms. In modern times, narcissism has swelled to a high degree among everybody, this can be largely attributed to social media and unrealistic body ideals perpetuated by society. Validation has become the most sought after thing as every single person’s self-confidence has gone right out the window along with realistic beauty standards. This epidemic of narcissistic behavior has further worsened during this pandemic as the use of social media during quarantine has increased while in-person meetings have decreased. While it is already tough to deal with quarantine, the use of social media makes it twice as hard with people portraying a false element of perfectionism on Instagram however, this is all a ruse as people hide behind a barrage of filters and picture perfect captions. Society has a set standard of what’s normal and what isn’t, if anyone falls outside of those norms, they will be subjected to the harshest ridicule for their personality, what they like and what they dislike. Society has always subjected unorthodox things to high ridicule since the start of time, people fear anti-socio-normative behavior, and the norm of fearing the unknown has made it into modern society unbeknownst to most which is killing all kinds of creativity and freedom of expression. The solution to countering this highly toxic epidemic lies in employing a few simple Boho ideals.
Boho was always viewed as eccentric and quirky but to the very practitioners of Boho, it didn’t matter as they lived the way they wanted. All the judgment they received didn’t affect their practices. Take Aimee Crocker, an American world traveler, adventuress, and mystic. She was dubbed the "Queen of Bohemia" in the 1910s by the world press for living an uninhibited, sexually liberated, and aggressively non-conformist life in San Francisco, New York, and Paris. She spent the bulk of her fortune, inherited from her father, on traveling all over the world. She partied with famous artists of her time such as Oscar Wilde, R.L Stevenson, Mark Twain, and several others. She had countless affairs and married five times in five different decades of her life, each man being in his twenties. This kind of lifestyle received a lot of flak then and it would receive a lot of disdain in today’s times as well. She was a trailblazer, and today’s society has a lot to learn from her on “living the way you want”.
If you want to incorporate an element of Boho into your life, check out Tavishi's article on Boho fashion, "Boho Bliss" in Issue 31