I grew frustrated with the post below. It didn’t quite flow the way I wanted it to so I decided to ice it for a while.
Individualism is a trait that is prized by many people. It is something that we teach our children. Here in the U.S. it is quite common to hear people use phrases like think outside of the box or color outside of the lines. If someone calls you a sheep it is not a compliment. This is a very simple explanation for why we see so many examples of people trying to demonstrate their independence by how they dress, adorn their bodies etc.
Yet humans are communal creatures. Most of us want to be a part of a group. Most of us want to be accepted in a community of peers and others who think like we do. Trying to demonstrate/maintain that independent think outside of the box streak while still being a part of the gang is similar to walking barefoot on hot coals. If you lose your focus you will fill the heat.
I suppose that you could say that this begs the question of what is most important, independence or being a member of the community.