JAKE DUFFY | STAFF WRITER
Being normal, the main social priority of all teens looking for acceptance from others is to be approved by our peers. The spectrum of normality has seemed to broaden, but our crucial desire to BE normal and BE accepted has not.
Approval from our parents, teachers, and peers seems to be so overwhelming that we simply forget we’re more than a small cog in a super-massive system of social regulation and normality. We tend to follow the social construct of what is normal, whether it’s being extremely sanitary with our choice of words in an attempt to be politically correct, or never being the “insurgency” of civility in our trivial institutions and social groupings because we’re a bit skeptical about what we’re told.
The trendy social aspect of our society is tolerance of all people by passing laws and changing holidays to be more “equal”. But as a society do we actually understand the concept of equality? Or do we just like the media attention and the activism it gets so we can so easily get behind it because everyone is doing it… because on the inside we feel like we’re fighting to broaden normality and acceptance… because all we’re actually doing is almost subliminally condemning it to the concept of normality.
Generation X as a society doesn’t always think for itself. Rather it bandwagons the ideas of others and trends them to death. By this I mean we enjoy the label of equality and acceptance and use cool words like “coexist”, but don’t flesh them out in our own lives and face the struggles that come along with rebellion against social regularity and educate ourselves to develop our own opinions. Being normal is being different, and right now we’re trying to put social constructs up of what can be different, compartmentalizing difference.
Being gay or straight, republican or democrat, capitalist or communist, artistic or athletic, whatever it is you are, it’s normal. Normality is the ability to actively use your brain to develop anything, not conform to all things. If being safe and sanitary is all we desire then not only are we not normal, but we’re not living. We aren’t moving forward in acceptance and equality if all we want is for people to meet this silly modern social concept of being normal. Accept everyone as different, that’s what’s normal.
As one of my favorite cinematic artists Nicolas Winding-Refn says, “It would be boring if we all just made safe films.” Branch out of the concept of normality and accept even the things most cliché and regular as just as odd as anything else, because they are.