Different is the New Normal

By Dahlia Zail

These days, walking around campus, I cannot help but notice the trends in girls fashion that are taking a turn towards conformity. This conventionality is different. In the case of Tam, it stems from a desire that everyone feels to be different, which ultimately ends up in people looking and acting the same.

“I think there comes a time where everyone wants to be as original as they can possibly be, but it comes to the point where everyone’s ‘originality’ is the exact same. People think that they are doing something different and new, but in reality they are just repeating what has already been done,” said senior Maia Ciambriello.

I think it is awesome that people want to be individual- don’t get me wrong. This being said, there needs to be an acknowledgement of the fact that an extreme desire to be an individual can indeed stymie actual individualism.

Some people, however, have a slightly different perspective on the situation. “I feel like more people are trying…to find kind of their own sense of style as opposed to buying clothes from Urban Outfitters or Brandy Melville or like stores like that. I feel like thrift shopping is a big thing right now and kind of developing your own sense of style,” junior Valerie Price said.

A large part of this comes from social media, as many trends these days do. “I think also social media definitely has an impact on that [style] and people see the trends on social media and try to copy them in what they wear at school,” said junior Maia Krueger.

Price, however, felt that getting inspired from social media is a positive thing.“People look at these girls on Instagram and whatever and they see this kind of media inspired style that’s kind of out there and gives them confidence to do them and figure out, kind of take inspiration from that and their own stuff.”

The trends of alternative dress also transfer over to music and other art forms. People have started to branch out in their music tastes, in a similar desire to be individual. While this is well intended, music has now turned into another outlet for people to show off their so called  individuality, which makes them come off as less individual in the process. This being said, music should be listened to as a form of enjoyment, so please by all means listen to whatever music you want. It becomes problematic when people use the music they are listening to to improve their image, by trying to be an individual.   On the same topic Price said, “I feel like music obviously, any form of art or expression that people can like take and use as themselves is kind of the same, even… girls find accounts and they’re like oh this girl likes this and that’s what’s cool and then everyone kind of starts finding the same things and it’s influencing everyone, which you can take as everyone is trying to be the same or it’s just because it’s good and that’s what people like right now.” Ciambriello also felt that art and music played a role in the sort of “individuality crisis” of this day and age.

This being said, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t dislike something just because other people like it. “You shouldn’t have a mindset of oh I’m not gonna like that because everyone else does, you should just like things because you like them,” said Price.

The biggest issue We are skipping the chapter of high school where it is OK to dress similarly and skipping right into the flame of. When there is a pressure to dress so uniquely, it adds another element to the stress of high school, and the real question is; is it worth it, considering people end up looking the same anyways? ♦