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Author Topic: How Much Conformity is Required?  (Read 1516 times)

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Offline LunarSageTopic starter

How Much Conformity is Required?
« on: October 25, 2012, 01:42:42 PM »
A friend of mine and I were having a discussion about a debate he had on another forum with a guy who covered his face in piercings and tattoos, and generally dressed and behaved in a manner that made him an 'outsider' as the guy put it.  He said he refused to conform because he is 'not a sheep' or somesuch.  Growing up, I heard this kind of argument a lot... especially in my teens and early twenties.  But then something happened.  I grew older (I'm in my mid thirties now) and I feel like I have a better grasp on how life works than I did when I was younger.  I've come to accept that a good amount of conformity -is- required if you want to be successful.  Now I'm sure people can give me a dozen examples of people who are very successful looking like that guy up above, most of which probably involve the person inheriting money with which to springboard off of.  But outside of working at a Hot Topic or a Tattoo studio, who is going to hire someone who looks like that?  I mean in a real job that they can be successful at in the long run.  Heck, even most minimum wage jobs require you to look fairly "normal" so as to not scare off customers.  The military won't even take you if you have tattoos on your neck, hands or face. 

So my question is this... what does everyone think?  Does looking and acting like what the majority of society would consider "freakish" limit your opportunities to the extent that it's not worth it in the end?  I'll tell you one thing... I see a lot more tattooed, mohawk wearing guys and gals in their teens and twenties than I do anyone above 30.  That tells me that at some point in their lives, a lot of those folks decided that being successful was more important than being 'different' to that extreme and traded in their tight leather pants for slacks... their mesh and hardcore metal band shirts for normal, inoffensive shirts and their doc martins for dress shoes or tennis shoes.

What gets me the most is that in their desire to be different and 'outsiders', they've just traded one group for another.  They're unique... just like all the other goths/skaters/punks/whatever out there. 

I certainly don't mean to offend anyone here.  I'd just like to get a wider range of input on the subject.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 02:15:25 PM »
Speaking from my own experiences and what I have been told by others, most jobs do require that you 'fit in'. Hell, I worked in a gas station that made me take out my tongue ring because it could occasionally be seen when I talked. My mom works for a dentist who told her to cut back the number of patients the dental hygienist was seeing because she dyed her hair a shade of red he thought was too shocking. Same dentist has also ruled that the only colors of nail polish allowed are pale to medium pinks or french manicures. I have worked in a place that demanded all tattoos be covered completely and if they could not be covered, well, you didn't work there.

Most people will say that we should be who we are, that we should express ourselves, but when you get right down to it the truth most want everyone to look, talk and be the same. It's comforting in a way. 

Offline Moraline

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 03:41:01 PM »
How much is required?

A lot.

How much should be?

As long as your nice to people and polite then I don't think visual appearance should matter.

But a simple matter of fact statement is - Appearance does matter.



Being, neat, clean, well groomed are simple signs of an orderly person that pays attention to the details and cares what others think. - Those are generally considered desirable behavior in service related businesses/industries (which is where the types of jobs that require conformity are.)

They care less about conformity in places like factories and most places were the workers are expected to perform physical labors. - In those locations they look for willingness to work hard and work long hours. Appearance and attention to details tend to be lower priorities.

Artists, musicians, anyone in an art related field. People in those fields tend not to care about appearance because they are concerned more with passion and expression. - Being a non-conformist is considered a desirable trait in those fields so therefore appearance matters less.



Quote
What gets me the most is that in their desire to be different and 'outsiders', they've just traded one group for another.  They're unique... just like all the other goths/skaters/punks/whatever out there. 

Yes, but you have to consider that each of those sub groups all have their own "look" and as a whole or broken down into groups when you compare them to the world at large. They are still very unique looking.



Me

7 facial piercings and several tattoos. Although most the tattoos aren't visible. So, I clean up pretty nicely.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 04:03:37 PM »
I too went through my stages of rebellion, but at some point, I valued clicking with those who had money over clicking with those who were cool. Speaking from my experience only, I've found that you tell others how to perceive you by the way you dress, talk, and act whether you realize it or not. Professionals will treat you with greater respect and pay you more if you dress powerfully - that is, powerfully in their eyes.

That last statement sounds like a contradiction, but its true. People tend to pay more money for things that are presented better. It used to be that there were expensive brands of bottled water, and cheap brands. At the end of the day, its just water, but rather,the wrapper and hype, the implications or promises of vitality, refreshment, or whatever is what you pay extra for.

So is this being a lemming and selling yourself out, or is it merely taking advantage of other's perceptions? I think you could call it either, or a little of both. Can you exploit the perceptions of others without losing yourself and your identity? Yes, so long as your self and identity runs deeper than your tats and jewelry.

Offline Torch

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 05:09:00 PM »
Mr. Torch is a Deadhead, has been one for over 20 years. He spent one summer during college following them around on tour, sleeping in the back of a truck, doing massive amounts of 'shrooms and selling T-shirts on Shakedown Street.

He's also worked on Wall Street for over 20 years, in various director, VP and C-level positions where he is responsible for hundreds of associates and billions (yes, with a "B") of dollars worth of business.

Is he still a Deadhead? Yes. Does he look like a typical Deadhead? No. Would he have earned his impressive resume if he only wore tie-dye and had dreads? No.

If someone asked him if he "sold out" his answer would be a solid "Hell yes, and I'm laughing all the way to the bank."

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 05:52:10 PM »
"Oh man, this is one of those things that... I'll starve in the streets before you tell me what I can wear or can't wear, or how I can keep my hair. That's none of anyone's business, and fuck anyone who thinks otherwise. Do I leave myself to the scrutiny of others? Sure, maybe, but that's my business, and if a job won't hire me for it, then screw it. I can't believe how many people will fold to that kind of absolute bullshit, and notably, it's a social thing. I'm not blaming individuals, I'm blaming the whole. I'm not going to judge you (general 'you') for dressing however you need to, because you live in a society where you're forced to, and you have certain desires that require you to give up certain liberties."

"Regardless, that's absolute shit, and this is coming from someone who dislikes tattoos, piercings, drugs, and alcohol. I don't dress outlandishly, I wear a T-Shirt and shorts when I'm in public, and when I'm at home, I wear the most comfortable equivalent. There might be some things that have a 'seriously, have some common sense' aspects, like not wearing sweaty, mud covered clothing or something. However, if it's clean and it's comfortable (or I am at least comfortable in it) then it should be my choice what I wear. If you like piercing and your tattoos express who you are, good!"

"This social norm crap is asinine, to those of you who are forced to concede, I'm sorry. You shouldn't be, and honestly I don't think you should take it, but I'm still sorry for it."

Offline Torch

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 07:57:07 PM »
if a job won't hire me for it, then screw it. I can't believe how many people will fold to that kind of absolute bullshit,

That's really easy to say and think...when you are 24 and have no responsibility to anyone other than yourself.

It's a bit more difficult when you have a family, a mortgage, kids to put through college and a retirement to begin planning for.

Don't get me wrong, I thought that way 20 years ago myself. But I changed. You will, too. I guarantee it.

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 08:39:29 PM »
"I also hate that. Speak for yourself, I don't want a family, ever... Don't patronize people, I know what I want from my life, and a family isn't it. I hate when adults think they have the flow of life on lockdown, it's really insulting. I am not conforming to this ridiculous concept that I need to get a job and have a family and live this crappy white picket fence life. Will I get a job? Maybe, but I'm not changing my behavior any more than is reasonable. Will I try to live a comfortable life? Sure, but only if I can do so without compromising my principles. I promise you, I have no qualms doing less than 'ethical' things to get by, and those are far more in line with my moral code than conforming to the norm."

"In the end, I am a reasonable individual, but I don't think this is a reasonable world or society we live in. The idea that I have to conform to get by is not okay by me. Like I said, I don't care that it's okay with other people, that's their choice in life. Good for them, if they're happy, and if they're not, then I don't need to chastise them for stupidity, life is doing that already."

"Either way, it's seriously arrogant to tell someone that you know who they are from a few paragraphs. This is me being as polite as I'm willing to be in response to that. Don't do it, there's no reason for it. It adds nothing to your argument, it only makes me more likely to recognize your statements as arrogant and ill informed from here on out."

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 08:58:03 PM »
I think Torch's point is you have no idea what you'll want from life 10 or 20 years from now.  No one can know that until that time comes.  For all you know, your outlook on life will completely change.  It did for me and I'm willing to bet heavily that it will for most everyone.  That's just a general fact (call it a likelihood if you prefer) of growing older.  Can I know for 100% certain that your outlook will change when you hit 35 or 40?  Of course not, but I feel that it's very likely based on my own experiences and the experiences of nearly every single person I've been acquainted with over the years. 

Hell, I had a friend who in his early twenties swore up and down that he would never have kids and wanted nothing more than to live alone in some secluded house in the middle of nowhere with a dog and a bunch of guns.  You know what, though?  He got older, met a girl, got married, had kids and got a decent job.  I'm just saying it can happen even if you don't believe it now.  I consider my early 20s self to have been laughably ignorant and generally stupid when it came to life, but back then I thought I had it all figured out.  Note that I'm not calling you ignorant or stupid... but I think just about everyone looks back at their younger selves and thinks "wow, I can't believe I actually thought that's how everything works!".

Offline Torch

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 09:00:35 PM »
"I also hate that. Speak for yourself, I don't want a family, ever... Don't patronize people, I know what I want from my life, and a family isn't it. I hate when adults think they have the flow of life on lockdown, it's really insulting. I am not conforming to this ridiculous concept that I need to get a job and have a family and live this crappy white picket fence life. Will I get a job? Maybe, but I'm not changing my behavior any more than is reasonable. Will I try to live a comfortable life? Sure, but only if I can do so without compromising my principles. I promise you, I have no qualms doing less than 'ethical' things to get by, and those are far more in line with my moral code than conforming to the norm."

"In the end, I am a reasonable individual, but I don't think this is a reasonable world or society we live in. The idea that I have to conform to get by is not okay by me. Like I said, I don't care that it's okay with other people, that's their choice in life. Good for them, if they're happy, and if they're not, then I don't need to chastise them for stupidity, life is doing that already."

"Either way, it's seriously arrogant to tell someone that you know who they are from a few paragraphs. This is me being as polite as I'm willing to be in response to that. Don't do it, there's no reason for it. It adds nothing to your argument, it only makes me more likely to recognize your statements as arrogant and ill informed from here on out."

It isn't patronizing to state facts.

People change over the course of 20 years. Some change for the better, a few for the worse. But lives aren't static; they evolve.

And you're taking offense where none is intended.

Offline Torch

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2012, 09:07:58 PM »
I think Torch's point is you have no idea what you'll want from life 10 or 20 years from now.  No one can know that until that time comes.  For all you know, your outlook on life will completely change.  It did for me and I'm willing to bet heavily that it will for most everyone.  That's just a general fact (call it a likelihood if you prefer) of growing older.  Can I know for 100% certain that your outlook will change when you hit 35 or 40?  Of course not, but I feel that it's very likely based on my own experiences and the experiences of nearly every single person I've been acquainted with over the years. 

Hell, I had a friend who in his early twenties swore up and down that he would never have kids and wanted nothing more than to live alone in some secluded house in the middle of nowhere with a dog and a bunch of guns.  You know what, though?  He got older, met a girl, got married, had kids and got a decent job.  I'm just saying it can happen even if you don't believe it now.  I consider my early 20s self to have been laughably ignorant and generally stupid when it came to life, but back then I thought I had it all figured out.  Note that I'm not calling you ignorant or stupid... but I think just about everyone looks back at their younger selves and thinks "wow, I can't believe I actually thought that's how everything works!".

Yes, exactly.

Part of being a grown-up and maturing is accepting that our life plans are not always as concrete as we think. We adapt and change depending upon our circumstances and what life throws at us.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2012, 09:14:45 PM »
I hate when adults

Huh?

I am not conforming to this ridiculous concept that I need to get a job and have a family and live this crappy white picket fence life. Will I get a job? Maybe, but I'm not changing my behavior any more than is reasonable. Will I try to live a comfortable life? Sure, but only if I can do so without compromising my principles. I promise you, I have no qualms doing less than 'ethical' things to get by, and those are far more in line with my moral code than conforming to the norm."

"In the end, I am a reasonable individual, but I don't think this is a reasonable world or society we live in. The idea that I have to conform to get by is not okay by me. Like I said, I don't care that it's okay with other people, that's their choice in life. Good for them, if they're happy, and if they're not, then I don't need to chastise them for stupidity, life is doing that already."

"Either way, it's seriously arrogant to tell someone that you know who they are from a few paragraphs. This is me being as polite as I'm willing to be in response to that. Don't do it, there's no reason for it. It adds nothing to your argument, it only makes me more likely to recognize your statements as arrogant and ill informed from here on out."

That sounded rather fiery. This too tends to change with age.

Offline consortium11

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2012, 09:29:41 PM »
"I also hate that. Speak for yourself, I don't want a family, ever... Don't patronize people, I know what I want from my life, and a family isn't it.

[...]

[...]

"Either way, it's seriously arrogant to tell someone that you know who they are from a few paragraphs. This is me being as polite as I'm willing to be in response to that. Don't do it, there's no reason for it. It adds nothing to your argument, it only makes me more likely to recognize your statements as arrogant and ill informed from here on out."

But surely the post you're responding to isn't just about you?

The part of your original post that was quoted (emphasis mine):

Quote
if a job won't hire me for it, then screw it. I can't believe how many people will fold to that kind of absolute bullshit,

You can't believe how many people will be willing to "conform" (which from your original post seems to include taking a job which includes a dress or appearance code) even if they have (or want) a family? Even if they have a mortgage to pay? College (or equivalent) to pay for? A retirement to plan?

You don't see why anyone in those circumstances would think it wasn't that bad to wear a suit and tie? Or cut off that mohawk? Or take out those lip rings? Or wear "smart casual" shirt and trousers? Or wear the uniform issued to them by their job?

---

On topic.

I spent my teenage years looking like a punk (in the music/sub culture sense). I may never have got piercings or tats but I had bullet belts, torn to pieces jeans, cut off denim jackets covered in patches and paint, various hairstyles (and sometimes colours), boots, braces and all the various paraphernalia.

Now I'm in my mid 20's.

And I still have all that stuff (other than the various hairstyles). And I still wear it.

But I also have a wardrobe full of very nice suits, shirts, shoes, cuff links and ties which I wear at work... and when socialising. I also have a number of tweed jackets, cravats, smoking jackets, "posh" trousers and other such articles. I can (and do) quite easily go from city-slicker on a Friday to crusty punk on a Saturday to country gentleman on a Sunday back to city slicker on a Monday.

The reason I perhaps don't quite fit in to the conversation is that I don't particularly feel like I'm being forced to conform in any of them. Technically I am with the suit as it's the dress code of my office but I like wearing my suits. I like the look, I like the cut, I like the comfort. I like making my tie, cuff links and socks match. I like posh socks. I like the smart shoes I wear. I also like having a "uniform" in that I can take it off when I do leave work (which is a nice mental thing). But I also like my grimy old boots. I like my jacket with messages from my youth scribbled on it. I like my studded belts and my DIY t-shirts. And I also like country-gent clothes, I like my cravats, I like my velvet jacket.

I guess I am conforming in that I'm unlikely to go to a punk gig in my best suit... and I'm just as unlikely to go to a Michelin starred restaurant in my punk gear. But perhaps wrongly I don't feel constrained by that or the social norms behind it. It may be different if I didn't like or want to look that way... but I enjoy it, so frankly I don't mind.

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2012, 09:39:30 PM »
That's really easy to say and think...when you are 24 and have no responsibility to anyone other than yourself.

It's a bit more difficult when you have a family, a mortgage, kids to put through college and a retirement to begin planning for.

"No... see this... This is patronizing and insulting, because it implies you know where my life is going. You didn't say, 'You don't know where you'll be in 20 years...' You noted a specific, social norm, and that because I'm 24, I don't think about my future. Also, you implied I don't have anyone to take responsibility for, what if I did have a kid? Do you know? What if I have a brother who is handicapped and I take care of him?"

"You made assumptions about my life and who I am, and that's insulting. Don't. That's not okay, and I don't care if 'everyone does it', it pisses me off. Don't make excuses for that behavior, if you want to dismiss me because you think I'm rude, fine. However, I'm not going to hear you backpedal and feel better about what you said, that's even more insulting. I said specifically why I was insulted, and you absolutely made an assumption. You don't have to feel apologetic, I didn't ask for one. Tell me to fuck off, I don't care, I can respect that you don't like my thoughts on it. Hell, if you still don't think you're being insulting or patronizing, fine. That's up to you. My statement in my sig applies, I am offended by what you said, and that's my deal. I am really bothered when people make assumptions about other people the way you did."

Huh?

"Sorry, I didn't want to say 'people older than me', long-winded. There's not a lot of words between young adult and 'the elderly'. I just wanted to get the point out there, and obviously I did, since more people didn't question it."

"If I got into what 'tends to' be true about people, I'd tap into my misanthropy and it would be much more insulting. Not bothering to do that here, I like enough people on E not to want to make any blanket statement that someone I like will feel offended by, because sometimes that happens and it isn't worth the trouble."

You can't believe how many people will be willing to "conform" (which from your original post seems to include taking a job which includes a dress or appearance code) even if they have (or want) a family? Even if they have a mortgage to pay? College (or equivalent) to pay for? A retirement to plan?

You don't see why anyone in those circumstances would think it wasn't that bad to wear a suit and tie? Or cut off that mohawk? Or take out those lip rings? Or wear "smart casual" shirt and trousers? Or wear the uniform issued to them by their job?

"Yes... I can't believe people will... No, I'm not doing this... The answer is 'yes'."

"However, if you enjoy it, more power to you. Not everyone does, and a lot of people force themselves to get past it, and 'grow' to like it begrudgingly. That should never have to be true."

Offline Torch

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2012, 09:44:24 PM »

The reason I perhaps don't quite fit in to the conversation is that I don't particularly feel like I'm being forced to conform in any of them. Technically I am with the suit as it's the dress code of my office but I like wearing my suits. I like the look, I like the cut, I like the comfort. I like making my tie, cuff links and socks match. I like posh socks. I like the smart shoes I wear. I also like having a "uniform" in that I can take it off when I do leave work (which is a nice mental thing). But I also like my grimy old boots. I like my jacket with messages from my youth scribbled on it. I like my studded belts and my DIY t-shirts. And I also like country-gent clothes, I like my cravats, I like my velvet jacket.

I'm also confused as to this notion that conformity is somehow "forced".

Mr. Torch has a drawer full of vintage tie-dye shirts. He also has a closet full of Brooks Brothers suits. He is as comfortable and happy wearing one as he is the other.

Offline Torch

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2012, 09:52:55 PM »
"No... see this...

<snip>


As I said, you are taking offense where none is intended.

Offline consortium11

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2012, 09:55:15 PM »
I'm also confused as to this notion that conformity is somehow "forced".

Mr. Torch has a drawer full of vintage tie-dye shirts. He also has a closet full of Brooks Brothers suits. He is as comfortable and happy wearing one as he is the other.

I can see why; I know some people detest wearing suits (especially with ties) and I can understand why they'd feel they're being forced to conform by wearing it.

Add in wearing a suit (especially one which you get to pick yourself and if you can afford it a nice one) is generally going to be a lot nicer (and to most people less demeaning) than wearing say a McDonald's uniform or a Hooters uniform.

I think in my situation (and seemingly Mr. Torch's) while we're being forced to look a certain way and wear certain clothes it's a look and clothes that we like wearing. For someone who doesn't like the clothes they need to wear for their job (or to go to certain places socially etc) I can appreciate why it's far more of an issue.

Offline consortium11

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2012, 10:03:17 PM »
"Yes... I can't believe people will... No, I'm not doing this... The answer is 'yes'."

I'm struggling to understand your answer as wriitten (for which the fault is probably mine).

Just to clarify, you don't understand why someone who has say a baby on the way or has a mortgage to pay but no job or is trying to pay their way through college would think "I don't really want to cut off my dreadlocks/wear a suit/wear a uniform but I'll do it anyway?"

Or to read your original post in the most literal sense, work for a company that has a dress code at all (even if they already followed that dress code in their day to day life so it required no changes; it's the existence of the dress code itself that is the issue)?

Because while I fully accept that someone may object to it themselves I struggle to see how someone can't understand why others do in such circumstances.

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 10:08:03 PM »

I think in my situation (and seemingly Mr. Torch's) while we're being forced to look a certain way and wear certain clothes it's a look and clothes that we like wearing. For someone who doesn't like the clothes they need to wear for their job (or to go to certain places socially etc) I can appreciate why it's far more of an issue.

Yes, of course, you're correct. It would be an issue under those circumstances.

Perhaps it's the notion that conformity is somehow always defined as a bad thing? Personally, I don't subscribe to the wisdom that states conformity means one must relinquish individuality. I don't see them as mutually exclusive, but some folks might think so.

Offline consortium11

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 10:18:25 PM »
Yes, of course, you're correct. It would be an issue under those circumstances.

Perhaps it's the notion that conformity is somehow always defined as a bad thing? Personally, I don't subscribe to the wisdom that states conformity means one must relinquish individuality. I don't see them as mutually exclusive, but some folks might think so.

To take my own situation the dress code is a suit and tie (although the tie part is rarely enforced and is generally more a social issue; meetings and the like) and in general smart... but that leaves a lot of room for individual flair:

The suit itself of course; what cut, what colour, single or double breasted, number of buttons, type of collar, type of material. And the lining is a whole new world of possibilities.

Then the shirt itself... again, a whole multitude of possibilities regarding cut, colour, pattern, type etc etc

Belts and belt buckles open other avenues.

Cuff-links the same.

Socks.

Shoes.

To waist coat or not to waist coat?

Pocket squares?

Watches?

All of those things can be highly individual despite falling well within the "smart suit" requirement.

A dress code gives more opportunities than say a uniform but even within the more strict guidelines of an official uniform there's room for individuality; shoes, socks, watches etc.

Obviously it's more restricting than having free reign to wear anything/have any piercings you want/have any hair you want etc but you can almost always show some individuality in what you look like.

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 10:19:41 PM »
I'm struggling to understand your answer as wriitten (for which the fault is probably mine).

Just to clarify, you don't understand why someone who has say a baby on the way or has a mortgage to pay but no job or is trying to pay their way through college would think "I don't really want to cut off my dreadlocks/wear a suit/wear a uniform but I'll do it anyway?"

Or to read your original post in the most literal sense, work for a company that has a dress code at all (even if they already followed that dress code in their day to day life so it required no changes; it's the existence of the dress code itself that is the issue)?

Because while I fully accept that someone may object to it themselves I struggle to see how someone can't understand why others do in such circumstances.

"You don't understand because I cut myself off... I'm not having that discussion. I'll insult people, even unintentionally and I just don't want to get into it. The argument is about conformity and its necessity, and my answer to the question is that conformity shouldn't be necessary (within reason). If I'm a doctor, yes, I should have to wear something specific because it effects my job and the healthy of my patients. I can maybe even understand being forced to cut your hair, do something about piercings (to avoid infection), but that's one job. Same with an athlete for different reasons."

"However, when I work at a desk or at a cash register, my look is only effected by how people view me, and they need to fuck off about how I look. That's not their business. Maybe I can be asked to take out a tongue ring if I'm not clear, but I can just put that back in when I'm off work, and I make sure only to get it pierced when it won't effect my job."

"However, none of those things are about conformity, they're about doing your job right. I shouldn't be judged, and it shouldn't be acceptable, at all. I mean, severely unacceptable. Especially with regards to tattoos, piercings, and hair, because those are on my body, and my decision. Again, I don't say this because I dress 'punk' or 'goth' or just like those things, I don't. I've encouraged (not forced, encouraged, when asked my opinion) my girlfriend not to do those things, but I don't mind people who want to do those things, and neither should anyone else."

"Again, there's a 'within reason' for all these things, but the current social norm isn't 'within reason' and it's based on prejudice in most cases."

Offline Serephino

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2012, 10:23:57 PM »
It shouldn't matter how a person looks, but it does.  My boyfriend likes his scraggly mustache and beard, but while working at McDonalds, he can't have it.  He needs the job because without it we can't pay the bills.  We don't have kids or a mortgage, but we do have rent, utility bills, and we gotta eat.  Everything costs money, and unless you can live with your parents the rest of their lives, you gotta do what you gotta do.  Maybe one day people won't make snap judgments about others with tattoos and piercings.  I have a tattoo, and I want another one.  To me, it's just self expression.

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2012, 10:36:31 PM »
It shouldn't matter how a person looks, but it does.  My boyfriend likes his scraggly mustache and beard, but while working at McDonalds, he can't have it.  He needs the job because without it we can't pay the bills.  We don't have kids or a mortgage, but we do have rent, utility bills, and we gotta eat.  Everything costs money, and unless you can live with your parents the rest of their lives, you gotta do what you gotta do.  Maybe one day people won't make snap judgments about others with tattoos and piercings.  I have a tattoo, and I want another one.  To me, it's just self expression.


"I agree, on all accounts, doesn't mean I have to think it's okay. Doesn't mean I agree, exactly, if you understand. Also, I'm not at all insulting you for having a tattoo or anything, I know you weren't necessarily saying that to defend yourself (at least not to me). I just wanted to state that, because I appreciate your self-expression, I just don't like that method of doing it (for me, just me... I actually am really into some girls with tattoos). You should be allowed to have as many tattoos as you like, as long as you keep them reasonably unoffensive (as in, nothing gory and nothing personally insulting... I wouldn't say no profanity, but I'd make that concession if people at least allow you to express yourself otherwise without judgment)."

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2012, 10:48:49 PM »
What is conformity? Perhaps we have different ideas.

Offline Lilias

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 05:06:42 AM »
Team players are not sheep. If you want in a team, you'll have to wear the team strip and play the game by the standard rules. If you ever become head honcho, feel free to reform the rules, but until then, it's play by them or go home.

It goes without saying that if you don't like a game's rules, you'd better not attempt to play. Nobody will be happy with the arrangement. Find something else to do.

Yes, despite us all being adults and stuff, life can still be explained in game-speak.

I don't see it as much of an issue, really. I've worked in uniform, and it just marked me as staff, a go-to person. My clothes are not me. They can show (or hide, for that matter) who I am, but they don't make me anything I don't want to be. There are plenty of jobs where you can look however the hell you please, and that doesn't make them any less dehumanising, unfortunately.