Conformity versus individuality?
An issue that has been on my mind a lot lately. (And not just because I’ve got a framed Coco Chanel quote on my dressing table!)
Maybe, it’s because I have a teenager who might have to deal with dilemmas related to peer pressure over the coming months and years.
Or, maybe it’s because, in recent times, our society is edging ever closer towards group think and rigid conformity.
Peer pressure versus ’going along to get along’ so as to fit in and not rock the boat.
A negative concept versus a… less negative concept.
Or is it?
Is conformity a necessary evil?
Here are my thoughts…
1. Individuality is In
Okay, that isn’t strictly true!
Everywhere we look nowadays, conformity is king!
However, in my little world, nothing could ever beat the wondrous diversity of each and every one of us.
Like a perfectly formed snowflake, we are similar, yet so very different from each other.
We don’t need expensive (and painful!) body art to prove our individuality.
Our fingerprints are all the proof we need!
And yet, many of us spend most of our lives striving to be just like everyone else, to not stand out from the crowd.
At the moment, my teen daughter is starting to look like a clone of her friends.
And I get it!
That need for social acceptance.
But, I worry that her need to be like the others will extend beyond hair, makeup and retro 90s’ fashion trends…
Beyond the desire to look like Taylor…
Or, heaven forbid, Billie! 😬
I worry that she will be prepared to modify her core values – our core values – to appease an insatiable beast.
Because, in the words of Irish band The Script…
’You gotta stand for something,
Or you’ll fall for anything!’ 😬
2. Gut Instinct is Good
I am a very big believer of going with your gut feeling.
Call it intuition, call it divine inspiration, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s normally because it isn’t right. At all!
These days, there is huge emphasis on trusting the science, the scientists, the professors, the doctors, the eminent ones who, apparently, know more than the rest of us.
Now, I have certain qualifications, a PhD in modern languages and literature.
Does that mean that any opinion I might hold on my area of expertise is infallible?
I am human, I make mistakes sometimes.
In much the same way, I believe doctors, professors and scientists are fallible.
They are not gods!
Some are gifted, others are less so.
Some are morally steadfast, others might be less so.
Do I blindly believe the opinions spouted by each and every one of them?
I trust my gut!
And I will only ever trust my gut because that gut feeling saved the life of my baby son.
For the full story, check out one of my earlier blog posts, A Birth Story and a Cautionary Tale!
3. Everything has a Price
If there is one thing that I have learned over the years, it is that nothing comes without a price.
When I first got into journalism and PR many years ago, one of the main perks was the ’free stuff’.
Clothes, makeup, press trips!
But scratch beneath the surface and you will see that those things really do have a price.
A promotional price in the press.
Free advertising (that has been paid for in kind!).
These days, influencers might be showered with offers of free clothes, makeup, cosmetic surgery.
But, again, there is a promotional price to pay, which has the potential to damage an influencer’s credibility.
Is that a price worth paying?
Maybe, as we go about our daily lives, it is worth being mindful of the mouse and the mousetrap.
At a price!
Stay strong, my dear readers!
Until next time,
💋 Mostly Mum
*All gifs are via GIPHY