A few weeks ago I wrote about something about my daughter- and I don’t remember what it was- I think it was about her internship (Yes- vacation was very chill for me) I Know that my friend KC said that I have to watch out that my daughter does not conform too much.  I teased KC and said- “Oh- so you want me to write about conformity?”

What is conformity?

Dictionary.com- “compliance with standards, rules or laws”

In general parlance, it means adapting yourself to the rules of society.  Is there anything wrong with this?  Well, it depends on what rules you are conforming too.  I’m pretty fond of people obeying stop lights.  I live on a street with multiple lights and way more cars. I would not be able to exist without traffic lights and the assumption that people will obey red, green and yellow.

Should people all have to dress the same?  Should we be required to wear a uniform?  Nope- I don’t think so- I think freedom of expression begins with dress code.  Yet, schools are increasingly assigning uniforms.  Many schools have dress codes.  I got into an argument with someone about dress codes for girls at school- I’m against them (I have a daughter) she was for them (son) Should we conform to a standard of dress?

But outside of required uniforms for things- don’t we all end up dressing like our peer group anyway?  Even at the Met Gala, even though one outfit is more outlandish than the next, don’t they all adhere to a theme?  Isn’t the goal to be more avant garde than anyone else there?  Isn’t that a sort of conformity? When I go out to dinner in NYC, I can pretty much guarantee you that over 90% of the women will be in black.  Have we conformed to the way people dress in our city, or do we just all love black?  For the record, I think I look way hotter in black…

At the workplace, is there room for non conformity?  Doesn’t a job have to get done no matter what? I admit, it’s good to think outside of the box and come up with new and better ways of doing things (build a better mousetrap so to speak)- but the end goal is still the same: complete the task at hand.  Will non conformity help at say, an accounting firm?

What about time.  If a job is supposed to start at 9, shouldn’t we conform to the standards that one should be there at 9? What happens if you don’t show up till 10:30 (and no one knows you are going to be late) Do others suffer?  I know that happens at my gym.  There are many times the person who is supposed to open the gym is late.  this snowballs, because for some, that is the only time they can get to the gym.  By being late you are inconveniencing someone else. Shouldn’t we conform to the standards of time, so that we are not wasting someone else’s time?

There are myriad ways that people conform.  This happens with kids a lot.  If everyone in your child’s peer group has a cell phone, you are most likely going to get your child a cell phone, even if you don’t believe in them. (there are actually studies that say it will adversely affect your child if they are the only one who doesn’t have something) So should we conform to the everyone else has/does it? I know there’s the whole jump off the bridge idiom, but how many times have we succumb to peer pressure?

As bloggers, do we conform to our content? Do we write about certain topics because we think people will be more likely to read them? Do we shy away from others because we know that certain topics will annoy people?

So, as it’s write my blog Thursday- what do you all think about conformity? Pro or con?  Situational? Do you have a better definition of conformity?

Discuss…

71 thoughts on “Conform This:

  1. There was once two trees living side by side. Was was a willow tree ,the other a mighty oak. A great wind blew thru and only one was left standing-the willow because it could bend. The rigid oak was toppled.
    Conform as you describe it-depends on the situation. I was teased mercilessly about clothes I wore to school. I would’ve liked a uniform. Then they’d have to see me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the theory behind the uniform…to put everyone on the same field. Problem I’ve heard from friends whose kids go to uniform schools is that the kids all find the loopholes. Then it becomes about certain footwear or coats or jewelry. It’s tough

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      1. I heard of one catholic school where the nuns saw this and banned ruffley socks. As a fast food worker we wore uniforms. Then on a meeting day people would be in street clothes and our perceptions of them were so different.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right? It’s so weird seeing people out of context. When I run into people I know from the gym, they’re always amazed that I’m reasonable attractive when not in gym clothes with my hair pulled back and no make up

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  2. I’m so all over the map on this topic… For me it just depends on the situation. I do like rules but I also like to break them…. I have always walked a slightly different path than most… for instance- my dad was a pastor and I just did not want to conform to every single rule and ideal. I always maintained that was ‘his’ life not ‘my choice’ and I would figure things out for myself. I once saw a poor family attend our church and were mocked for their jeans and t-shirts so the next Sunday I showed up in jean cut offs and a beer shirt to prove a point: I was there for the message- not for a fashion show.
    I didn’t give into pressure to go to University- instead I chose a different path until I could figure my life out. I’m 38 and life for the most part has been pretty kind to me…(health problems not included)
    On my blog, while I would love to make sure my posts and content are things that people want to read… ultimately I write for ‘me’ because it is what I love and an extension of myself. If people love it, identify with it and want more… that is fantastic- especially when I know that I have helped someone through my pain… I always see a lot of people say that in order for your blog to be successful you need ‘one’ topic to write about… I shrug. Mine is all over the place and I am perfectly fine with that.
    Funny enough- I was also the girl who told the principal to just get uniforms if my clothes were ‘so inappropriate’ for school. Until you make everyone dress the same-stop telling me my shoulder straps are too thin…. kwim?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comments!! I wouldn’t really say you were a non conformist, more that you’re not a hypocrite…you do things for the right reasons instead of what people think are the right reasons. And god knows, I’m like you…I write about whatever topic gets stuck in my head. I could never write about the same topic every day!! Thanks for insight and honesty!!

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  3. It is interesting to note that the color of choice to wear is black in NY for going out. My mom, a native New Yorker, wore black so often and I have a closet of dark clothes. It has taken some time for me to make the shift to a different palate with a different life but I did. Conform: interesting, when I go to the gym, I notice how many tattoos there are all over the body and I wonder if I am out of conformity or am I just too normal. Obviously we can’t all conform to the rules!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The rules change too often. I have a friend who freaked out when her 20 year old son got a tattoo. She said who’s going to hire him. To which I replied….some person with a tattoo…

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  4. As I say in my tagline I’m a free spirit– in the blogosphere and in real life. This means I conform when it suits me and do what I want the rest of the time. [I might have been a cat in a previous life.] I resist putting myself into any niche that might require me to pander to my readers. I’m too truthful for that!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This will stun you deeply, but I, too, have been dealing with the whole “To conform, or not to conform, that is the question.” conflict in my head. Whether ’tis noble in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of being tagged therein is unknown at this point, but tagged you shall be. 😉

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      1. In my heart I believe that we should tell the conformists to stick and do whatever the heck we want to do. But in reality, I don’t heed that wisdom. What’s worse is that I really stink at it when it comes to my kids. I want them to be their own people (persons??), but the mom in me also wants to help them blend. I seriously dislike that weenie element of my mom persona.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah…the initial thought is to tell kids to stay under the radar, cause it’s safer….but then we realize there is no such thing as safe…

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  6. For your record, I pay no attention to what people like or hate when I write. I shave my head and have a facial tattoo but am extremely feminine, not owning a single pair of slacks. I always appear in floorlength skirts wide enough to sit in lotus posture (which is how I always sit — train, restaurant, whatever), and of a sufficiently busy pattern to disguise the effects of a perpetual Tantrica. In winter I add a full length cloak, scarves and boots for anunbeatably warm, comfortable and practical ensemble, and I speak only truth, no matter how casual the social setting or how rigorous the generally accepted requirement for falsehood.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are a rare and beautiful soul and more power to you because we should all own our identities like that!❤️But I’m still hoping if you drive in my city you’d stop at traffic lights.

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  7. Conformity to the written rules is essential for society to function. However, conformity to unwritten codes is a different matter altogether and depends completely on the situation you find yourself in. For example, wearing black in New York or dying your hair purple. You don’t have to conform to the normal, you can invent your own normal. Just don’t allow your non-conformity make others uncomfortable. Live and let live!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The reason or purpose behind each person’s blog seems like a big factor. If your purpose is to have a forum in which to express yourself and your views, then conformity doesn’t seem to be much of an issue (except for possibly posting the general types of articles that your followers have liked in the past…that’s up to you). If your blog is meant to serve as a platform to further your work in writing, illustrating, photography, etc., then it seems like a blogger might be more apt to conform, in general, to others who blog in those areas. However, there are still many types of ways to feature your individuality and stand out from the crowd. Personal opinions can still be expressed in chosen instances, but maybe in more subtle ways.

    One of the great parts about blogging seems to be that you can go any direction you want, within reason, and you can eventually find like-minded readers and other bloggers to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points. I think a lot of bloggers don’t want to do endorsements because then they really need to conform to standards. Now, classic blogging wisdom dictates that you should pick a lane. I’m not particularly good at this, so obviously I’m a hodgepodge sort of writer. And you’re right…people end up finding you no matter what the content is…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What about others conforming to you? Like meeting your specific expectations? Should they, shouldn’t they?

    It’s a big loaded topic. I tend to think I’m a nonconformist but there are times when I do conform, maybe even uncomfortably so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about relationship conformity, but it’s too big a thing to tackle in the forum. I’m betting there will be a relationship conformity blog in the future…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. hmmm. dressed in black, eh? how do you look dressed in black? you should post some pics so we can tell.

    a little conformity in some areas doesn’t hurt anyone. you can still be a conformist in some areas and a rebel in others. that’s what makes us unique.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Conform to every social norm…maybe, but probably pretty boring. Add some deviant behaviors into the mix and your world becomes a bit more interesting and thought provoking I think. Some will define those who play “devils advocate” as expressing deviance- that need to always question and challenge. I will gladly go there, but I will also stop at a yellow traffic light rather than trying to barrel my way through. It’s not a black and white, decidedly situational I think.

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  12. Definitely with you on the black – though as I get older I have to pile on more make up so I don’t look pasty faced when I wear it lol sigh! Like the others I think it depends on context – you can conform to be polite, or respectful of others, but I don’t think you should necessarily conform to ideas such as ‘you can’t wear this if you’re fat’ or ‘that outfit isn’t right if you’re over 40’. THAT’S the kind of conformity I’m not going to follow!

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  13. LA a fascinating blog, not my place to give opinions of your daughter but I for one adapted (CONFORMED OBEYED) myself to the rules of society…… 100% and the reason’s a simple my mum god bless her did her utmost to teach me the rules by which adults live their lives, 100% conform obey the law don’t take risks? I don’t blame her, I love her and she firmly brought us up the right way……….. but have I ever taken risks? Or made avoidable silly mistakes? Am I boring? Hmm thoughts never far from my mind so yes be aware not to conform tooo much! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Again a deep blog! Conforming to rules and laws are just that rules and laws. There is no rule that women in NYC need to wear black, I have a cousin who only wears black when she is officiating at a wedding ceremony in the city. I think the version of conformity that you are talking about seems more like peer pressure and that to me is up to the individual on whether or not they want to stand out. I am of a certain age and I dress to please me and what I feel comfortable in, I personally do not care what others do so I guess I am a nonconformist.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The punk contrarian in me wants to scream PRAXIS.

    I sometimes think conformity is meritocracy on a mission or traditionalist with a trending hangover.

    But when capital got drunk on youth culture, and commodified twixt tween and twenty-six as our only salad days, being an adult became too emotionally expensive to age in anything other than regret and retrograde understandings. The rules of the road yield only to the young. One’s thirties, a stop sign run. By forty, a bevy of moving violations.

    Getting older, if not a crime, became a capitalist trespass. One is either a trending market, or a Marxist muddle of go along to get along in a culture, that Beatles ago, caved to the kids.

    So the majority, those over 26, are left to shadow (conform) to a Peter Pan nationalism of a Reality Show of identity politics, while giving in to a culture frozen by Boomer authored Super Heroes, Disney damsels pixelated, today’s’ DJ Awoke, and YA authors dishing some fresh dystopia.

    Face it. Not only have we conformed to this culture of adolescent ascendancy, we long ago capitulated. Bet your Snapchat stock.

    Nice grownup post and thread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliment….you have a sharp idea for things….it does irk me that if I want to expand my presence, I need to be on 8000 types of social media, and yes….large corporations have handbooks on how to deal with millennial employees….we’ve made it that the youth culture has taken over….

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  16. A lot of good comments on here.

    I think, if you’re going to say the opposite of conformity is chaos (like, not obeying traffic lights), then conformity is great.

    Personally, I’m in favor of more conformity than you’ve expressed. The social climate of the U.S. is declining with so much non-conforming, especially regarding family structure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah….I totally see your point, and sometimes I wonder if it’s become non conformity as conformity, like trying purposely to be different…I’m going to write more about conformity, because I think there’s a lot to this topic

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m a bit of an anarchist. Well, compared to the rest of this part of Texas, I’m an anarchist LOL
    I definitely don’t conform to the standard wardrobe of the area. I don’t conform to the political norm (this is Tea Party “drill baby drill” country). And apparently, I don’t conform to the work ethic norms of the area (as recently highlighted by the septic system installation crew that took weeks to actually finish the job).
    So yeah, I’m a bit of an anarchist LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But you’re one for the right reasons, if that makes sense. You do what feels right to you and you don’t hurt others. And everyone should feel comfortable in their skin and do what feels right.

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  18. Interesting post. I am a rule follower, so if that makes me a conformist I guess I am. But I do my own thing on my blog, which is why I enjoy it so much. As someone who worked for editors who assigned stories for years, it’s fun to do what I want. So I guess I’m a rebel at heart.

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  19. Interesting subject. In my psychology and anthropology courses, conformity was important. It seemed natural in the psychological experiments with groups of people that I read about, and in anthropology, in cultures, the customs, religious beliefs, etc., people conform to these and have a type of style of dress.

    My sons wore uniforms in their private school and charter school (my husband was in the Air Force for 21 years), not in the public school they went to. But in the Christian private school they’re in now, they wear their regular clothes, but there is a dress code, which I think is common sense and logical, but maybe some other parents might now. Although, I’ve not heard any complaints at the school. 🙂

    Sometimes I wish the 12 years of my public school, we would have had uniforms because the competition between the girls and social status were so apparent, that I think it caused girls to feel inferior to the more wealthy, popular girls who could afford to look fabulous through their fashionable clothing, hair styles, and such. You’re right that kids usually want to fit in…be part of the crowd…be like their peers. I was like that. Wearing uniforms might help with the jealousy and envy factor among girls, and also make choosing what to wear much easier. But then again, some kids do like to dress in their own unique ways and NOT fit in, so it all depends on the child. My oldest walks to the beat of his own drum, while my youngest likes to be part of the crowd. He has a group of friends that are wonderful. 🙂 Anyway, writing a novel here. Sorry! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The uniform thing still doesn’t work, according to my friends who have kids that wear them. It then becomes about footwear, and jewelry, purses, coats, backpacks….people find different ways to display wealth. My daughter is very conformist about some things, but wildly original about others. I think that’s where most people fall

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think your comments about easing the pressures among girls sound nice in theory, but don’t exactly work out like that in real life. As someone who grew up wearing a uniform young women tend to internalize the messages they hear about why they should be wearing one…..girls are catty, they don’t know how to dress modestly etc.

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  20. I wore school uniforms for 12 years. i don’t think they accomplish what people think they do. I went to school with some very wealthy people…people still found ways to advertise their wealth. I also find that schools that have uniform policies there is an undercurrent of negativity toward women that comes with it that there isn’t with boys…..That would be its own separate post there.
    I was brought up in a certain way that a side effect was that I was usually pretty good at discerning how teachers and employers wanted you to conform. Good in some ways not so much in others.
    When I was in nursing school our dress code for clinical rotations was very very strict. Females had to wear white pantyhose regardless if they had the uniform with pants or the dress uniform. There were rules about jewelry and how you did your hair. Some students went round and round with instructors because they didn’t want to conform. Although some of the expectations were ridiculous, the students who did not wish to conform to the rules were just wasting a lot of energy.
    I also find that people who mock others for conforming are also conforming to another set of rules. For instance in college, the “alternative” people that mocked those that were in the Greek system for being conformist were often following another set of rules whether they realized it or not. I was in neither crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit the nail on so many things! Totally agree with the accessory thing that comes with uniforms. All my friends who have kids that wear uniform said the exact same thing…they still find other ways to display wealth. And the non conformity as a sort of conformity….it’s ridiculous, because it ends up being the same idea

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  21. When I write my posts I write what is in my head and heart. I dont really think about if anyone will like it or not. I just need to get what is in my head out. If people like it it’s a plus

    Liked by 1 person

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