The Importance of Individuality

My entire life, people have described me as “quirky.” I always take it as a compliment. In a society that demands that women prescribe to a particular set of beliefs, a particular manner of dress, and a particular way of behaving and speaking, I am disturbed by the need of conformity. Where’s the fun in that?

In middle school, I remember wearing Little Miss-Matched socks to school every day. The brand seeks to break the patterns of normalcy by offer sets of three socks, none of which match, to consumers. I first was given a pair as a present, and then went on to buy many, many more. The socks always made me smile. They were so colorful and cheerful, adorned with stripes, polka dots, squiggles, and other shapes. Most times, these fun little reminders of joy were hidden by my yellow converse. When my shoes were on, no one would know that my socks didn’t ever match. When my shoes were off, however, I would always receive questioning looks. Why did it matter suddenly that my socks did not go?

Growing older, I still buy fun socks. However, they normally come in a matching pair. Nevertheless, I boldly wear them. I let them show tucked into Birks in the fall. They are on display over the tops of my Bean Boots. I’ve come to accept that wearing weird socks makes me quirky. It’s one of countless things. My appearance may also be described in that manner. I have wild and frizzy blonde curls that refuse to straighten or be tamed. I am only 5’1 and have no interest in wearing heels to make me appear taller. Certainly my personality may also qualify as 'different.'

I am saddened by the need that society places for homology. In its eyes, it is bad to be different and good to fit in. But, I am confused at who made that rule. Why are we not celebrating all of our differences? Wouldn’t that be far more empowering? In a time where women are seeking to proclaim their autonomy, we should also be proclaiming acceptance. We need an acceptance of who we truly are. There should be no shame in being authentically one’s own self, whether that includes wearing wild socks or not.




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