People conform to social pressures for various reasons; perhaps they seek acceptance and approval, or they may conform because that is their natural preference. Conformity can be a good thing (e.g., conforming to workplace protocols builds group identity and cohesiveness); however, sometimes it is hard to explain the motive to conform when conformity means enduring something unpleasant or doing something that harms others. Conformity to fashion styles is one of the many examples of how the behavior of others can influence our own. Social psychologists are always seeking to understand how this influence can shape the choices that individuals make.
“Beauty is pain”—this is a popular expression that grossly understates problems associated with some fashion trends. For some, wearing high heels (especially stilettos) can increase knee and hip pain and can cause lower back pain, stress fractures, blisters, corns, hammertoes, bunions, and toenail fungus (Basha, Devi, & Priya, 2018). High heels can also permanently alter the structure of the foot and the rest of the body.
Notwithstanding these problems, you will find stiletto heels are touted as the trendy footwear for women with fashion sense in most fashionable shoe stores. Indeed, millions of women everywhere wear high heels every day and love them. They are willing to spend a fortune and bear the pain. When asked why, the answer, more often than not, “they make me look thinner and my legs look longer.”
This week, you will analyze social conformity to popular trends and examine the reasons for conforming to authority.
Basha, F. Y. S., Devi, R. G., & Priya, A. J. (2018). A survey on comparative effects of wearing high heels among long-term and short-term users. Drug Invention Today, 10(11), 2244–2248.
Discussion 1: Conformity
Fashion is a fascinating phenomenon, largely because people seem to conform to its dictates. Be it clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, home décor, lifestyle, and even body styles, people tend to go along with the latest trends. Media fashion images are inescapable; at supermarket checkouts, fashion magazine covers feature perfectly dressed, coifed, accessorized women and tanned, broad-shouldered, men with six-pack abs and bulging biceps. Most people do not look like this—but they try to—as evidenced by the billions spent yearly on clothes, cosmetics, diet plans, and gym memberships.
For this Discussion, you will examine social conformity as it applies to fashion trends.
- Review the Learning Resources related to conformity and think about how social psychology theory and research explain why women and men conform to the pressures of fashion, diet, body styles, and lifestyles.
Post Informed by social psychology theory and research, please explain why, health reasons aside, women and men conform to the pressure of fashion dictates. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of schemas.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the social psychology theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or Internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your post and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.