Individuality?

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Courtesy of Vogue: Coachella goers take on the now popular “festival style”

In an age flooded by stereotypes, how do we define ourselves? Are nonconformist hipsters in their attempt at individualism actually becoming a cultural stereotype themselves? What was created to be a counter-cultural movement is now the norm. Being a hipster in 2013 is hardly groundbreaking. Individualism for the sake of being individualistic in my opinion is an oxymoron.

I first thought about this last year in English while reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. The novel covers several themes, notably the theme of individuality. The protagonist, Roarke, is driven by his struggle to maintain himself and resist society’s sway. However, in a class discussion, it occured to me that although I value individuality, doing things simply to go against the norm is ridiculous. Maybe it was my brief One Direction phase talking, but what is so wrong with what is popular and universally liked (perhaps One Direction isn’t a good example in this scenario, think Justin Timberlake, universally loved).

Today people are so obsessed with creating an image that they often lose sight of themselves. You have to be preppy, indie, or twee, and you can’t be more than one. Like many other 18 year old girls, I enjoy certain things associated with what has come to be defined as “hipster.” But I don’t define myself as a hipster and I have no qualms with wearing Kate Spade bangles one day and wearing a flower crown another day, because I like what I like.

Why do we have to be prepsters or hipsters or any other narrow typecast? In a sense I’ve become frustrated with the lack of true individuality I see. There are no rules that say we all have to be categorized by the clothes we wear and the music we listen to, because in actuality each of us are unique individuals without even trying. So do you, Academy.