Individuality vs Conformity

the_consumption_of_individuality_by_tylerreitan-d8qovm2

Conformity is a drug: the shopping centres filled with Starbucks qualify as pushers, catching the still malleable teenagers and the increasingly desperate middle-aged hipsters (and everyone in between) with promises of easily attainable happiness – oh, how eager the prey is! – and only the chosen few can see that underneath the sparkly wrappers is candy no less deadly for being utterly tasteless.

The lobotomy companies are selling “brain death” to the sound of plasticky pop Britney, the smell & taste of caramel skinny latte and the sight of shiny logos fabricated for pennies by sad-eyed children in China, before being sold in the West for an exorbitant amount of money.

Folks are running, racing with glee, to go on meaningless sprees, paying – going into debt – diving into the red for the privilege of being turned into sheep.

I live in a society where the real luxuries are time and individuality, the first one can’t be bought and the second comes at a heavy price although it’s not monetary. Refusing to bow down to pressure and the majority, insisting on utilising your mind, refusing to blindly accept and daring to contest — therefore standing apart from the crowd, can be bloody hard sometimes, and it takes real strength to hold on to your personality, and sanity.

That said, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Let the sheep wallow in blatant self-deceit if they wish. I – now and to my last breath – choose depth over superficiality.

*Okay, so those familiar with this blog and/or me will know that this a recurrent theme. I don’t particularly like to repeat myself, but this was written after a birthday party I went to last saturday that didn’t quite go according to plan.*

Image Credit: “The consumption of Individuality” by Tyler Reitan @deviantart.com

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60 thoughts on “Individuality vs Conformity

  1. The amount of plastic crap that people ‘like’ because they think they have to is shocking. It’s all spend, spend, spend to be happy, to fit in, it takes a toll on the soul, can they ever really be happy. I’m with you, do thins my own way and be happy, the rest can do whatever and wallow in the dullness of it but they should realise the cost to those poor children that make all these expensive products for a pittance.

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    1. Of course they can never be happy, how could you when your soul is unable to recognise what is *real* and what is not. What really gets to me though is when those people have a go at you for not being as shallow as they are. It’s not as if I walk up to them and say: “hey, by the way, your stupidity is astounding and you’re wasting your life in meaningless pursuits” I wouldn’t dream of it, so why can’t they give me the same courtesy and leave me alone?

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    1. Me too. I’ve contrasted by means of generalizations the crowds I see in Starbucks with the people I see in Peet’s. The two are distinct flavors, I’m telling you. Also, in town, there’s a place called A Good Cup. I have options when it comes to getting my daily “lobotomy” *wink*.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re exactly right. It does come down to real strength and choices. And teaching our kids to be critical thinkers so they can do the same and make wise, informed choices that they feel secure about. When my kids do things without thought behind their actions, I question them (at least when I know about it!) because I think just by that small intervention, or interruption, it makes them stop to think… seems like just pausing and thinking is a thing of the past sometimes. Great post as always, Nat. xo

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    1. “…teaching our kids to be critical thinkers…”
      YES! DOUBLE YES!!
      I’m reminded of a phenomenon we’ve all seen in the grocery, which is a small child having a tantrum over the-thing-that-mommy-or-daddy-refuses-to-buy.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Exactly! I wish more parents were like you, Kelly. Those formative years for kids are so important, all you need to do is steer them in the right direction, no pressure, just guidance.
      Pausing and thinking does seem to be a thing of the past far too often.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent post. Materialism is a shiny trap that puts people on a treadmill, running to keep up. And holidays and every little event in our life is now supposed to be celebrated with bigger and better ‘things’ – it’s really a shame.

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    1. It’s a great shame. It’s also totally ridiculous, and as I mentioned in a previous comment, the pressure the crowd puts on anybody who refuses to participate in this meaningless race is outrageous. Let us be ffs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do so agree.
    I wouldn’t set foot in a Starbucks.
    Or any outlet like it.
    And I don’t conform.
    Especially when I write poetry.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I must admit to (very) occasionally going to Starbucks if my friends decide to drag me, but it would never be my first choice. I don’t like those big chain stores and usually avoid them like the plague.
      Well, you didn’t have to tell me you don’t like conformity, I’d gathered that already 😉

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    1. Haha it IS a great story but I can’t write about it…this…publicly. There’s a couple of moronic people involved I can’t possibly embarrass like that…although they f*****g deserve it 😉
      I’m too nice for my own good 😉

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  5. I ALWAYS wear socks with my sandals, sometimes even when I go to the gas station and people see my feet! ha!! ;p
    I LOVE your individuality and audacity and beauty, Beauty! RoCk ON!! F- the man and his plastic peer pressure platitudes. You are the dreamer of dreams and the maker of all beautiful things. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, and I adore YOU, Gorgeous! Muah! 💋 XO 💋
        (Oh, fyi, I am already tired of Penny Dreadful. I only made it thru Season 1. I think the actor who plays Dorian Gray kinda ruined it for me and some other stuff. But, I may start watching again. I do like the actress who plays Vanessa. She is very talented. )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, does that mean I shouldn’t bother with season 2? Someone else said it wasn’t as good. I totally agree with the guy who played Dorian, I just didn’t feel him either! Eva Green as Vanessa was a-ma-zing though 😍

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      3. Sorry I’ve taken this long to reply to you, Beauty. Um, I think Eva Green makes it worthwhile. I think it’s the kind of thing that you need to be in the mood to watch? I just wish it was more like a new story each episode instead of a continuation of a long, drawn out plot. It’s not good enough to hold my attention. Love your words, Beauty and hope you have a fabulous week! XO

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    1. I too rely on Starbucks sometimes. And hearing names brusquely called out “I HAVE A VENTI NO WHIP LATTE FOR BRISTOL!!” always makes me cringe a bit. So unnecessary!, since the “baristas” [cringe again] make the drinks in the order that…the orders are received.

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  6. Unapologetically flaunting your individuality once again, I see! 🙂 Great work here, there is exasperation and rebellion oozing from every line. “Choose depth over superficiality”…words to live by!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good GOD (who isn’t in the sky, but walking in Pradas with Kim) how awesome this is! In a leaden world it’s perhaps the only salve to read things like this. And not enough is said, not to drown out the rest. You are a life-line lady. I especially loved; “The lobotomy companies are selling “brain death” to the sound of plasticky pop Britney.” OH YES! I want that tattooed somewhere.
    On a serious note it’s a really sad time when conformity seeks to make of us, apologists.
    I’m glad you for one will never, bow your head and sit quietly with the rest.
    Too many do. Moving as we both have, from country to country, gives travelers, a unique insight into the homogenious nature of all countries tainted by the same counterfit.
    Why?
    Why is this people’s meaning?
    And you wondered why upon reading you, I knew you were, my missing friend from the chestnut tree.
    Ah girl, write it out, write it out! You are the voice of our generation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I think we should both get that line tattooed somewhere!
      And yes, my point was that we shouldn’t have to apologise because we are individuals. I’m so sick and tired of having to defend myself and my choices, to be looked at bizarrely, with distrust and sometimes even disdain because I don’t fall for all this homogenised crap. I let people get on with their lives, why can’t they do the same for me? Respect is a two way street, so is tolerance and I find too many people don’t understand that. Right, rant over haha

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      1. My only question is why don’t they clone you and populate the world with versions of you? Then I wouldn’t have to carry the sick bag I always carry, running into the fakes, the fucks, the psychos and the drunks (actually I like the latter, they’re the only real ones)

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  8. Great op-ed piece!
    Years ago I moved to one of the only areas left in TO that has village style shopping. I go shop to shop… tomatoes here, homemade bread there … free trade coffee to share. Each & everyone has something for me & I have a bit of cash for all. No need for a car, just a coat in the winter, & a sunhat in the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very deep stuff here and very deftly told. Self deception is the wine of madness. I can’t help but to wonder though about the nature of conformity. I mean we all conform in some way or another…at what point is one considered a sheep, ya know? I do some sheepy stuff sometimes lol 😛

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    1. At what point is one considered a sheep? That’s easy enough, when one stops thinking for themselves, when they let the multinationals brainwash them, when they feel the pressure to buy from Apple because all their friends do, when they do “stuff” because it’s the trendy or the “right” thing to do, when they stop questioning and blindly accept what is fed to them via the media and so on, when they deride others for having an opinion that isn’t the one of the majority, etc…
      I find it hard to believe you would do “sheepy stuff” Matt 😜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometime I just refuse to think about shit because there are no constructive thoughts. Just leads to frustration. But I go zombie eyed sometimes. I game to turn off the world…always thought that was sheepy lol.

        I saw a cool meme not so long ago…said something like, “when are the sheep going to realize they outnumber the wolves” I thought about that hard for a bit…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I get that. Sometimes I shut off my brain too (or try to) because it’s all too much and it feels like we can’t change anything anyway, that we’re just torturing ourselves for…nothing.
        I game too and I don’t think that’s sheepy, it’s about unwinding really isn’t it? Yeah, I remember seeing that too and…same 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Conformity: At Roissy airport, on my last two departing flights, I wanted to have a “grand-créme” s’il vous plaît. Well, nope, that is over. There is only Stabucks left. No Créme, petit ou grand. Only “Latte”. (Tirons un renard)

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