Normalcy is an illusion.
We’re all different from one another. We’re all one of a kind. Who’s to say what is acceptable? Did we elect a Normalcy Nazi who decides what is and is not allowable? One who sets the standards to which we must conform to be considered normal? (If so, I’m staging a coup d’etat - WHO’S WITH ME?!)
See what I’m getting at? It’s all subjective y’all!
You do you! If you still do care about what others think, that’s okay - no judgment here. But I highly advise you to join the “Don’t Care Club” because it is a truly liberating way to live.
Try to slowly wean yourself off of contemplating how others will perceive you. It’s a muscle - exercise it. Just like with regular muscles like quads or biceps, some people are born with stronger “so what” muscles than others. Does that mean you’re doomed to a fate of weakness in that particular area? Hell to the no. Just do exercises to strengthen it. BOOM.
For example, if there’s an outfit you REALLLLY want to wear but feel people would consider you under/over dressed - you wear that outfit! I do it all the dang time. I’m almost always over-dressed for events. Is it because I’m unclear on the proposed dress code, or unsure of what others will be wearing? N O P E. It’s because I choose to honor my style. And when you live in a smaller city like mine, you must create your own opportunities and grab any chance to wear those bougy heels you just got. Will you get looks? Most likely. But try to learn to be okay with that discomfort. I’ve been fortunate in that I was born with a pretty strong “screw it” muscle, but it still gets tested time to time. There is an ENTIRE WORLD on the other side of your fear of judgment. A pretty rad world, I gotta admit.
If you’re a parent, hopefully you’ll extend this freedom to your kids as well. I’m not a parent myself but can appreciate how tough it is, so these next words are by no means parent shaming or judging. I was talking with a friend once who didn’t want their kid to do a certain (common!) extracurricular activity for fear others would perceive the kid as a weirdo or a nerd.
I urge you to ask yourself what message this sends your kid? That they must repress/deny their interests/talents in favor of others’ opinions? For fear of earning a certain label? What if that activity lights your kid up like nothing else and brings them pure bliss - would you still deny them the opportunity? Or what if the kid has world class talent in that area, and you’re blocking that opportunity for a bright future purely out of fear of a short-lived junior high/high school status? This also sends a message of conditional acceptance, and discourages authenticity.
What a beautiful world we live in BECAUSE of variety. Think of most of the musical/literary geniuses out there. Many of them admit to being ostracized in school for being different - yet look where that weirdness got them!
Plus, out-of-the-box thinking is what generates societal and technological advances! Creative thinking is usually what yields ingenious solutions to problems.
And what about nature? Think of all of the different flora and fauna on earth. How boring it would be if we only had brown cats and red tulips (adios carne asada, peace out pepperoni pizza, ciao calla lillies).
One of my best amigas handled a related situation with her daughter brilliantly. Her daughter wanted to wear her shoes on the “wrong” feet: her left shoe on her right foot, and vice versa. Rather than immediately shutting her down, my friend gently responded with a compromise that honored her little girl’s uniqueness, but also accommodated the typical way. She replied by acknowledging her daughter’s individuality and creativity, and offered, “The typical way of wearing shoes is with your left shoot on the left foot, and right shoot on the right foot. How about when you go to school, you wear them that way, and when you’re not at school, you can wear them how you would like?” Well played.
One of my major life approaches is to live and let live. As long as your weirdness doesn’t cause hurt or destruction, what’s the harm?
Know this: You can count on others having an opinion, no matter WHAT you do. But are you ready to reclaim your power and your life? Stop letting others control your life for you, via their judgments?
Have the courage to live your truth!!
Love you, you weirdos.