Not too long ago I started reading a blog called Happy Is Not Always A Fairy Tale. I've been a little inundated at work, so I only discovered that she had taken up the 30 Days Honesty of Blogging dare around day 4. Being as opinionated as I am, I obviously had a lot to say, so instead I decided to participate in the challenge myself. I know I have a bit of catch-up to do, but rather day 5 than 15, right?
This dare is hosted by Tom Baker. Pop over to his corner of the world and check it out! So here goes...
Day 1: The one thing that it seems like everyone else on the planet is into but I just cannot stand is...
At first I tried to wreck my brain thinking of that one thing, but then I realized that I have a problem with following trends period! If everyone else is into it - whatever it may be - I'll usually have no interest in it whatsoever.
I choose to think for myself and do what suits me; forget what everyone else is doing. If anything I want to be the one setting the trends, rather than following them. Even if not one soul follows me, I'm still doing what I choose - as should everyone else be free to be themselves. (Sadly many don't know who they are anymore, then how do you embrace that freedom?)
As far back as I can remember I've always been the odd one out. In school I was the one who actually studied for tests and did my homework vs. others singing the same ol' sing-song before every test and exam (as if it was a huge surprise and they got caught off guard), or copying other's homework because they were too busy with other things to do what they had to. My homework was always done, but it certainly added to my being (even) less popular when they realized that no amount of anything was going to convince me to hand over my books to be copied from. Do you own work; I had to!
I used to be the one who was made a joke of in class discussions because my opinion on whatever topic was not the same as theirs. At first I spoke my mind, but eventually I started keeping my opinion to myself, knowing right off the bat that I was probably going to be that one voice on the path less traveled. Back then being different was painful. Now, as an adult, I can see that it helped me to be a stronger adult who is not afraid to follow her own heart and think her own thoughts - with or without a crowd cheering me on. Now I see that the tears of being an outcast was not in vain (even though it felt like it at the time).
Today I love deciding for myself, and even if the whole world is into it, and it doesn't work for me, well then good for them! Each to his own.
However, I stand amazed at how gullible people can be. One person says that something is cool and suddenly three quarters of seven billion people agree - even if they don't know why. Fashion trends that emphasizes all your body's weaknesses, but who cares, "everyone else is wearing it". Books or toys that are hurting our family's relationships and quality time and the upbringing of our children, but "everyone else has one". Hair styles that makes your beautiful face and hair look like a cancer patient recovering from chemo, but who cares, "that's the fashion. Don't you want to be wise, beautiful and fashionable in what compliments the gorgeous in you?
I distinctly remember a time when you could find nothing but stretch jeans on the shelves. I hated stretch with a passion. I have a gorgeous body - I think - (I work hard to look after myself) - but I don't need to look like a sex crazed teeny bopper every time I go out. I wanted to look and feel sensual and feminine and stretch made me feel like a hooker. For more than a year I could not find jeans and I was running out of time; the ones I had was 'testing the locks on the back door for a way out'. Browsing in this one boutique, the owner of the store asked me what I was looking for, and when I explained my thoughts on stretch jeans and how the market doesn't cater for woman in their thirties and older - what are those woman suppose to wear; no wonder people don't "dress their age"; there's nothing for their age on the shelves? - the owner responded saying that stores only buy what the majority wears, so if you don't like it, good luck finding anything else; he couldn't care less. It is the last time I ever set foot in that store.
"Why do you like this, or why is that good?
"Well, so-and-so says it's great, so it must be, right?" or "If it wasn't great, every one else wouldn't have it, right?" or "Everyone else is doing it / has one of those..."
That's not a reason. What is really the honest reason? I think that often it is driven by people's fear to be rejected. People don't want to feel what I felt back in high school; they don't want to be the odd one out, the outcast. We all long to belong, and often that is what trend following gets you. It is not real, and it is not lasting, but at least - even if just for a little while - people feel like they belong.
Then someone jumps off a cliff and some actually, brainlessly, jump too "because everyone else is doing it"... that's the one thing that gets to me!