Thursday, June 30, 2011

Clique Here to Join!

I have been wanting to write about this for a while now and it just so happens that it came up in conversation today which worked out perfectly.

Per Wikipedia - "an inclusive group of people who share common interests, views, purposes, patterns of behavior, or ethnicity; Membership in a clique is typically exclusive, and qualifications for membership may be social or essential to the nature of the clique."

given Lindsay's recent struggles, I wonder if she is still cool with these ladies...

The definition above is pretty much the norm when researching the word "clique".  Seems fair enough but certain words jump out as red flags such as inclusive (Containing (a specified element) as part of a whole) and exclusive (limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group).  

I dont particularly care for cliques as I think they carry a negative connotation; I feel the same way about the "in crowd".  I am reminded of my adolescent years and longing to fit in somewhere, anywhere until I just said forget it and realized that group membership didnt have to define and shape who I would become as an adult.  Fast forward to now and I find myself still dealing with the same teen angst issues that plague those in the middle of youth.  

In the makeup community there are a number of groups - MUAs, Bloggers, Fans, Editors - I could go on and on.  In those groups there are even subsets for example Celebrity MUAs vs. Freelancers vs. Counter Artists.  I think we all share an innate desire to feel a part of something and there is nothing wrong with that.  The problem lies when others are excluded, and unfortunately it happens all the time.  

In the discussion today, among a chat group I am a part of we all agreed that we are considered a clique however we differ in that we are not, to quote one member "exclusive to each other...but more inclusive...since we have the same interest," she was basically saying that all are welcome.  We all agreed.  I have heard the comment made that the DC beauty bloggers (another clique association) are some of the nicest around.  Again another positive associated with a term that can bring about negative thoughts to some.  It is quite possible for the negative to be the image that comes across first.  

I am in a few other groups that I either joined or was grandfathered in for some reason or another. Either it was just a thing where I was under the impression that it would be good to learn from like-minded individuals, a business growth opportunity or just a group of friends chatting.  I am learning that these groups have at some point or another suffered the fate of an "in crowd" deal where those within feel empowered by excluding others.  I have to admit I have had a hand in participating previously.  Just recently I had a talk with a friend about how that made her feel and I had to apologize because I knew I was wrong either directly or indirectly by not speaking up when I was privy to others being mean spirited.

In the more professional groups, posts that continue for days come up where people go on and on about how this MUA does this, or this one doesnt do that, oh I cant believe she uses that product as opposed to this one.  I mean just really outlandish stuff!  And why? To have an air of superiority?  Hmm...immature much?

I now know that no good can come of any of that.  Thank goodness for a learning curve in life.

Do you feel a part of a group or clique?  Do you feel like you are on the outside looking in sometimes?  Are you a reformed 'mean girl'?  What have you learned from your experiences?  Do you feel the artist/blogger/YouTube community should be more inclusive?  Share your thoughts

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