“Yeah, I’m not your average girl.”
“I’m proud of being random and odd.”
“I’m kinda different to everyone else…”
“I step outside the social norm!”
How many times do we hear these phrases. There’s countless songs about being ‘not your typical___’ or about being ‘unique.’ Right now if I go on Facebook the self description box of various friends that will remain nameless say statements like: “Everything you wouldn’t expect in a Girl,” “not average♥,” “I run to a different beat,” and “norms have never suited my taste.” In fact, it has become so prevalent to say that one is ‘different’ that it is, in fact, practically the societal norm to say that one is outside of it. If that makes sense.
Perhaps in the past it was a bold and radical move to declare oneself as a black sheep, as during that time everybody wanted to conform to one ideal. However, as time progressed, concepts such as diversity, freedom and change began to be propagated on a wide scale and people began to associate the state of being ‘normal’ with boring, unoriginal and being stuck in the past. Thus we have arrived at the current state – the desire to be atypical embodied in one of my favorite quotations:
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different” – Coco Chanel
Apparently everyone is different.
Everyone is a black sheep.
But doesn’t this dilute the meaning of being different until it really doesn’t mean anything at all? If everyone is a black sheep – if everyone is apparently the odd member of society – then no one is. The reason a black sheep is defined the way it is, is because it stands out among a sea of stereotypical white sheep, yet if the multitude is in fact black then the black sheep itself blends in.
Isn’t the very statement that you ‘do not conform to the expectations of society’, conforming to the majority of the society’s expectations that people should want to be different to the norm?
It is quite literally impossible for everybody to not be normal because the definition of ‘normal’ is the standard that people are expected to be at in society. If everybody is ‘odd’ and ‘quirky,’ then it is that, which becomes the standard, and creates an environment where people are not making a stand by saying they are different.
Maybe we should give being normal a chance. After all, it is unavoidable that the majority of us are normal – whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
“If you have to tell people that you are, you aren’t” – Margaret Thatcher