Winter, it’s that time of year again. That means, in some places it can be cold, very cold and we have to wrap up, put on our winter coats for going outside to face the chilly air… which brings me to today’s article on why you SHOULDN’T conform to what’s popular.
At time of writing, there has been an explosion of people wearing Canada Goose coats in the UK, although from what I’ve heard this is also common in other countries and is also confirmed by the companies sales turnover in 2018. So why am I specifically singling out Canada Goose when there are lots other of popular brands that people wear?
The answer is I’m not singling them for one specific reason, it’s a multiplier effect which is compounded by societies desire to embrace a ‘new flavour of the month’. For example, just like the with Ed Hardy clothing craze in the mid 2000’s and the celebrity endorsed Superdry Osaka 8 t-shirts in late 2000’s, among many others. These of course are cyclical as are most things in nature, which then becomes uncool at some point. So it’s not the brand issue per se. It’s the fact that people are so willing to be sheep, and are led to purchase goods, which as consumers we should question. The coats themselves can fetch over £1000 in retail so they are clearly marketed at the high-end which brings exclusivity and perceived value, and consumers naturally flock towards that.
And therein lies the problem. They are popular because they are popular. I’m not questioning the quality of the goods in this article, but when something is popular for only that reason, it lacks integrity and can be viewed as superficial. The same can be said about people. To be a leader or figure that is not only popular but admired, you need to have integrity and values that you stand for. It doesn’t matter if everyone agrees with it, you just need to have them. I’d like to cross reference Psychologist Jordan Peterson as an example, he’s topical and very divisive. He’s loved on one side but hated on the other, but he does have integrity, values and is also a popular best selling Author, Speaker, University Professor, and Physician. I won’t hide my admiration for Dr Peterson, but he is a widely appealing figure that has substance. The same could be said about many historical figures including, Dr Martin Luther King and even John Lennon. My point is, whatever you think of these people I’ve listed, how do they compare to someone who is just famous for being famous such as Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton?
And next is a huge issue that I have with the brand. They have used real wolf and coyote skin for the lining in their coats as well as goose feathers for padding. Which is highly unethical and inconsiderate for several species that are already declining in numbers. I’ve also read numerous comments on this. Someone commented on social media that animal skins are better at protecting us from the elements as they have a natural coating, which is true. However, you don’t need that ‘extra element’ for a coat that you’re wearing to your local grocery store or the school run. Different story if you’re going out to the Alaskan Wilderness, and even then there are numerous other brands that experts would recommend which don’t contain animal skin.
People constantly seem to see past this taboo issue, which is wrong, and it’s at least a positive that as a culture we have grown to become more aware of issues and be appalled by violence or harmful acts to other humans and animals, although ironically we can be hypocrits at the same time by literally buying into what the media are showing us.
So maybe the best question we can ask here is, why do we conform to what’s popular? There’s the surface level answer of quality, success, achievement, etc. See any famous brands, celebrities, sports stars/teams and the fans they attract.
But the real answer is that we WANT and even NEED acceptance. We crave for this validation because often our own self-esteem is not at a place where we would like it to be, in that of a successfully driven and independently minded individual. So we take the safe option by indulging in this case, in a expensive coat that we hope will propel us to higher value and acceptance amongst our peers. As with so many things this can stem back to childhood where we weren’t given enough love or attention from our parents, and this is often a way of acting out. I will go into this further in another article but bear in mind the terms (Achiever and Rebel) which are archetypes we can fall into as we grow and act into or even against the world. Essentially this all comes back to how you view yourself and giving yourself that self love nourishment without the need to buy something external to make you feel better.
Without making this article ramble on, I want you to think. Are you a sheep in wolves clothing or are you a wolf who doesn’t need the opinion of the sheep around them? After reading this article I hope I’ve brought a thought provoking response from you also. And to state my point we are all sheep to a certain extent in terms of conformity and the following of others rules. However those are means to get by and fit into a functioning society. I’ll let you decide what you want to be…
TAGS: Why You Shouldn’t Conform; Conformity to Popularity; Sheep in Wolves Clothing