Nonconformism Is All The Rage

MacAvity's picture

I'm not a nonconformist. Shocking, I know. Radical. Audacious. How dare I not be a nonconformist? How dare I mindlessly do what is expected of me rather than mindlessly rebelling against it?

Astonishingly, I almost feel like ending my rant there and not going into a typical pages-long signature MacAvity rant. Hmm... Must write more...

Really, though, I see everyone 'nonconforming' in the same way. They're all under a lot of pressure to 'not submit to pressure,' and they submit to it. It's like: Do not obey this command. It's totally paradoxical, completely oxymoronic, entirely hypocritical, et cetera. Everyone wants to be different, and everyone ends up being different than he was before, but very much alike with everyone else. Everyone wants to 'be himself,' and indeed we are often told, or ourselves do the telling (many of you have signatures to this effect), to be ourselves, be who we are, be individuals, don't waste our time trying to be someone else.

And then society tells us that 'ourselves' are hyper-liberals who wear peace signs and tie-dye and smoke marijuana. Or somesuch. I don't even know. I'm not in with the whole nonconformist crowd. The point being, society dictates the supposedly 'individualistic' identity we assume.

Well, I rebel against rebellion! I'll be a 'good kid' if I want to, I'll be a 'square,' I'll be the one person who actually admits to caring, a little bit, what society thinks of me, what my peers think of me, et cetera, and in doing so, ironically enough, I'll be the one who is different. But I won't do it just to be different. I don't do anything just to be different. And that's what makes me different. But I would still do it if everyone else were doing it too.

And you know what? I won't even bother with the whole 'being myself' thing. 'Myself' would be nobody without the people who have influenced me. There is no 'myself,' and if you tell me I have to create one, that defeats the purpose. By gum (I'll use obsolete oaths, too, as I jolly well please), if I want to be Solace (my old human enemy, as I've mentioned, not an abstract concept personified with the capitalisation of the initial letter), then Solace I will be.

So I don't care about standing out from the crowd. In fact I'd like not to stand out all that far. Being a nonconformist would help me blend in, but I'm not going to do that. Besides which, it would defeat the point. Whatever the point is.

Paradoxical, yes. But there you have it.


Riku's picture

Okay, so I wrote this really

Okay, so I wrote this really obnoxiously long ditty about all of this but I went around in circles a lot so I deleted it and I'm going to try to write this shorter. ("shorter" being relative to the small novel I just wiped.)

By my definition of non-conformist, to be a non-conformist is to simply not conform. It doesn't mean to be distinctly different for the sake of being different. It just means not to do things that you're expected to do only because you're expected to do them. Especially if it's something you don't want to do or are not comfortable with. A non-conformist does whatever he or she does regardless of whether it causes him or her to "fit in" or "be different." They wear clothes they like because they like them, for example. Not because everyone's wearing it, or because it's different, or whatever else. Maybe the clothes they like are popular. Or boring. Or something they put together themselves. But the reason behind what they wear isn't motivated by fitting into a certain group of people.

That said, a lot of people who call themselves 'non-conformist' don't fit my definition of non-conformist. Haha.

To me, to be something you're not is silly. (I'd know seeing as I wrote the book on it.) Whether you are doing that in order to "fit in" or the opposite.

I wish everyone could just be honest and happy with themselves. I don't care if I am called "conformist" or "non-conformist" because I know who I am and I am happy with that. I don't do things that I am not comfortable with. So, while I fit my own definition of non-conformist, I also I don't really care... Haha.

I guess, when it comes down to it. Labels are secondary. "Conformist", "Non-conformist", they're still labels. People shouldn't change to fit labels, they should change labels to fit them. I mean, if they take a sudden interest in the workings of a label, that's fine. But that's different from forcing yourself to fit into a label... Like if someone calls herself a lesbian for years and then randomly falls in love with a boy, and the boy loves her back. She shouldn't not date him -only- because she identifies as a lesbian. Maybe she could call herself a lesbian with an exception, or bi, or just drop the sexuality label completely. But to not do something that you want to do (or to do something you don't want to do) because of a label like that is silly. You could miss out on something or end up regretting something if you do that.

...I think I said what I was trying to say... And yes, this is shorter than the thing I wrote before.

MacAvity's picture

Well, yeah.

It seems we agree, for the most part, but have different definitions. You see nonconformism as doing without regard for others' opinions, I see it as doing with the express intention of being different. I don't care about being different, but I don't care about being the same as everyone else either. I do care a little about others' opinions, and I think everybody else does too, I'm just more willing to admit it than many.

Riku's picture

There's a certain amount of

There's a certain amount of caring about other people's opinions that's healthy. That said. I usually don't. But there are still cases where I do. Like if I like someone (not necessarily romantically) I care... But I generally feel neutral towards people. Or if someone has some kind of authority over me I care because I don't want them to screw up my life. :P

To me, it's kind of silly to try to be different really. Everyone is different. But everyone is similar. Besides, it seems like it kind of defeats the purpose if you have to -try-. It all comes down to wanting attention I guess.

I think a lot of people just end up fitting stereotypes just because they do though. Like, I'm vegan and I play guitar and I'm kind of a pacifist and I have dreads. Which is pretty tree-hugging-hippie-granola of me. But it's not like I set out to be a granola... I just kind of... Ended up that way. Haha. And then I realized it and was like "damn, when did this happen?"

lonewolf678's picture


nonconformity is the new conformity. LOL.

625539's picture

A lot of my friends are

A lot of my friends are so-called nonconformists, but they all sort of dress similar depending to their cliques. There are only 2 people I know I am comfortable referring to as nonconformist, they're these two beautiful androgens.

Otherwise, I find it's an issue of fitting somewhere, regardless of where, that everyone wants...

nothing is permitted. everything is allowed.