Conforming to nonconformity, by Paula Dozsa
In today’s strive to be different and unique, teenagers end up following a cookie cutter shape, trading their personalities and creativity or modeling them according to what their peers perceive as ‘cool’. I believe that the only way one can be a nonconformist is if he conforms to himself and his own ideas.
First of all, there is not such thing as a ‘nonconformist group’. If a person is an emo, he is conforming to being an emo. The same goes for punksters, hipsters, goths and other expanding groups of modern rebels. Being a nonconformist does not lie solely in one’s clothes, manners, make-up or the music he listens to. It lies in the way one thinks. Of course, this reflects on appearance and tastes, but given that no two people think the same, isn’t there something wrong with the fact that so many so-called nonconformists have almost identical outfits and listen to exactly the same bands? As George Patton once said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”.
Secondly, a nonconformist couldn’t care less about what others think about him, something you can’t say about nonconformists today. For some reason, most of them, usually teenagers, rebel strongly against their parents and teachers, doing the opposite of what they’re asked to, whereas among their peers they are insecure and struggle to attain a favorable status by imitating them . That defies the very definition of nonconformism: stepping out of society’s Procrustean bed and creating your own criteria by which you lead your life.
Last but not least, nonconformity is an attitude, a lifestyle. It is about doing what you want to do, saying what you want to say, acting the way you want to act. It consists in ultimate freedom. Most teenagers today brand themselves as nonconformists even though they do not respect the true sense of the word, turning this term into a sort of fashion statement. However, listening to a certain type of music does not make you a nonconformist, just like owning a library of books does not make you intelligent. Wearing a ripped pair of jeans does not make you a nonconformist either, just like wearing a white coat does not automatically turn you into a doctor.
All in all, one is either nonconformist in every aspect of his life, or one is not a nonconformist at all. Starting or continuing a trend is not enough, the secret to stepping out of the box of conformity lies in your ability to ignore what others think of your actions and do what feels right for you, living your life to the fullest. Unfortunately, nonconformists today, as Eric Hoffer put it, “travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes at it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity”.
Acest eseu este castigatorul premiului oferit din partea juriului in
cadrul 2012 Shakespeare School Essay Competition, grupa de varsta 15-19 ani.
Premiul a constat intr-un voucher de reducere in valoare de 200 de lire pentru o tabara de limba engleza de 2 saptamani in Anglia oferit de Mirunette International Education, carti de la Fischer International si de la Carturesti si materiale promotionale de la Vitastal Consulting. O felicitam pe Paula pentru eseul ei care s-a evidentiat din mii de eseuri trimise la concursul national de creatie in limba engleza organizat de Shakespeare School si ii uram mult succes in continuare!