So we move from professional dress codes to street-level first-appearance prejudice? That's a bit of a sharp turn, and rather off-topic for the thread, but all right.
We may talk about not judging books by their cover (and people by their looks) till we are blue in the face, but it happens. The only thing to be done about it is systematic education and enlightenment, and that's not going to happen in a day, or even in a year.
People can be suspicious of the strange, the other. If you're the only person with tattoos or facial piercings that a kid has seen, they will stare. They may cry, or run away. There's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Whether they lob a stone at you depends on how they've been taught to react to the different.
On the other hand, subcultures can be as discriminating based on appearance as the mainstream. I'm old enough to remember the days when one was not a 'proper' metalhead without long hair or a 'proper' goth without an all-black wardrobe. As if a few inches of hair or a slash of colour could add or take away from one's knowledge or dedication. Things have changed - and that has happened because old-schoolers have grown up and figured out that it's not the props that make the scene. I expect the same will apply in time to the culture of body modifications, as more and more people get them and grow older and more established in their lines of work.
"Off topic? The topic is conformity, and I was talking about tattoos and piercings (which is generally not the social norm)... I did say I think I made a bigger deal about clothes because it was where thing were at when I posted. I didn't mean to do that, clothes are the least of the issue."
"Also, you're right, subcultures can be just as prejudiced, and they're just as big of idiots for doing it. Kids are excused because kids constantly do things that aren't socially acceptable, because they don't understand why they shouldn't. That's true pretty much all the time."
"The point is, no one should have to conform to any behaviors or dress, or anything, except if it directly impacts their job. Not just because people will judge them (because they should fuck off and have no right to do so), but because the job itself is impeded by that aspect. Tattoos are a great example because generally, the only real qualm people have about tattoos is based on prejudice. Whether they are prejudiced or believe their customers will be prejudiced, it's not acceptable. 'But it happens', isn't an excuse. Replace 'it' with 'rape', 'murder', or any other heinous crime, and it's not acceptable, neither is discrimination. You can retort that my example is 'too extreme', but it's not, because discrimination hurts people, it can ruin lives."
"There's a fundamental flaw when our society just says, 'this thing is terrible, but eh... it happens'. Rape is actually a more apt comparison the more I think about it. Lots of people won't stand up against it because they're afraid they'll be treated even more poorly. A person with a lot of tattoos will often get a similar treatment to women who, 'asked for it' by dressing a certain way..."
"I'm sure a lot of people will take refuge in audacity on that argument..."
"Yeah... I'm at that point where I have written and deleted so much crap over and over again... Honestly, no one who needs to hear it, wants my actual opinion. The people who are seriously the worst offenders, are going to pretend that everything's okay no matter what. To the rest of you, I'm just arguing semantics, or shit you already know... There's so much I'm unwilling to dive into in this argument, so, this paragraph really describes my best feelings on the subject."
That behavior is human nature, though. Every single person in the world has been guilty of or will be guilty of some form of prejudice at some point in their life. Everyone makes assumptions based on preconceived notions. I've heard that even Jesse Jackson said that faced with a group of inner city youths dressed like thugs in a bad part of town, he would lock his doors and want to get the hell out of that situation, even though he wouldn't know for -certain- that those youths intended him harm.
...and prejudice is what you're talking about. Is is "fair" that business would be hurt by having a cashier covered in piercings, tattoos and spikes? No, but that's not going to change and lamenting about it rather than accepting it is contrary to what I consider 'conforming'. As many people have said, one can still express themselves through a conformist appearance. Yes, you have every right to dress however you want, wear your hair however you want and to wear as many tattoos and piercings as you want, but when it comes time for you to go to work and your employer asks you to cover those tattoos, wear a work uniform and take out your piercings for your work day, telling them 'No! Fuck off! I'm not a sheep! Anarchy!' is the height of ridiculousness.
"I am an anarchist, so there's that. Also, it's not ridiculous, it's stupid as fuck that we don't all do that (or that we'd have to do that in the first place, actually). However, stupid as fuck definitely fits what I'd describe as 'human nature', so in that, I agree."
(By the way, before anyone assumes I'm putting words in anyone's mouth. I mean that I would describe the behavior you are describing as what is 'normal' or whatever, as behavior that is stupid as fuck, and I agree also, that the behavior you describe is in 'human nature'. So, overall, I agree, but also believe that it's stupid.)
EDIT: "I'm going to cut myself off here, completely. I thought I should, because I knew... Well I knew what I knew and that doesn't matter. What does matter is that I'm done."