Conformity: A green seedling that grows and develops within us, pushing through the soil, slowly unfurling, reaching for the sunlight, stretching, standing tall, sprouting new leaves. The more it pushes upward, the more it strangles. Eating your beliefs. It’s a voice in your stomach fighting against what you believe; a devil in disguise. It’s sticking to a group, the way you act, complying to everything everyone does. We don’t follow our hearts. For me it is a struggle, I am born to stand out but, I still try to fit in. I just follow the norms not knowing what they do to me.
In my life conformity is a ritual, an essential part of my life. “We fear rejection, want attention, crave affection, and dream of perfection.” (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics, Ziad K. Abdelnour) We don’t want to be left out, we need love and life should be perfect.
Conformity doesn’t allow us to follow our hearts. Where I go to school, everyone's the same. I walk through the hallway and there is one thing I notice; everyone is the same. They wear the same thing all the time. They are so similar yet so different. They are the same on the outside but on the inside they are fighting to keep their secret locked away. Most girls in the popular group wear makeup, nailpolish and do their hair. It’s their morning ritual. When you don’t comply to their norms, they talk about you. When you are around, they are quiet. It’s dead silent and as soon as you move, the loud scary rumors start.
The internet really is just a way of being accepted. I carefully watch what I do and notice that there is repetition. My routine, it’s the same everyday. I get up and the first thing I do after brushing my hair is check my Instagram feed. One of the main reasons I check my instagram is to know EVERYTHING. To stay up to date, know the latest fashion trends, accessories and hairstyles. I need to do what everyone else is doing, I can’t stop myself, it’s an addiction. Instagram is like my alarm clock, wakes me up, snaps me back into reality.
Why do I care so much about all this? It’s my need to ‘fit in’. Fit into a group in which I don’t even belong. I don’t want to change myself to ‘fit in’ or be exactly like the person I am talking to. Why do I have to follow them, even though, I don’t want to follow them?
If I don’t follow all these people, then who will I talk to and what will I do? There is no answer to this question. I do know that we are taught to conform and follow the ‘right’ way to do something.
One thing that was spoon fed to us all since we were little is how we need to be, there is this image in our head that we need to become, and now we have an image we have in our head. A tall blonde girl with blue eyes just like barbie. And to become this, we need to conform to the groups we are in. But, why is there this need to conform? This has become such a big part of our lives. Sometimes I don’t even realise. I am so caught up in my life to see what is going on around me. We have to follow what they say. We should look, talk and act like them. If we become like that then we ‘fit in’ and if not then, we can’t stay in the group. When, we don’t get in then, we have no friends. We are given the title of a ‘NOBODY’. A ‘nobody’ belongs nowhere. A nobody is a nomad, they roam the world looking for somewhere to go. They don’t know where they are going, the same way a ‘nobody doesn’t know what they are doing.
You become the person you follow. The biggest question is… Why is it bad to be different? People say that being different is good, being you is good. If this is the case; then why do we conform?