Non-conformity is packaged

Growing up, I had imagined that I was some kind of a rebel, hanging out with Malay punk rockers and reading Jack Kerouac. But the consumer culture of today seems at one with the rebel attitude, governed by a certain individualism and impulse. Apple tells us to think different. Nike says Just do it. Hugo Boss says Your fragrance, your rules… It’s not only large companies that use anger at conformity and conservative cautiousness as a bait for young people to buy self-satisfaction. In the case of small enterprises, I see business models that run and expertly thrive on a culture of difference, rejecting the notion of mass production. It makes me feel hollow to see that it has become mainstream to consume the different and the unique. As though by purchasing something we could therefore cement ourselves as rule-breakers or rebels. Because of our superficial nature, we typecast others and are ourselves typecast according to how we dress, the music we listen to, the books we read and the purchases we make.

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