The definition of “normal” has narrowed so severely that it has all but disappeared. We expect everyone to be the same. Be “average”.
This project has been a lifetime in the making. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve watched the definition of “normal” shrink to the point that people are trying to stuff everyone else into their boxes of what is considered acceptable, and these boxes are getting smaller and smaller. As they do, the crowd of those who no longer “fit” gets bigger. The elite few who can check all the requirements off the list of “how to be” or “how to look” escape the bullying and judgement that others are subjected to. Are the elite the bullies? No. Bullies are everywhere. But this is not just about bullying. It’s about who we medicate. It’s about what we talk about. It’s about our relationships. It’s about who we really are in the eyes of the Creator.
Am I generalising? Yes.
This is a generalized epidemic in American culture today.
I hope to explode the boundaries and fences of “normal” and “beautiful” and “acceptable” with my subjects. Some of them have felt “not normal.” Others haven’t. I’m not going to be discriminatory as I explore this topic, otherwise I’d be imposing my own definitions of normal and abnormal. I’m hoping to seek out those people who have felt different, or who have something about them that makes them unique and different from most people around them.
Take this sweet girl, for example. Only 1-2% of the world’s population has red hair. And she is one of the blessed few… and this – the point of everything – her true beauty lies on the inside. Who she is. We’re so focussed on what we see. We miss the rest. The best.
Dress : Tutu Du Monde (Rainey’s Closet)
Hair & Makeup : Salon Fusion
My prayer is that this photographic journey would be one which stretches our concept of “average” and “normal” and helps us to courageously embrace and reach for more…different…unique…special and embrace them. That we would grow into enjoying others for who they are, instead of stuffing them into our boxes of what’s comfortable for us.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”