You see, I adore James Dean. Most comparable to the way my friend, Henrietta, has an undying love for Roger Federer, only Dean is dead and Federer is, well, not.

He is my true celebrity crush. I cry every time I watch an interview with him, not to sound dramatic. My true love for him was awakened when I saw a picture of him on pinterest (very white middle aged mum, I know) and was wowed until I googled him and found out that he'd died in the 50s. 

Heartbroken at age 13- not good.

I then went on to watch all of his films (although judging by the nationwide love for him in Morocco, I'm pretty sure I had watched them all before I reached the age of 10) I poured over written works about him by fellow actors and actresses (i read various "things you didn't know about James”...I recommend this one) and literally followed almost every Instagram account dedicated to him. I still write paragraphs dedicated to him every February 8. It sounds strange.

I would roast me too, don’t worry.
I used to hate those girls that would fangirl over One Direction or Justin Bieber, claiming it was stupid, overreactive, excessive and a waste of time and intellect. Now that I read this post over, I realise that I am one of those people that I love to hate.

For as long as I can remember, I always found the prospect of having an idol so trivial. So, superficial. Especially when they're a celebrity. But to me, James Dean doesn't feel like a superficial person to idolise because he is more than just his acting. He has a story, just like everyone else, which all add up and make him. From his childhood daddy issues, possible homo or bisexuality, weird relations with Marlon Brando (which can be psycho-analysed very deeply) his objection to fighting in the Korean War perhaps due to his Quaker faith, his lack of structure and everything else just makes him that more intriguing to me. Perhaps I'm living beyond my time, perhaps I was supposed to live through the 50s. Maybe then I would have been able to access James Dean in more ways that dusty books at the library or pop culture articles online which surged in popularity after Taylor Swifts' song mentioned him...

Dean died in a car crash. The way he wanted. "What better way to die? it's fast and clean and you go out in a blaze of glory." The most sadly, ironic interview I've watched: "be careful on the road, the life you might save might be mine" It's haunting because it's the last thing he publicly said before his death. But again, I think it completely contributes to him. James Dean was plagued with uncertainty. His death was another factor supporting that- the unexpectedness of it. The ironic and chilling nature of these words completely vouch for who Dean really was. Someone who went through life without knowing his end destination. The life you might save might be mine. The excessive use of "might" again hinting at the uncertainty and sentiments of pure chance. He knew he would die young. And for me, I have a feeling I might too (I say this in the least morbid and morose way possible) But then again, the whole use of might is a real pivotal word. Because you never know, especially with life and death and Dean himself. It's a tentative word. Not too strong, certainly not strong enough to put anything in setting stone.

I believe the James Dean archetype is well and truly present today. He iscultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement. We see the persona being transmitted through many major icons like (late) Kurt Cobain sharing the same quintessential nonchalance and rebellious style that are emblematic of Dean’s magnetic legend. 

I don't mean to be that typical angst filled teen but I truly feel like I reciprocate the nature of Dean. Not completely. But we share similar traits. A quiet, lone yet impactful aura. It is said that James Dean lived like a "stray animal" with no direction and sense of place and I feel that too. I don't know what I'm doing nor where my life will lead me to. Just like Dean.
I have subconsciously dressed the way Dean, even the general 50s era, did. We begin to become accustomed with our environment and culture and this is expressed through many ways, one being the way you dress. Your personal style. The 50s have (involuntarily) influenced me to dress how I do. 

I don't mean the generic pin-up, bouffant dresses. More on the masculine sphere of influence. 

Plain and simple. 
High waist, blunt cuts. 
Big, shapeless coats.
Straight leg denim.
Unadorned leather boots. 
White, cream and navy shirts and pull overs. 

I think that this alone shows the heavy impact of the films I watch, reports I read, history I learn and art I see has had on not only my style but in building up my personality.
It’s not a special day of James Dean’s life but I was looking through my old Facebook page (very 2011 of me) and saw that I had shared lots of photos of him and I thought, why not do so on here. 

He was not cut from the typical fabric of the “American man” He rejected hyper-masculinity and made up for it through his acting. He was kind and warm hearted and vulnerable. So now you’ve read me expressing my outward feelings admiration for this guy which calls for a very niche post. 
My blog is a reflection of me and who I am. I found it so strange that I'd never mentioned my literal love of Dean until now because it's such a big part of my identity.

"oh, it's Dalal going on about that dead guy again" 

Even though this probably won't get many views or engagement at all, it's something personal to me and something sentimental. I want to digitally home it on my blog.

My favourite male* thinks it's a cool quirk. I think it's pretty cool too. It's rare to find fellow fanatics who aren't either dead or much older than I am. If anyone reading this loves him as much as I do and happen to be 17, can we please meet up and organise a trip to Indiana ;)


*to stop friends who may be reading this post from interrogating me on who the boy is ;)


  1. i love love the way this is written and the analysis and just general adoration that is portrayed in this post. I don't really have much to do with James Dean, only really knowing him from a Noah and the Whale song and subsequent 5 min google. I guess that's bad of me, but I'm not really up with celeb culture, past or present. I sort of wish I had an idol I loved as much, it seems like fun hahah.
    I love the individuality of this post, love how 'you' it is.

    1. thank you so much Katie. Do look him up, I can send you a couple things about him ;) I don't class it as celeb culture because for me, James Dean was more than "just a celeb" but I get what you mean. it's pretty cool having a unique person to look up to haha.

      dalal <333

  2. Quite different and unique personality, girls would definitely like that kind of guy for them.
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    1. It's a shame he passed away so early, I can't help but imagine what he'd be like today in his older years.

  3. I never really heard of James Dean, until I saw a pic of Kristen Stewart walking around with cigarette dangling from her lips. People began to compare that pose with James Dean.

    I love the way you have described him and what he personifies. Although it left me a bit sad, I'm glad you posted it.

    1. I have early memories of watching his film Rebel Without a Cause with my dad so that was probably my first ever encounter. Thank you Oyin, it's definitely such an upsetting thing that he died so young and that my generation couldn't experience him first-hand- but thankfully there's a lot of articles about him because he was simply so popular and loved (which makes me happy) I love your name by the way :)


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Thank you for reading! I love reading comments and will always reply to them.

Lots of love, Dalal

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