Why people act in a certain manner has always been of interest to me, but being the true 21st century girl I am, what is of more interest is the way I act. I am a very judgmental person and there is no denying.If I see someone with a tattoo I will label them a rebel, someone with a short mini skirt is instantly a skank, and a vast majority of the population does this. The part of the puzzle which puzzles me is, Why I think the way I do? Have I been moulded to conform to society norms? Because here is the tricky bit, I will judge every single person that walks past me and put them in a category yet I want to do some of those things and don’t want people to label me.
I know that there are in fact others out there that have faced this issue, but it has always bewildered me. How can I judge the very person that has a tattoo yet want the exact same thing? Is that the reason I have still yet to get a tattoo – thinking that society doesn’t affect me when really it has somehow its found a way to plant the seed of doubt in my mind. In saying this are the people who do these ‘rebellious acts’ so to speak stronger than I am? They have the strength to give society the middle finger and do what they please or is it that they simply don’t care? Either option seems to be better than the what I go through. Am I trapped?
Or is there more that my brain does in those two seconds it takes to judge a person? Am I judging people not only on their appearance but rather their attitude and behavior that appearance reflects? Hoping to find this answer on the world wide web I set out to find what influences these societal norms. There are at least two different types of norms – Injunctive and Descriptive. Injunctive norms are adopted because people perceive them to be correct, whereas descriptive norms are adopted because they mirror the behaviors of others. With this extra bit of information, I can see that I conform to more the descriptive norms. Others don’t believe that tattoos are right, so I should feel the same even if I perceive them to be correct (Injunctive norm), so the descriptive side hinders my ability to do what I want.
Putting this in simpler terms and hoping to relate all the issues that I have opened up thus far – society believes people with tattoos are punks, rebels etc etc and so when I see a person with ink I automatically conform to the descriptive norms of society and deem every person with a tattoo a rebel and a punk, even if one part of me doesn’t agree with it. The voice of the society screams louder in my ear then my own individual judgement of the person. This is not to say that society’s perception of tattoo’s is entirely wrong, it is a stereotype so off course it arose from facts but what is wrong is how the society is moulded to think that every person with a tattoo is a punk.
I’ve now answered why I judge the way I do but the question asked earlier, “Am I trapped?” is still unanswered. Because, honestly, I don’t know. Maybe its something I will eventually grow out of, maybe I will stay this way my whole life, maybe vanity will kill me in this prison.