by Jolie Brownell, IATG ContributorMay 10, 2016
It’s funny how even though we live in a world that celebrates innovation and individualism, there is still so much pressure to act and look like everyone else, to “follow the crowd”. But I’ve always wondered why this was, and I recently learned why. The truth is that right now we are living in a time where standing out is ok, but we are still being plagued by the old expectations of conformity.
The idea that everyone must comply with the standards, rules, or laws set by society was huge in America after World War 2. People during this time sought stability and thought that being the same would grant them that. So conformity became the norm; people wore the same clothes, bought similar houses, did the same activities, watched the same television programs, etc. You get the idea; they were all the same.
But as you can imagine, many problems came with this. Individuals felt so much pressure that they feared standing out or interrupting the stability of everything being the same. So many fell into the idea of following the crowd and traded everything that made them unique for comfort.
Year after year this way of thinking has drilled itself into our society. Trend after trend, today we see waves of people rushing to be like everyone else. Wearing the latest fashion styles, buying the latest IPhone, using the latest emoji, etc. We’re simply reliving the last 60 years of the same boring, bland, and uninteresting idea of conformity.
But it doesn’t need to be like this. We can break away from our old way of thinking and celebrate everything that makes us unique. We can create a new normal where standing out is socially acceptable. We can unlearn what has been taught to us for too many years and reteach ourselves what is right.
So don’t follow the crowd. Do your own thing, girl! Conformity is lame, but confidence is amazing. So have the courage to step away from the crowd and let your unique light shine. You were born different from everyone else, so own that! Go out and go rock being yourself, because the world needs more unique individuals who refuse to be put into a box.
Go out there, be YOU, and don’t let anyone try to dim your shine!
How do you stay true to YOU! Go out today and rock a new fashion statement, try something you typically wouldn’t, or introduce yourself to a new friend! It’s never too late to step out of the box!
Jolie is a passionate teenage I AM THAT GIRL Chapter leader in Beaverton, Oregon. Who, like many other girls, is sick of society making her feel inadequate and unheard, so has made it her goal to change the norms of this world and help create a new norm where girls are encouraged, heard, and accepted!