#iRemember | Episode 322
I’ve been seeing a TV show since Monday titled Greenleaf. It’s the story of a Megachurch Pastor in Memphis, USA and his problematic family. On Wednesday evening, when my eldest niece came back from school and saw me watching the movie, she kept asking questions to fill in the bits from the episodes she had missed while she was away. At some point, I said to her in response to one of her questions, “The major thing about this movie is that every single character therein is messed up” Immediately I said that, something snapped in my understanding of reality.
To be honest, looking back to the movies and TV shows I’ve seen of late, one thing that kept me glued is the fact that there is a twist that is ‘not normal’. It’s either the fact that someone is so exceptionally bad that you keep watching to see how (s)he will end up or someone good is being treated unfairly and you keep watching to see how the person will be vindicated. That’s an important ingredient of a good work of fiction. Writers call it TENSION. The more thrilling the tension in a work of fiction is and the longer the writer can sustain the tension, the more we remain glued to see how the events will unfold…
And true to reality, we are all ‘messed up.’ There is none of us whose story just flows smoothly from the beginning of his/her existence till date. No. All of us are living out stories of tensions…stories of an undulations between what is NORMAL and what is WEIRD.
But then, it occurred to me as I pondered that point that while reality in life is not always a story of continuous normalcy, the human race has gradually lost the sense of normalcy and traded it for weirdness. Gradually, we’re trading our ability to be ‘normal’ for a perpetual expression of weirdness. We are beginning to think (as our lifestyles show) that WEIRD IS THE NEW NORMAL.
The same night that I said that statement to my niece, I went to Nando’s together with my eldest brother to pick up an online order he made. While we were waiting for our order to be fully processed and handed over to us, my brother called my attention to a guy in front of us whose trousers were sagging. His ragged jeans was belted midway between his waist and his knees such that two-third of his (unclean) boxers became public knowledge. When he walked, you would pity him because he was practically uncomfortable. But he, like many of us, had bought the lie that to be WEIRD is the new NORMAL. I was also concerned for the kind of lady that came with him to the restaurant. For a guy that sags to be deemed as ‘being cool’ by a lady transcends what my mind could comprehend.
The night before, my wife was telling me about a computer game that my nieces told her about. Basically, the game enables you to tell your own story as a lady and the way you win in the game is for you (the lady player) to attract the attention of a guy and do all you can to ensure he gets you pregnant. What a crazy idea! And it becomes even more scary when you discover that the game is being played by pre-teenage girls. Out of curiousity to understand how all these play out, my wife downloaded the game on her phone to see what’s up. To her amazement, when she went for being a ‘normal’ girl and dress like one in her narrative in the story, even the ‘computer’ was telling her she can’t get a guy’s attention like that. She needed to be ‘more scandalous’ in her choice of dressing and bla bla bla…
He reminded me of the other day I was served at the till in an Aldi store by a lady that I almost couldn’t believe was ‘real’. The way her face was painted and her eye brows were arched, you could easily have thought that she was a 3D image photoshopped and edited. She looked soooo unreal! Yet, the guy ahead of me on the queue flirted with her because he found that attractive.
Where am I getting with all this?
Simple. I’m tired of seeing guys with weird hair styles that makes you wonder if everything is alright ‘upstairs’. I’m tired of seeing ladies that are willing to be scandalous in their outlook in other to be accepted. I’m tired of seeing ‘Christians’ go to any extent to be weird in order to fit in. I’m tired of seeing ladies mutate their voice to sound like some transposed piano in order to get some guy’s attention.
To say it in 7 words: IT’S OKAY TO BE YOUR NORMAL SELF!
If as a lady, you really can’t feel confident to dress without using any make-up, you’ve bought that lie. Of course, I’m not saying it’s a sin to use make-ups, but your beauty most assuredly doesn’t lie in those pancakes and foundation or in how well you could be artistic with the shape of your eye-brow, or how creative you could be in exposing some little skin and still try to look decent. Your NORMAL self is okay!
It’s okay to be normal. It’s okay if your voice is husky. It’s okay if your gait doesn’t advertise your curves enough. It’s okay if your hair is not as long as my wife’s. It’s okay if you don’t have 6 packs. It’s okay to wear your trousers at waist level and belt them like a reasonable young man. It’s okay if your friends think you are weird for being yourself. But whatever you do, stay original. It’s okay to be normal! Presentable, yes, but NORMAL, please!
As you dress up this morning or when next you have the opportunity, bear that in mind.
Imagine a world that is free of the pressure to be attractive simply in acknowledging that our normal selves is appealing enough… Imagine a world where you don’t have to be crazy to be human… Imagine it. And then take a step in the direction of making that imagination a reality.
I’ll pause it all here.
I hope it helps someone.
PS: #iRemember is a daily mentoring retrospective look at Chronicles of my past drawing life lessons from past experiences. It is exclusive to members of Alive Mentorship Platform. The platform is basically for teenagers and young adults (25 and below) that, by God’s grace, my wife and I are trying to pour into. If you will like to be a part, just click here.