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You know what really ruffles my feathers?

Chris Fravel
Staff Writer
cfravel@lhup.edu

April 17, 2014

fravelbirdNonconforming conformists.

Here’s the thing: if you think that you are being individual because of the way you wear your hair, your different piercings or the tattoos you have solely, then you’re probably not so “individual” after all. I’m all for creativity and acceptance of all people, despite what they look like or the style that they choose to sport, but let’s get real: nobody is 100% individual and nobody ever will be.

And you know why? It’s because similarities are what keep us together as human beings.

People make these decisions to try to stand apart from the crowd. I get it; you want to be different.

I have friends with dyed hair, pierced noses and tattoos up and down their arms, but the story often ends the same—with, “I’m just trying to be different and everyone else is trying to be like me.”

There are over seven billion people in the world. Do you really think that there won’t be at least one person who has duplicate styles and interests to you? We’ve all got style doppelgangers.

Let’s not forget the flak that is given to these people when it comes to acceptance with other communities.

Now obviously the circumstances are different if you did not personally choose the way you look for some reason; at that point I’m on your side.

If it was your choice, I will admit that it’s a shame that your outward appearance is what people are basing their first opinions around, but you’re well aware that people often judge on appearances have nobody to blame but yourself when going through it. People like what they like and if you choose to look a certain way, be ready to accept the stigma that comes with that “look,” especially when you’ve made the decision to look the way you do.

Entering the job market is a completely different monster to deal with while carrying this stigma. Don’t complain when a person with natural hair color, no piercings, and no tattoos gets the job over you despite being equally qualified. There are plenty of people, including myself, who would love to have tattoos, but we don’t because we realize the effect that can have on getting a good job. Very few companies want somebody with a look viewed by some as outrageous to represent them in the community. That is just something that you have to understand and respect because that is how free enterprise and market works.

Bottom line: it is impossible to be 100% different from everyone else and it is 100% impossible to get everyone to accept you if you choose an outlandish look.

My advice? Just be yourself. Even if you do have similar interests to other people and are considered a “conformist” by some, ignore it. Otherwise, you’re bound to ruffle some feathers.

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