Happy Friday everyone! I was brainstorming topic ideas to write about this morning when I came across this handy website. It looks like I’m never going to need to brainstorm again! My topic for the day?
How you define ‘normal’
There’s a couple of thought processes that pop into my head when I hear the word normal. I feel it can be used in different situations and have different meanings in each one. For this post I’m going to talk about what I define a ‘normal’ human to be. First off, here is the definition of normal:
Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
I agree with the definition. However, I feel if we take a look at humans, if we look at you and I, I feel normal is such an abstract term to define a specific person. Every single person on this planet is unique. Everyone has different opinions, interests, personalities, values, etc. The key word in the definition is conforming, which in this case would be conforming to society.
Society determines what is acceptable and what is not. These social norms are what society deems to be ‘normal’ behaviour, and what is socially acceptable. How to look, how to act, how to treat others. It is ever changing. What was considered normal yesterday, may not be considered normal today. Some notable examples include:
Not saying everyone accepts these new social norms as there is still sexism, racism, and homophobia in our society in Canada, but it has undeniable improved from the past. I hope it will continue to improve for all Canadians (and also to everyone around the world).
As a marketing graduate one of the things I take away from advertisements whether they be from print ads, commercials or radio ads is that they promote and reflect the current norms of society. Ignore the corporate message behind the advertisement and just look at an ad from a societal viewpoint and you’ll see what I mean.
For example, look at the above 1940 and 2000 Coke ads. Besides the fact it’s saying you should drink coke, it’s also saying what the ‘normal’ clothing style, hair style, activities, and so forth are during this time period. You’ll also see the 2000 ad is now representative of other races. This is societies ideal ‘normal’.
As I mentioned earlier I feel a normal human is very much an abstract idea because no one fits into all socially acceptable norms. There isn’t one mold that everyone fits. Society might want everyone to fit a mold, but the reality is no one does. Everyone is going to have unique little quirks and interests that are different. It’s what makes people unique, it’s what makes them special. I love that about people.
So my overall answer to the question is that there is no overall ‘normal’ to define.
However, I did not address part of the original question. It asked how I personally define normal. This I do believe everyone can do. What is normal to one person, will probably not be to another though. For me, I look at normal with a more morality viewpoint. My normal is a person who is someone who cares for their fellow human. A person who loves, and is compassionate. A person who wants to do the right thing, and help others when they can. I could care less (or try very hard to care less) what sex, race, values, political viewpoint, interests or the style of another person. As long as they are kind, and are a good person. They are normal to me.