Gen Z’ers Share 30 Things That Are Normalized These Days That Totally Shouldn’t Be

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When Hilary Clinton uttered the words, “My campaign is not going to let Donald Trump try to normalize himself,” she started a wave of “normalization” worldwide. The term has become so mainstream that it’s used every time something calls for social reform.

Normalize not folding clothes. Normalize gatekeeping. Normalize marriage.

However, people started noticing that some of the modern norms that we’re so familiar with are starting to cause concern. Like redditor Former-Session6405 who called out Brazilian butt lifts for pushing natural bodies out of style. 

In agreement, members of the GenZ subreddit began sharing their opinions on everything from children addicted to technology to credit card debt. You can find more of their controversial takes on things we should stop normalizing down below.

Since Trump’s election in 2016, research has found that people have used the word “normalize” twice as much online. However, they’re using it differently than they used to. According to Merriam-Webster, it now refers to the “redefinition of modern discourse to allow extreme views to be considered normal.”

While standardizing new things can be powerful, freeing, and positive, it also has the potential to be damaging to society. We’ve rejected and created a lot of “normal” ideas over the years, mainly because creating societal norms helps us navigate interactions with others and allows us to thrive together as a collective. 

Even though a lot of these “normalize” posts we see online are jokes, there are also a lot of them that aren’t. This blurred line between sarcasm and genuine beliefs about societal norms creates a way to lure people into accepting concerning standards.

Gen Z’ers Share 30 Things That Are Normalized These Days That Totally Shouldn’t Be I think just looking absolutely perfect on social media. We’ve been so accustomed to filtered faces with 10lbs of makeup on, that we forget things like dark circles and fine lines are perfectly normal. I mean, I saw this 28-year-old woman on TikTok get torn apart for looking like a 28-year-old woman and there’s kids as young as 10 investing in skincare?? Why are 10-year-olds afraid of aging? It’s like we don’t even want to look human anymore, and we have to cover up every little flaw whether it be with makeup or a filter and I’m sick of it.

teacoffeecats , Sergey Makashin / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

Another danger that follows normalization is complacency, a sort of calm satisfaction with the situation we’re in. Once something becomes standard, we are no longer opposed to it, no matter what the thing is.

Let’s use Trump as an example again. Many people didn’t like that he became president, and some even threatened to move if he got elected. Those who said that obviously didn’t, and the rest got used to the idea of such a person running the US, subsidizing their resistance and protests.

Journalist Evan Hecht warns that if we agree to normalize everything, it desensitizes people to real problems around a certain topic. He urges us to think about words like “gaslight” and “trigger,” which both describe bad things that happen to people. Their overuse or misuse takes away the importance of what they communicate. Throwing this word around can hurt people in the long run, as they might not realize they’re in a situation where these things are happening.

It is not normal to be in the prime of your life and spending almost all of your free time alone, indoors, and addicted to video games and computers. That would be considered extraordinarily abnormal, worrying behavior in previous generations, a sign someone was extremely broken and depressed. Today it is the defacto norm for a *huge* swath of people.

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Gen Z’ers Share 30 Things That Are Normalized These Days That Totally Shouldn’t Be Smoking/vaping. I understand cigarettes were a big thing in the past but now I see a lot more people vaping or casually smoking weeeds. Everything’s got pretty colors and fun flavors to appeal to younger and younger people. If I’m remembering correctly I saw an article somewhere that cigarette smoke is at an all time low while also mentioning vaping is at record highs.

Slimy_Salamanders , Daniel Ramos / unsplash (ot the actual photo) Report

He proposes that we should learn to embrace how to destigmatize things over normalizing. When you stigmatize something, you remove the association of shame or guilt from certain actions or behaviors. He further explains, “To destigmatize taboo things, such as sex work, creates an environment that can still acknowledge the benefits and consequences of the action while making it something widely accepted. Normalization simply removes the idea of consequences, as the act is now considered “normal.”

The idea that companies or economies should produce more each year when we are rapidly consuming every natural resource.

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Selfishness and the whole idea of “I don’t owe anyone anything” attitude.

Yes look out for yourself but people have become quite dismissive of others and then we end up in a loneliness epidemic…

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But the question is: why is it so easy for us to normalize even the worst kinds of behavior and events? Well, the rationalization of morally bad things usually aligns with whatever society deems acceptable at the time. A good example is greenwashing, where a company makes its product seem as environmentally friendly as possible without making any changes to it. They do so because they’re aware that people care about the earth they live on, or at least pretend to.

Loss of biodiversity. It’s in your own back yard and nobody does anything. Every new project is a loss of ecosystem that many animals relied on.

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Gen Z’ers Share 30 Things That Are Normalized These Days That Totally Shouldn’t Be Children being obsessed with technology. sure as kids a lot of us were on the internet but i was never on it literally all the time. kids nowadays have actual meltdowns if they can’t be on their ipad rotting away their brains for 2 seconds.

u/nobearpineapples:

My youngest is brother 8 and if he’s not on the VR he’s on his computer, and he’s not on either it’s because he’s eating at the table with his tablet/ipad

DetailAvailable2828 , Emily Wade / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

It might not be an easy pill to swallow, but we’ve also normalized things that shouldn’t have been in the first place. Like racism or ableism, for example. The US still doesn’t make free healthcare or accessible architecture a given, and disabled people don’t have the same opportunities as able people. And when a black person gets shot or abused by a white policeman, we care for a while and might even think, “Something has to change.” But after some time, we move on, and everything remains the same until we see another victim on the news.

After all, normalization is partly normal, even biologically. Emotions come from our brains, and the mind wants to be happy in order to be productive. And it can’t be content and productive if they are forced to feel grief for everything that happens to strangers. So to adequately function, we “normalize.” But the media takes advantage of the brain’s coping and survival tactics, so people accept the way things are and remain nonchalant.

Going out in public and upset or annoyed at benign small talk or social interactions. I get it, we don’t necessarily feel social every time we are forced yo leave the house, but we’ve made it far to normal to react with disgust to simple friendliness.

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Alcohol. At the least, in the sense people think they NEED to drink to “fit in.”

Cosmetic Surgery. People need to embrace their natural looks, IMO it’s mostly fueled by insecurity. It shouldn’t be “fixed,” it should be addressed.

Hook-up Culture. At the least, people need to stop being tricked into ‘you need to have sex,’ instead of just waiting for the right person.

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Sustained hopelessness in our generation’s online activities and meme culture. I know we have it tough, but not enough of us seem to be operating on the principle that the human organism is a beautifully hardy thing that has historically weathered worse circumstances. Meditation is a great, free resource that channels the mystical properties of your imagination into a more comfortable internal projection of the world we live in.

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