I whole-heartedly agree with Peacemama's thoughts about the lack of choice in some parents' behavior. I think for a lot of people, it is too much effort to make a choice. So they do follow along with the mainstream. I suspect it is also an effect of advertising...the more you are exposed to something, whether it is a certain type of food, a particular vehicle, the more it becomes mainstream and therefore a natural "choice" of an individual. It then takes extra effort for the individual to back up and look again at all the options without the foregone conclusion taking the heaviest weight. I myself am going through a routine of avoiding advertising in print, on television, radio and the internet because I am interested in my own opinion and also I believe, probably rightly so, that I can avoid many expenses in doing so. This choice of action has not made me incredibly popular among my former mainstream parenting acquaintances. But there is a lot to be said for being a leader rather than striving to be ever-so-popular by jumping on the bandwagon. In my case, I stopped participating in discussions about mainstream niceties...what's your favorite TV show, what do you order at fast food restaurant, where do you go to have child's portrait taken...as a result I have had a lot more time for myself and my own pursuits, and the interactions I DO have with others seem a lot more meaningful to me. I have lost the feeling of living in a "fake" world. To me, this is a major accomplishment! I am hoping my children won't ever feel like they have to "fake it" to get along in the world.