Search for ’normal’ can become an impossible quest


Honesty Thomas

By Honesty Thomas, Contributing Writer

What does it mean to be normal?

If you asked me to give you a definition of normal, I would say an average person who does average things. The definition on Google of normal is “conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected.” I honestly think there is no such thing as normal. Normal is an illusion created by society.

When we say something is normal, we’re putting ourselves in a box. While doing that, we’re also putting others down that don’t necessarily fit into society’s category of normal. This makes people feel like they aren’t included in society. That leads people to be insecure and develop mental health issues.

In the movie “The Addams Family,” Morticia says “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” Everyone lives their life differently. We all enjoy different hobbies, different food, we all believe differently, and we all have different personalities. How could there only be one correct version of normal when we all live different lives? We all have our own normal that pertains to our lives. Our normal might be different from the next person, but that’s OK, that doesn’t make us or the other person any less normal.

I think it’s important to break this social norm. Society’s idea of normal affects people’s mental health and how they view themselves. For example, some people have the desire to dress a certain way but might be scared because it isn’t how people normally dress. That is a way they could express themselves and show their personality, but because of social norms, they are too insecure and never truly happy with the way they dress because it isn’t what they truly desire to wear.

Society can make people insecure about their interests. Anime, for example, I personally know people who enjoy watching anime but aren’t open about it because it isn’t considered normal. They don’t want people to judge them, so they don’t share their interests. They should be able to express how they feel about watching anime without the fear of being judged.

This idea of normal also has a huge negative impact on how women view themselves. The beauty standards that society has for women are so unrealistic. Your everyday women are expected to look like celebrities and are constantly getting compared to them. Not only does that create body image issues for women but also creates mental health issues for women such as body dysmorphia. This also can cause health issues and lead women to develop an eating disorder.

The stigma around men’s mental health issues is truly sad. Society has this whole idea that men aren’t allowed to cry or show their emotions because that’s not manly. With sayings like “ Men Don’t Cry ” and “Men need to be strong and not weak,’’ society forces men to hide their emotions. They say it’s not OK if they open up, which furthers their mental health issues. It’s already hard enough to deal with a mental illness. On top of that, you must hide it because society tells you to. I don’t think people bring enough awareness to this topic. They are expected to deal with it and “take it like a man.” Men are also human beings that have emotions and go through hardships, just like anyone else. To be looked down on because you want to talk about your feelings is a very sad thing. This is why we need to work hard to break the idea of society’s rules about what is normal.