Jeans vs suits: they belong

Does anything in this photo strike you?

Facebook staff meeting – credit: Business Insider

Don’t see anything untoward? Look again. These are Facebook staff, listening to a speech by their chief Mark Zuckerberg. They chose to work there because they want to be creative, original, at the forefront of technology and other such sexy reasons. They choose to be individuals rather than conform to the suits and standards of traditional corporate life. You read about technology companies offering their staff all sorts of entertainment to relax their hardworking minds, and being pretty relaxed about dress code. No suits required, wear what you like. Show us who you really are. Now: how many people in that picture are not wearing jeans? I only spot one, or maybe two if the guy in brown is wearing chinos rather than coloured jeans. The audience is a sea of blue denim from the waist down. That does make you wonder how comfortable people really are setting themselves apart from the crowd.

It has been said that people are happier among like minded people. This picture speaks volumes to that. I could be cynical and point out how conformist these creative souls are. Or I could marvel at the primal urge of human beings to belong. I am in a mellow mood today, and inclined to seeing the wonderful rather than the weird. I’m confident those people feel pretty good about being part of that team. It isn’t a bad thing to want to be part of a group, as long as you feel you are free to be true to your core self. A trade-off of wearing a sort-of-uniform for bringing the best out in yourself and others has to be worth it. Groups have to have something in common. Let them just not tell the suits they are conformists. They are all doing exactly the same thing, even if to achieve other aims.

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