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Author Topic: How Much Conformity is Required?  (Read 1517 times)

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Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2012, 05:50:22 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.

"Right, but tattoos and hair are often issues at a job, and I can't just magically change those. They are probably bigger than any clothing issues, maybe I made a bigger deal about clothes than I should have, it was the topic at hand and I rolled with it. Maybe that wasn't even at me, but it doesn't change my point that there are cases where a uniform or dress code has value (though still less than there are dress codes enforced)."

"So, yeah, what about discrimination based on things on my body? My hair, or someone's tattoos... Can we start discriminating based on height, weight, breast size, cup size, muscle mass, gender norms, gender itself, whether or not I have freckles, whether or not I need glasses? This part is rhetorical, and not aimed at Lilias. I'm sure in some jobs those things matter, but, again, not as much as some of those things actually harm peoples' chances of working."

"To ask a better question: Do you think it's okay for a person to be forced to live a worse life because they have tattoos? Is that reasonable in any way?"

Offline Lilias

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2012, 06:24:22 AM »
"To ask a better question: Do you think it's okay for a person to be forced to live a worse life because they have tattoos? Is that reasonable in any way?"

That's an awfully broad (and vague) question. What constitutes a better or worse life? Does it all hinge on how much ink or metal one has on their body? Or on how prestigious their professional position is? I don't think you can find two people with the exact same requirements for a good life.

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2012, 06:30:55 AM »
"How about hinging on whether they get to eat or live in a building? How about being treated like a criminal because of their appearance? How about being forced into a criminal life because people assume they're a criminal a lot of the time?"

"In fact, how about getting treated like a criminal ever because they want to express themselves in a perfectly acceptable and legal fashion?"

"People really would rather dance around the truth, than accept that they're willing to bow to behavior that hurts people or impedes their rights."

Offline Lilias

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2012, 06:49:25 AM »
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.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2012, 07:17:17 AM »
"How about hinging on whether they get to eat or live in a building? How about being treated like a criminal because of their appearance? How about being forced into a criminal life because people assume they're a criminal a lot of the time?"

"In fact, how about getting treated like a criminal ever because they want to express themselves in a perfectly acceptable and legal fashion?"

"People really would rather dance around the truth, than accept that they're willing to bow to behavior that hurts people or impedes their rights."

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 it "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. 
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 11:54:45 AM by LunarSage »

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2012, 07:57:43 AM »
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."
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 03:09:16 PM by Ryuka Tana »

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2012, 03:20:11 PM »
Is not the reverse true? If some guy in a formal suit with his short hair combed is some nerdy, yuppie fashion tried to fit in with a bunch of guys who were loaded up with tats and piercings ( lets say a punk or biker group just for simplicity ), might they not view him as somewhat of an outsider? Perhaps treat him a little differently?

I agree that bias sucks, and I know that the degree of bias will certainly vary as everyone is different. The above example is meant as an example. I'm not suggesting that such bias will always exist.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 03:22:43 PM by TaintedAndDelish »

Offline Darwishi

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2012, 12:03:20 PM »
Admittedly I haven't read the whole thread, but coming from the artistic side of things I thought I'd comment.  Looks don't tend to matter as much when in the animation field (like me!).  Most artists, unless they're performing, it doesn't matter what you look like.  It's not because of individuality or passion or much of anything like that.  It's because it just doesn't matter.  What matters is the work you do, how fast you do it, and the quality of work you can put out.  It certainly helps to have someone that's passionate about what they're doing, but take me.  I actually express my individuality by dressing up a good bit more than most animators.  I tend to wear slacks, shirt and even a tie.  Most don't, that's how I stand apart.

Going to art school, artists come in all shapes and sizes, none of us are exactly the same.  Tattoo artists tend to have tattoos, it actually just makes sense to me that they would.  I've worked for jobs where you can't have tattoos, the simple reason is that when dealing with the population at large, tattoos are associated with criminals.  I'd say if you're going to get them, get it so you can cover them.  I have a good friend that has several tats that she can't cover up easily, and they're not obscene or anything, just hearts within hearts and stuff like that (actually rather cool looking) but I know she's having a hard time finding a job.  I don't have the heart to tell her that it may be because of her tats.

It shouldn't matter, but it does.

Suits and ties tend to be associated with upstanding and successful businessmen. I had a friend tell me that she talked face to face with a murderer and didn't know it until later, because the guy was in a three-piece suit.  Later she saw his face on the TV in a hoodie and cargos.  Same guy, just different appearance.  We're trained by the media to trust the guy in the three-piece suit, not the one in the hoodie and cargos.  Or the clean-shaven guy over the one with the beard, certainly to trust people with no tats versus those with tats.  Messed up, but that's the way it is.

So I guess in summary appearance shouldn't matter professionally, but it does.  And it matters a lot.

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Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2012, 03:28:59 PM »
One of my Facebook friends is keen on 'Tattoo Acceptance', so I've seen a number of pictures of (usually) men with full-sleeve tattoos dressed in sleeveless tees and scruffy jeans - split-screened with the same man in his work clothes: a medical doctor and a soldier in full camo.  There's a reason that the photos you see of Japanese men with significant tattooing always confines it to the area that can be covered by the work clothes.  It's a shame that such beautiful artistry is associated with 'undesirable behavior' (criminal or not), but I'd echo Darwishi's advice on this.

(I will say, though - if you catch me staring at your tatts, and they aren't offensive or misspelled, I'm most likely staring in admiration, no matter who you are.)

Offline Kathadon

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2012, 01:27:59 AM »
*chuckles*

One of my favorite jobs had a rather unexpected dress code for me at the time. When I was a bouncer at a "Gentleman's Club" we had to wear a banded collar tuxedo shirt, dress slacks (black), black shoes ( I wore black steel toed shit kickers), and a vest. A vest with silver thread designs that sparkled in the black lights every timed we moved. We could not have facial or ear piercings or long hair because they were a liability in a "violent incident". They wanted any facial hair trimmed or preferred clean shave.

So there we were, ten of the most "colorful" guys I've had the pleasure of knowing from numerous backgrounds, looking like we just showed up from a wedding every night when our job was to be security at a multimillion dollar a month club. Hell, two of my buddies were bikers, two firefighters, and another two and I were ex-military, yet when we were at work we all looked like waiters at some five star restaurant.

The "dress code" for the girls was even better. No visible tattoos. They all had to be small and covered with makeup. The tramp stamp fad got that one relaxed. No "odd" piercings. Belly button, eye brow, nose, and vaginal? Fine. Nipples not so much. No obvious scars. That was a good one. You know how many entertainers have scars from boob jobs (or c-sections)? Alot. No flats. Unless part of a costume the ladies had to be in heels. No bikini bottums. G-strings and thongs only. Every woman HAD to shave everything.The dancers were required to have their wardrobe approved by the house mom or director every night.

Every girl that came into the club was drop dead gorgeous. Some came in from Vegas, Denver, or Dallas just to try out. One pair I remember were from New York. Most did not meet the standards, and often loudly told off the directors. The ones that made the cut all complained at first. Yet when they started making money the complaints went away quickly and were replaced with judging new girls based on their appearance in the first ten minutes, because the standard set by the club encouraged a certain type of patron. The very successful type, with alot of money.

So does looking freakish or undesirable limit you? Yes it does. Is it worth it in the end? No. Is it bullshit? Kinda. But unfortunately our society makes the rules, and unless you are happy working at Hot Topic, gas stations, or can start your own business, you're screwed. Can everyone change the status quo? Yeah, over time, the majority of those that make up the norm die off or the normal changes. Kinda like the tramp stamp policy at that club. When they could NOT get girls with out one they had to change the rule. If everyone in the current generation has a set of sub-dermal horns implanted, guess what? That would be the new normal. >:)


Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: How Much Conformity is Required?
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2012, 01:31:41 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.

This x100.