I definitely have to agree with NaNaKat on this one and say that there is definitely a difference between doing something for attention and receiving attention for something you do.

The shock value of changing your appearence drastically because you want attention is definitely self-serving and short term. There seems to be no shortage (at least in this country) of people who will give you that attention and criticism for looking different. Unfortunately, it seems that that kind of attention has to usually be short lived. That if somebody wants to do something truly different, they must keep changing, because if they don't, people will grow accustomed to their appearance. Yet, if they keep changing, people will probably become accustomed to their "radicalness", and not be shocked anymore. It's a losing battle...and one that I don't think anybody can win. Besides, everybody is unique regardless, why do people feel the need to blatantly show their uniqueness, when being themselves will do that just as well?

However, it is not to say that there is no positive side to having people be shocked by your appearance. There is no doubt in my mind that people's first judgements about who you are (and sometimes second, third, fourth...) are based solely on the way you look. I mean, come on...if I suddenly had really large breasts people would treat me much differently. However, if you can get them past the "You're really strenje!" side of things, then they are forced to deal with you for who you are, because they can no longer put you in a little box.

The shock value of receiving attention for something you do may not have the same sort of value for the person. It seems like NaNaKat dyed her hair just because she wanted to. I've gotten pierced. (I guess I'll admit that I have 5 lovely rings, though it will soon be 3 because I want to get those 2 repierced at a larger/healthier gauge *mgrin*). I get people every few days who can't help but talk to my nose or to my lip, but I'm almost at the point where I phase that out, and I don't even notice anymore.

But there wasn't much shock value for me in getting pierced. Some people were shocked...but that wasn't what was important to me. I don't have friends who are pierced. I wasn't getting pierced to fit in, or getting pierced to try to not fit in. I did it because it was something that was important to me, and it was something that made me feel better about who I was. In a way, the shock value was for myself. It forced me to seperate my image from my inner self. It made me not only feel better about the way I looked, because it was a conscious choice on my part, but it also made me care less about what I looked like, because I started noticing how arbitrary it was.

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