Skull t-shirts have been popular for at least a couple of decades and even longer. But it has only been within the last couple of years that skull t-shirts have gone mainstream. This counterculture symbol of darkness and rebellion used to be the sole property of gangs like the Hell’s Angels and others who wanted to drop out of society.
But now Harley’s have gone mainstream with young urban professionals. Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, all three of them, have made skulls popular. Gwen Stefani and other stars have made skulls a part of pop culture. And now skull t-shirts have also followed suit.
Even Wal-Mart and Target are touting their skull t-shirts to the masses to basically promote the idea of conformity through non-conformity. People who have worn skull t-shirts for years are not happy. They have identified themselves with a certain rejection of mainstream values through the wearing of these tees.
Just as rap music used to be underground and a rejection of the mainstream, now it too has assimilated into massive appeal. So, if skull t-shirts, have indeed gone mainstream, what is the counterculture now to do?
X-ray t-shirts are now gaining momentum to try to fill this void. Instead of a skull on the front, X-ray t-shirts show a ribcage and perhaps even a heart on the front. But X-ray t-shirts do not have the same dark intent as the evil-looking skull on the front of the shirt. So, the counterculture will presumably need to come up with something even newer.
Evil platypus t-shirts, anyone? Anyone?