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To blend in or stand out? And why?

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Old 09-13-2007, 04:18 PM   #1
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Cool To blend in or stand out? And why?

Alright, this could be a potentially controversial thread, but I think I've grown a reputation here for starting those Oops!

Anyway...
Are you the type of person who prefers to blend in with society or do you pride yourself for standing out from the norm?

EXAMPLE of blending in: conventional presentation of physical appearance, sometimes accompanied by a conservative mindset. Not often wanting to be noticed, and not caring to make a visual statement. Does not want to be up for obvious judgment.

EXAMPLE of standing out:
UNconventional presentation of physical appearance, making any kind of obvious statement, whether it's with style, pins, a message on a t-shirt, or what have you, setting yourself up for obvious judgment, but either not caring about society's perception or purposely attracting attention.

And what is your reasoning for this?

AND... what do you think of others who are your polar opposite in regards to what is societally acceptable or unacceptable?

I'll post my answer in a little bit. It may even surprise some of you.
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Last edited by NightengaleShane : 09-13-2007 at 04:23 PM. Reason: extra clarification :)
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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Iím all about standing out tastefully. To me, thereís a huge difference between displaying oneís own sense of personal style and looking like you should be on stage (ex. wearing Madonnaís cone bra to go to the grocery store). When I see a person who has clearly gone to way too much effort, it really comes off as a desperate cry for attention. Like most people, I love getting compliments from strangers on how I present myself, but some people just seem to try too hard, and it often comes across as really fake.

The particular environment is key as well. For example, I have a political t-shirt that expresses a particular opinion of mine (wonít be specific since I donít want to spark a debate) that I used to wear going out to the trendy neighborhoods. I donít really wear it anymore, but I had accidentally packed it with my gym clothes recently. My gym is in the same building where I work, and I felt really uncomfortable wearing it since that wasnít really the appropriate forum.

Sensitivity always has to be considered. For example, I donít care who the person is (or thinks he or she is), but I think most people would agree that itís pretty much wrong to strut around with a giant swastika on your shirt. I see little merit in shock value simply for the sake of shock value.

As for my polar opposite (Iím a stand outer), Iíve seen a lot of guys who buy the same polo shirts and khakis that theyíve been wearing since they were 14. I donít fully understand them, but theyíre not hurting anyone and we all have different priorities and value systems. Some people express themselves in different ways, and see clothing as a necessity and little more.
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:53 PM   #3
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I'll choose to stand out vocally, for what I believe in. I'm not into exposing or advertising myself, but when it comes to what is important then I'll say or do whatever it takes to come across for what I choose to stand out in. I can't worry what others will think of me, that will stop me from standing out.

When I was in my 20's I used to wear my hair like your picture but sticking up all over my head, that style is nothing new to me. This was of course in the 80's and I wore all black too. That's what I stood out for punk, but now I'm in my 40's and what I wear or how I look to make a statement doesnt seem as important, but what I believe in is more important to me.

As for others, they can do whatever they choose to do, I can't stop them and they can't stop me. They just better not get in my way! LOL
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:05 PM   #4
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i don't approach my life with a decision to "stand out" or "fit in". I am what I am. I do what feels right for me to do. In a lot of ways, it fits right in (my job is very "normal", in an office, but I LOVE it...I cook, I clean, I live a very quiet domestic existence that fits in more with a 50's housewife than anything else, and the clothes that I like and that I feel like flatter my body are fairly "blend in" types of clothes). In other ways, it doesn't (the whole lesbian thing comes to mind , also my musical tastes, and my political beliefs/vocalness about them).

I don't make an effort in either direction, nor a conscious decision to be one or the other. I just AM me, and components of that me blend in or stick out. And as long as I am being true to what I am and what I want, I don't really have a preference - if "Me" blends in, thats ok, and if "Me" sticks out like a sore thumb, thats alright too.

Because of that - I don't have a polar opposite. Although I do have issues with people who do things that aren't true to themselves just to "fit in" or "stand out". First, I think its always obvious that you're not being who you're meant to be. Second, I think its sad.
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
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I'm not one who goes out of my way to start a controversy; actually, I likely would try to avoid one if at all possible; BUT, I do beat to my own drum when it comes to how I dress, the music I listen to, how I live and so on. I agree that certain things have their place; if I am working in a conservative office, I am careful to follow suit becuz one's income is just too important to jeopardize for a minor statement.

People have commented how much I like to wear dresses a lot; I'm Irish and this trend runs in our family back many generations; and I find them comfortable and quick to wear. But sometimes, I wear my R & R long black tee and pants, which is quite a contrast. I'm pretty used to unusual styles and they don't bother me; so, each to his/her own; but, I will do what I think is best for me and my life.

I also think good taste is important; lately DH and I have encountered three situations where women have been dressing in very provocative ways in public in the middle of the day ~ wearing underwear for clothes with their breasts hanging out; what is that all about? DH also says it's on purpose to get attention ...

I guess, on the one hand, people might consider me conservative (when I was younger, I used to party more, but now I am more settled and don't); but in some ways, I'm the opposite in my beliefs, interests, and styles; now I'm more into nature and serenity and such ...
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:07 PM   #6
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I think you should just dress, live, celebrate etc the way it feels right for you. Purposely standing out - just for the sake of being controversial is so contrived - and to me seems artificial.

Most of my life I have felt the need to conform - follow the crowd - dress and act as to NOT bring attention on myself. Now that I am getting MANY aspects of my life under control - I am realizing the things I have always wanted to do or try are things I SHOULD do or try. I got my first piercing a while ago - and although it does somewhat bring attention (if I am in a conservative environment - I'm in a small town) - that was NOT my intent and I don't make a big deal about it. I did it because I have basically been sleepwalking for most of my life and am finding my voice and realizing life is too damn short to worry about what anyone else thinks. As long as what I do doesn't hurt anyone (particularly my son) - than I should do it. The peircing is something I always thought was pretty and wanted to get but was too afraid for a number of reasons.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:15 PM   #7
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I guess it depends on which of my multiple personalities you ask, LOL.

Literally, I do feel like about 100 different people, all with the same memories. My husband says it's because I LOVE the idea of choices, that I never seem to make any. He refuses to tell me what he has decided on for dinner at a restaurant, because he says it will just get me thinking about more options.

There are days I want to blend in, and days I want to stand out. Mostly, I just want to be able to do my thing, without anyone else having a cow about it. Dress code-wise, I've fallen for most of the "fat-laws" like thou shalt not expose thy knees, abdomen or upper arm fat, and completely reject others like "thou shalt not wear a bathing suit or swim in public unless though beist a single digit size" or "thou must dresseth in navy or black"
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:27 PM   #8
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I don't try to stand out. I don't dress like the norm, but I also don't dress to attract attention. I almost always am dressed casually. You would probably not notice me in a grocery store or on the street. But I am very different from most people in a number of ways. I'm not conservative--whatever that means. I prefer not to draw attention.

I think of my approach as camouflage.

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Old 09-13-2007, 08:36 PM   #9
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I am my own opposite in this area. And it is very frustrating. I would *LOVE* to have an unusual hair color- I'm talking tomato red or grass green- but right now I am so uncomfortable with my body that I don't want anyone to look at me....so I stick with a "normal" red color for my hair.

I play video games, and have some t-shirts with logos or phrases from the game, but I only wear them at home or to game conventions....or sometimes to run a quick errand, but I don't wear them to pick up kids at school, because again, I don't want people looking at me and wondering what I'm wearing LOL

So, I am taking baby steps just to be a little more unconventional. I'm thinking of getting green streaks in my hair for Halloween and see if I can handle the attention for one day. I'm becoming a little more sure of who *I* am....and I'm pretty sure I should look like an anime character
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:41 PM   #10
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Is it possible to do both?

Clothing wise, I blend in. I never wear anything too outlandish, mostly jeans and cute tops that make my torso look longer. I never wear jewelery and either my hair is down or in a simple ponytail.

The way I act. I really don't care about blending in anymore. I use to but not anymore. I'm more likely to hang out in a gaming store, or the manga section of a bookstore or the animation/anime section of the dvd store. I've always been into animation but growing up would hardly go out and buy it for myself. I would either have my mom pick up what I wanted for me or order it online. Now I don't care who sees me buying games or animation dvds, since I now know there are tons of people just like me. Of course I do get a look when I walk into a gaming store. Since it's mostly guys in there I think they think is weird that a woman wearing preppy clothing is walking into that store without a boyfriend/husband or a child dragging her in. And I don't care who sees what dvds I buy. Believe me if a new TMNT dvd comes out, I'm at Walmart on release day. I would go to the comic book store thats close by except for the fact that they don't carry what I want. I use to care alot about where other people saw me at or buying. Now I really don't care.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:19 AM   #11
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Hmm.. I think I dress like most other people so therefore I blend in that way, but the way I carry myself (good body posture and a confident attitude) and my smile I have been told I can really stop quite a bit of converstations in a room when I enter even though I'm heavy now and it's been hinted that in the past the effect was even more enormous when I was thin. To me it's all about a good attitude and being confident and having a fantastic smile. If you don't have confidence, fake it! I do that when I feel down and it helps. But there is a fine line between faking confidence and being just plain obnoxious. As for my beliefs, I generally keep my mouth shut unless around close friends and my husband and close family members and we all enjoy our discussions and we've talked about how nice it is to be able to discuss it with each other NICELY and often times I've come away with a better understanding of something or even having my mind changed! For me to get upset with a person that expresses their opinion it usually is also something that deeply upsets other people like wearing a swatiska on their shirt or something like that.
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:57 AM   #12
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My religious affiliation reminds me each day that I am an example and that I need to be followable.

I try to be a slim, healthy 47 y o. I culture a fabulous marriage and children. I'm good at and enjoy my work. My coworkers and patients like me.

That being said, I don't dress to blend in nor do I dress like everyone else I know. I thoroughly dislike having the same scrubs as any of my coworkers and work hard to find something different. I love to wear fashionable, mod things to church but never stick out.

I think I remember the need to be 'different on the outside' from when I was younger. I guess I've kind of mellowed.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:10 AM   #13
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I blend in. I think I stood out when I was younger more because I was quite cute as a teenager, although I didn't think so then...I didn't realize it about myself until I became older that I was a good looking kid when I ran into people I never knew that knew of me from high school told me that they and their group of friends all voted for me for things like prom queen or homecoming queen. I never knew I was up for election! It would have been nice to know then! I was VERY insecure in high school.

Anyway...I totally blend in now. When I worked at Mastercuts, the young women I worked with all called me 'mom'. I'm an average size and have an average face and wear average clothes. No more heckling from construction workers...which I don't miss AT ALL!! So rude.

As far as people that DO stand out. I guess it depends on why they stand out. If someone has some crazy hairstyle or peircings or tatoos, I think it's totally interesting to see and applaud them for their efforts to be themselves and express themselves that way. Every generation has their 'stand out' crowd...the 60's - hippies, the 80's had punkers, etc. That's cool.

BUT, for instance, there is a mother in my son's school that stands out for reasons that totally tork me off. There is a dress code in school...no spaghetti straps. So, this woman has had a boob job and in the middle of winter, what is she wearing? LOW CUT spaghetti strap tops with her boobs on display like a pair of earrings...right in front of the kids! Then there's the kids that like to sit on the bench in front of the store with their tongues down each other's throats. THAT is uncalled for and standing out for the wrong reasons.

If people want to stand out and be different, that is really fine...but being disrespectful is not cool, imho.
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:32 AM   #14
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Wowww, lots of interesting responses!

I definitely stand out, but I figure that's probably a no-brainer if you look at my picture.

I don't intentionally stand out, honestly. I don't specifically try to make a statement with my clothes unless I'm in an appropriate environment, like Goodbye Chubby said. HOWEVER, if I have a clean t-shirt that just happens to have a political or controversial message on it, I *will* wear it to the gym or anywhere else, unless it's something very formal like a professional convention or church.

I tried dressing more "normal" (think preppy-ish) for a couple years and it just didn't work out for me. I mean, yeah, I looked cute (and was thin back then), but, cliche as it sounds, it is just not who I am. I felt like I had so much to express yet was hiding it all behind my attempts to be conventional.

I've received ample compliments on my style, but I've also gotten some strange looks from people who just don't understand it. I like to wear ripped jeans, and I've had some older people ask me if they were ripped because I couldn't afford new ones. Yeah, I just accidentally ripped them in all the right places... uh huh...

As for those who look more conventional, my first impression depends. I usually just think they probably don't want to draw attention to themselves, or that they just don't feel like going the extra mile with their style; it is a whole lot less time consuming to put on a conventional but cute shirt with jeans and go out with a simple hairstyle than to accessorize yourself to **** and don a hairdo that requires significant upkeep.

If they're dressed professionally, I usually think "oh, poor thing, they're most likely a slave to the grind in a cubicle, but I hope they are enjoying themselves!" unless their suit or outfit is exceptionally nice. If they're dressed like they belong to a fraternity or sorority, I think, "oh... no... not those!" and ASSume they're probably going to be an ***. now, I know ASSUME makes an *** of U and ME, but while stereotypes are meant to be broken, they DO exist for a reason.

Summary? I stand out. I don't mean to, and I definitely don't try to draw attention to myself, but if I do, I really don't care. I have nothing against people who blend in, though I am always curious as to why (and if they even think about it!)

And I usually dislike frat boys. Jerks.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:01 AM   #15
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Ah, youth!

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