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The theme of individuality seems to be the focus of musical expression on a fairly regular basis. In the songs Vogue and Pop we can see two different interpretations of this topic. Madonna glorifies the individual directly through her lyrics by encouraging people to simply be themselves and find the beauty in everything. The approach taken by N'Sync is slightly more tangential as they claim that making fun, digestible music is something they truly enjoy, so people should try not to judge them for doing what they love. These different takes on being yourself and enjoying that state, effectively express the commonality of this idea in musical expression. It's interesting to consider why we feel we must be reminded so frequently that being ourselves is cool, enjoyable, and the right thing to do. I am sure they are out there, but at the moment I have a hard time thinking of a song that is unironically about how awesome it is to conform to the masses and lose your sense of individuality. Despite this, we are often warned about the dangers of peer pressure and people look to celebrities for the latest and greatest in fashion trends. This odd contradiction of expressing desire and support for individuality while simultaneously exhibiting conformity through our actions is the internal conflict that helps to drive the creation of these songs. Intellectually, we value being ourselves possibly through our search for meaning and the desire to leave one's mark on the world. Beyond this we may also be driven by the fear that, in terms of who you are as a person, generic can mean replaceable. These motivating forces, strong as they may be, are at odds with biology's drive for survival. I am unsure what the original evolutionary advantage was, but when an individual is placed in a group with similar visual features, they will generally be perceived as more attractive than before, and therefore a more suitable candidate as a mate.

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This page contains a single entry by kersk002 published on December 14, 2012 7:53 AM.

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