The Flipside of Conformity

550 Words3 Pages
As time goes on, more and more people are being convinced that social acceptance is necessary to a person’s mental health and well-being. However, the pushing of this concept has resulted in the idea that conformity rises above individuality. Although social acceptance may be beneficial to a person’s happiness, there are many reasons why it is important to find a healthy balance between social conformity and expressing one’s own individuality when it may go against social norms. Exposing oneself to others can cause a person to experience self doubt, even if the other people are not intending to cause it. Take the example of Georgia O’Keeffe. As an extremely well-known artist of the 20th century, she had to put up with lots of judgmental people and critics ("Georgia"). During her studies at art school, many men advised her to give up painting and become a model (Didion 685). If she had bothered herself with the criticism those people had given her, she would have forgotten her passion and been much less famous. Today, Georgia O’Keeffe is most well-known for her unique artistic style (“Georgia O’Keeffe About the Painter”). She had a lot of healthy respect for herself and her work. She saw that no one else was like her, but that did not cause her to change . Instead of adjusting her path to please the critics, she used the negativity people handed her to build a firm foundation right where she stood. In order to survive criticism, a person must have these qualities. For those with low self esteem, it is hard enough to simply believe and accept a compliment (Winch). Georgia O’Keeffe had enough self esteem to endure multitudes of insults. Georgia O’Keeffe had a lot of self-assurance that many people, especially in this day and age,... ... middle of paper ... ...4. Print. Formica, Michael J. “Social Acceptance: Are You a Threat?” Psychology Today. Sussex, 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 May 2014. . “Georgia O’Keeffe about the Painter.” PBS. Educational Broadcasting, 2006. Web. 5 May 2014. . Pavitt, C., and E. Curtis. Small Group Discussion: A Theoretical Approach 3rd Edition. N.p.: Professor Charles Pavitt of the U of Delaware, 2001. Small Group Communication: A Theoretical Approach. Web. 5 May 2014. . Winch, Guy. “Why Some People Hate Receiving Compliments.” Psychology Today. Sussex, 1991. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .
Open Document