Authenticity by Penny Lane (feat. YUNGBLUD)

February 28th, 2022

Have you ever seen the movie Almost Famous?  

In my opinion, it's one of the most perfect rock n roll movies that has ever come out.  Woven throughout is a story of outcasts dream chasing and the ups and downs that come from that.  Almost Famous is one of those movies I run to when I need some grounding; something to remind me that you can be every part of your personality.

Penny Lane is this main female character who is both a fiercely independent personification of rock n roll and still terribly alone.  Her signature look is this afghan coat that is iconic for the time and the imaging of the movie.  

I've been obsessed with it since I first saw the movie a few years ago.  

For the last two or three years I've been on a hunt to find a coat that looked just like Penny Lane's: long, goldish brown with stitchwork flowing throughout to give it kind of a mischievous movement...and of course with a boisterous faux fur collar and cuffs.  

My friend Jeni found it a few weeks ago and when she sent me the link all she said was "You need it".  Thrilled, I pulled the trigger and bought the coat of my dreams.  I literally squealed when it came in the mail and couldn't wait to put it on.  I took a few pictures of me wearing it in my full length mirror even though my hair was pulled up and I was just in leggings and a t-shirt.  Naturally I sent them around to family and friends because I finally found THE Penny Lane coat 

Responses varied from "OMG obsessed" to "...well...I hope you didn't spend too much on THAT..."

All I heard was the negative.  Isn't that funny how that always seems to happen?

For days I kept it in its box debating if I was going to return it or not.  Well it IS a lot.  Well it DOES make a big statement.  Well it ISN'T in style.  Well it was A LOT of money. Who do YOU think you are trying to emulate Penny Lane?  Why do YOU think you're cool enough to pull this off?  Why do YOU always have to be so weird? 

So much self doubt swelled up all because a few people didn't love a coat as much as I did and I was afraid of being "too much".

Later in the week I had the awesome opportunity to interview YUNGBLUD in the Big Room.  I closed out my interview with the one question I always ask, "What do you want to say".  

He said:

"Today if you're listening to this radio station and you're feeling a little bit weird, a little bit strange, a little bit like you don't belong, a little bit sad; I promise you that there is never ever, ever, ever, going to be anybody else like you.  Or that's never been like you before.  Individuality is the most beautiful thing in the world.  Expression is the most beautiful thing in the world.  Never be afraid to express yourself without censorship.  Be beautiful; be proud of it, man."

Sometimes it is so difficult to be authentic even though it's what we're always told to be.  "Be yourself!"  Yeah, cool, great until you judge me for being myself and use my own authenticity against me.  And boy is that a sharp weapon... 

Still YUNGBLUD was right; your individuality is the most beautiful part of yourself.  There is no one box you need to fall into or one lane you have to stay in.  You can be multifaceted even if that's perceived as "weird".  Hi my name is Bailey and I am an advocate, a politico, a rockstar, a flower lover, and so much more.  I dress like some weird 2000s emo kid and 1970s groupie hybrid.  I will never be my heroes.  I'll never be Hayley Williams or AOC.  But I will always be Bailey...and honestly...I think she's cooler.

This morning I threw away the return label for my Penny Lane coat.