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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Conformity: Fashion

When I think of it, I usually get a picture in my mind of 'the girls at uni' - streams of them, walking briskly through the crowded thoroughfares between the gray, looming university buildings. Oh, they have differences in their fashion taste. Some of them tend towards the more alternative hippy, recycled look. Others don't seem to care a hoot for their appearance. They're the ones with past-the-shoulder, stringy, unwashed hair, no make-up [and seriously, they could do with some], old hoodies, faded jeans and scuffy street shoes.

Then there's the whole mix of girls who seem to 'have it together'. They're the ones with smooth, straightened and prettily coloured hair/bleached curly hair. If they wear their hair up, it's virtually always in a tiny, messy bun at the crown of the head, with whisps falling all over the place most attractively. All of these girls wear tights [typically black] with short dresses that only fall to mid-thigh; they wear bows in their hair, long cardigans/jackets, bling [long necklaces and bracelets] and little ballet shoes. Usually they'll have a 'satchel'-type bag slung over one shoulder.

As fashions go, it's not too bad-looking. That is, for women with the figure for it, not including the women whose figures ought not to have mini-dresses hanging over them, and certainly ought never be seen dead in thigh-high tights.
But what is interesting is that everyone wears this. The majority.
Why do we all conform this way?

Even looking at myself, I can see that there is [despite the conscious effort to be non-conformist] a strong desire to look like everyone else. Mind you, I don't want to *be* like everyone else, but there's this strong tendency to want to fit in. Be accepted. There's all this fear that if I don't look like other people, they won't accept me.
Of course, this isn't the kind of thing that most people think of consciously - it's one of those embedded awarenesses of what should be, and how a lack of similarity can be remedied.
Anyway - ideas?

- Lydie


Blogger surrationality said...'s something that's often crossed my mind. Love your descriptions of the fashion clans (or, Un-fashion clans!).
...where i'm at, girls usually don't reveal much of an individual style till they're pre-tertiary-education-stage. Because they'd be in school uniforms most of the day otherwise.
But when they do, there're the sort who don't appear to care and wear ubiquitous and unisex articles of clothing.

It even gets tricky, at times, to decide which gender a thus-styled person belongs to. Then you have to avoid addressing them with non-neutral terms..

As to the rest, there's a large group of stylish Conformers, who would get full marks if graded against the pages of popular women's magazines.

But one sometimes spots a refreshingly unique and nicely put-together person. Something about the way they tastefully combine various items of dress, some of which look like they've interesting pasts, or simply not from Mango/Zara/Topshop et al., ...

i guess i'd like to belong in the last category. No one's really the same inside, any way- external appearance is just about the most changeable part of any person, i think! :)

...sorry, this looks really long-winded and almost doesn't belong to the Comment species anymore :)

2:06 am  
Blogger Lydz said...

Love your epic comments! So good when people write thoughtful comments - but I'd have to expect that from you :)

You're definitely one of the people I consider as one 'alternatively dressed' in a very cool way. It's all about the character-full glasses, black lace-up boots, huge woven scarf and big black trenchcoat!

But it's not so much the style - like you're *trying* to be different, but that your clothes express your difference.

People should be true to themselves in that way, I think.. that's why I disapprove of people wearing generic fashions, or bling. It doesn't say anything to themselves of who they are, but what other people think is 'fashionable'. bleugh.
You'd feel like a traitor if you did that to yourself I reckon.

Of course, I'm a hypocrite. We all do this to a certain extent, some more than others.

9:42 pm  
Anonymous FR said...

I love what you said about being non-conformist. I agree. I love being my own person, with my own thoughts and opinions. Seriously, it doesn't bother me that I'm different and don't fit into any kind of mold (that I've discovered yet anyway). But I know what you mean, it's natural to want to fit in and be accepted, to belong. Sometimes it's hard to reconcile belonging with conformity for the sake of fitting in. It's a balancing act if ever there was one.

11:08 pm  

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