Species: The Mall Singer
Etymology: Mall Singers make a desperate bid at coolness by trying to emulate more “hip” eighties styles — and failing, much like the ultimate mall singer, Tiffany Renee Darwish.
Distinguishing characteristics: Mall Singers, also known as Tiffanies, glom onto overly trendy concepts — in the case of the specimen at left, hot-pink tights, big silver belt, tunic top — and yet fall short of hitting their mark. They sport denim jackets in an ode to their leader, whom they last saw in Dayton, Ohio, in yes, 2006. Confused, Mall Singers have no real identity of their own and instead have it formed for them. (Think pre-fab boy bands.) The shoes? A last-ditch attempt at asserting their own style — and a cry for help.
Known locales: Culture Club; Winnie’s, belting out Tiffany’s greatest hit.
Diet: Who has time to eat when there are albums to promote?
How to approach: Mall Singers want nothing more than fame. Ask about their last appearance and they’ll happily sign autographs, or talk for hours about Tiffany’s hair. It’s! Just! So! Pretty!
Endangerment status: Fragile. She thinks she’s alone now. —Amina Akhtar