I've wanted to write about this for some time now, but really haven't had the words (still don't!). Anyways, here it goes...
The other day, while browsing the internet, I got on yahoo and clicked on an article about baby names. The article said that people have been picking increasingly obscure names for their newborns, in order to give them a sense of individuality (probably both for the baby and themselves). And this article just really got me thinking about what it is to be an individual and what role individuality plays in our society.
This subject is particularly interesting for me, since, I do not honestly believe people have any interest in being different. Individuality, it would seem, is really just the new heatwave. What I'm saying is, the facade or appearance of individuality holds more weight than actually being different does. Everyone wants to be the first to read/hear/wear that new hotness, in order to appear cutting edge or trendy. I've always thought it interesting when you hear a goth kid or hipster talk about how different they are based on the fact that their dress isn't 'mainstream'; while they in fact are following a group ideal.
"I don't try to be different, I am/So inevitably my style will survive when your now, turns to then." El-P/Company Flow 'Population Control'
As a person who is different, I can tell you from experience that it hasn't always been easy; nor will it ever be. I struggled with my individuality for years before coming to grips with who I am. The truth is, people really want to be a part of a group or collective, and to stand out too much is most often alienating. To this day people turn their noses up at me, and make jokes at my expense for not being "normal". In fact, the name of this blog came about because my views rarely coincide with that of the herd, and as a result people take me as a snob.
There is a quote on my facebook by Frederick Douglass that goes like this:
"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence."
That is a true statement of individuality. It is something that I try to live everyday; to be realer than real. True individuality; something which can not be bought or sold, worn or said; something not gained in a name or a style. But something which can be gained through the conscious effort of an individual to be you, just as you are.