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The Happy Feminist

What an interesting post. And I learned a new word("perseverate")!

This post generated lots and lots of ideas for me, but for now I'll only say this: For me, being authentic is (in part) about not worrying about the fact that my tastes and inclinations are conformist in many ways. I am what I am: if that means that I gravitate towards certain choices (in matters of taste or life choices), I have learned to accept that that is fine-- as long as I am not afraid to explore and as long as I don't turn up my nose at other people's choices.


kikileo

Man, I love this blog. This also takes up a lot of my time. Perhaps reading about you doing it makes me feel like my doing it is a worthy pursuit.

Susannah

Hmmm, complicated question.

I love Ann Taylor (Ann Taylor Loft to be precise), and I love it because I know that I can go there, get something that fits me well, and conforms enough that I never think about it again. Shopping there as an efficient way to take care of the boring task of picking out clothes, which frees me up to do the things that are important to me (and sometimes, I hope, nonconformist).

I like your ultimate standard of "authenticity" as well as Happy Feminist's comment, because both suggest there is danger in non-conforming for the sake of it. That can be as false as conforming simply to fit in.

PG

Ditto Susannah's comment on Ann Taylor/ Loft -- for the times when I do feel obliged to dress to conform (e.g. job interviews), it's a godsend. But conformist casualwear is silly; when you can be casual, wear whatever you want.

If there's any pride in my tastes, it's for the rare occasions when I like something that most people denigrate without having actually tried it (e.g. quality romance novels). I'm very much in opposition to the hipster tendency to abandon something one enjoyed because it has become too popular, but I do like things less when their makers clearly have become less authentic and more guided by the market (which is "selling out" far more than mere commercial success is). Liking the Dave Matthews Band, if it was ever cool, stopped being so in about 1996, but I continued to enjoy their music until they stopped making it as a band and went to LA producers for help.

Is the fact that you are an Ivy Leaguer supposed to make you more unique than someone who did the same stuff but went to a state school? And is it really that unusual for a white child of privilege to be into sailing, and attend an Ivy League school? Is it really that unique for you Ivy Leaguers to go through a "back to the earth" phase, but then go to law school and get into the capitalist / materialist world, where you sit on the board of a Yacht Club? Finally, thanks for making sure to mention that you did, in fact, go to an Ivy league school. Almost forgot!

Maybe you could add in "after becoming a coach, proceeded to mention my Ivy League roots as often as possible well into middle age."

The Happy Feminist

The last comment is pretty mean-spirited. This blog is about its author's life journey. Her Ivy League roots are relevant to who she is (although they don't tell the whole story). It would be ridiculous to require that she should never mention a significant four year for fear of causing resentment in readers who may have an inferiority complex.

(Apologies to my hostess. I have stayed up past my bedtime reading blogs so I'm starting to get snippy.)

The Happy Feminist

Oops that should have read "a significant four year period of her life."

Better go to bed.

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