What IS Normal??? [CC]

What IS Normal??? [CC]


“Hi lovely people!” “So today’s video is about … cutlery!” “Yes, really!” “No. No, not really. No.” “♪Flick my hands back and forwards, I flick my hands back ….♪” “Yesterday we had friends come over for dinner and Claudia was setting the table…” “… and she asked me “Do you want your cutlery or normal cutlery?” ” “Mmmmmm … normal …? “Meet my cutlery! Haaaaah!” “Yes, it’s probably not … the norm as you might … know it.” “They are pretty massive, yes.” “This is my very special cutlery that comes with me.” “I use special cutlery because when I was a teenager …” ” … I paralysed both my arms for years and years and years, blah blah blah blah blaaaaah …” “… there was like muscle wastage et cetera et cetera et cetera.” “Weak little hands – still.” “But they work! Which is amazing.” “I am constantly fascinated by the things my hands can now do …” “Which is … ” “So for a long time I couldn’t hold … anything … and nothing.” “I was just … they were floppy.” “Then I could hold very big things.” “Maybe like a massive mug, like this.” “But not … let’s not do a dainty little tea cup at all.” “So I had to take my cutlery with me everywhere I went.” “And even then … maybe if sometimes … if I was feeling a bit tired …” ” … and my hands were a bit sore …” “… then I would have to get friends to feed me.” “You know who your really good friends are when they feed you.” “I don’t particularly care about that, I think that’s fine, …” “… but I did sort of notice that it made other people, sitting in a restaurant, quite anxious.” “Nowadays I only use these at home …” “… because I can use quite small stemmed cutlery when I am out and about.” “But it does make my hands sort of hurt after a while.” “So if I can use those ones I will.” “But when out and about in a restaurant or in a house …” “… I tend to use just the kind of smaller knives and forks.” “Just because they are so much lighter and they are like tiny.” “Because very heavy things are just … .” “Have you noticed this?” “I don’t … don’t make them do this, the little Mr Burns thing.” “They do it themselves.” “I have the hands of a T-Rex.” “You would not believe the amount of thought I am actually at this moment putting into attempting to raise my hands.” “Oh, that was good.” “♪Flick my hands back and forwards, I flick my hands back ….♪” “Anyway, today’s video is actually about the word ‘normal'”. “Various communities the word ‘normal’ is the kind of … it’s a really big deal … it’s a big issue.” “And I understand that.” “Its the kind of disabled, or normal. “Autistic, or normal.” “Or Transgender, or normal.” “Or Gay, or normal” “Aaaaagh” “And I understand that that is a bit of a problem.” “Because it makes it seem like being ‘that’ thing is wrong.” “Personally, I don’t have a problem with it …” “… when it comes to disabled aids.” “Because I know that there … they are not normal …” “… and I understand that .. that it’s a ‘thing’.” “It’s very much an object that is here to help me.” “I have to buy it from a specialist catalogue.” “And it’s generally not used in a kind of hurtful way.” “When my wife asks me “Do we have normal icecream?” …” “… she isn’t asking “Why is the freezer full of your disgusting eurgggh … … sugar free stuff? Aaaah, I can’t take it!” ” “She just wants some really sugary ice cream.” “However!” “If I offered to introduce someone to a friend …” “… and their first question was “Oh, ah, is he normal or is he deaf?” …” “… then, yes, I, of course, will have a problem with that.” “My friend is a human being …” “… who just happens to be deaf.” “You are a 55 year old man who loves Justin Bieber.” “So maybe we put stones down before we start throwing them around the glass house?” “Mmm hmm?” “I understand that when most people say it, they don’t mean to be cruel.” “They don’t mean to be mean.” “‘Normal’ for me is … it’s not some kind of terrible word.” “Again, much like when people say ‘disabled’.” “Don’t be afraid to use that word around me, it’s … it’s true.” “Okay?” “I would rather someone was trying to be nice but use the wrong word, … “… than someone was just a really PC arsehole.” “What about you? What do you think?” “‘Normal’. Good word? Bad word?”

49 Comments

  • Gabrieil Ray says:

    I think this video is beautiful. Up until a few months ago I had always tried to be 'normal' (needless to say trying to drastically alter my character didn't work at all) and I had tried to hide what made me different- keeping quiet about my mental health, pretending that I wasn't attracted to guys, among other things. I think it's wonderful that society is becoming more allowing, letting people to live as they wish as long as they're not hurting others is a great thing. It does fills me with hope whenever I see someone that I admire or look up to preaching this message. I think 'normal' is being a generally good person that doesn't try to push others into changing to fit their own worldview. Apart from that, the word is completely irrelevant 🙂

  • AceRidesBikes says:

    To me normal always has a meaning like average, like the majority, or similar to oneself.

    i don't have any problem being different to "average"

  • Miss Evil says:

    For me NORMAL is a word made up by this corrupt society so they could single out and attack those who are different.
    Normal is nothing but a word made up by society. We all have our own «weird stuff» that we have to deal with on a daily basis. And that’s super cool because that’s what makes us human.

  • Femme Normale says:

    Your Twitter account isn't the same that you give

  • Lindsey loves Blog says:

    Hi Jessica , 😘🌞🌞💛Joke ; have you pinch my old cutlery! lol.Seriously I used to feed myself during school an college . The  self gratification was cool frist thinking like all people at this I don't have be fed " but soon became long had hard task. my relationship with was wrong bacame like a game how would go in mouth . I  suffer with constipation so feeding myself is ist the best plan plus it ages  ! I much prefer get on with life that spend hour or more trŷ to eat tea etc.
    normal to me is your own thing   example one own routine of whatever that may be . society like to makes us feel guilty because as humans we made to be as the same lol " oh society you  little devil lol. 

    Great video as alwaysLindsey xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx .

  • Lindsey loves Blog says:

    Great vid as always xxxxx

  • Ksenia says:

    I personally hate the word "normal". I've never heard it in non-offensive way, you know? Every time I hear it, people use it to bring someone (or something) down. "I wish you were NORMAL" (meaning not disabled, not gay, not feminist), "Why don't you like NORMAL literature?", "Why don't you listen to NORMAL music?", "Do you have any NORMAL friends?" etc. I agree with your opinion about this word, however I don't use it at all. If I want to describe ice cream or cutlery I will probably use the word "usual" or "common" instead of "normal".
    Thank you for such a beautiful video and for making me think of interesting things 🙂

  • Abstract Absurdism says:

    In relation to various discussions about the word 'normal' I actually find the word 'norm' more interesting. I learned in one of my English linguistic lectures at university that it was a term that was used in a linguistic survey to refer to a large group of the survey takers, which were Northern Old Rural Males. You see what I'm getting at. Normal isn't really derived from the word 'norm' linguistically, as far as I know, however nowadays we tend to use the two in a similar if not the same context. According to that logic the number of people who are 'normal' is much lower than what it is commonly said to be, as I would argue not the majority of people living on this planet are northern old rural males.

  • Suzanne MenuetTGB says:

    I just love your attitude about everything you deal with. I personally prefer not to label myself. I just say I have issues, lol. If someone asks about anything, I'll explain and it's no problem. I dislike "disabled" because the prefix "dis-" has negative connotation in my opinion. I can't stand crippled because it just seems rather rude to me. If others want to describe themselves in such ways, fine. To each their own 😀

  • Kathylou1 says:

    To me normal is who and what u are and if your true to that then you are normal, your normal can be different to other people's normal that's good because it makes us all individuals

  • chrissyzcreationz says:

    I tend to try to use the word "traditional" when talking about things any time it fits. Normal is boring. 😉

  • DarkLittlePeople says:

    "you're a 55 year old man who loves justin bieber" !!!! 🤣

  • Sandra says:

    Oh well… there is no normal, only generally usual or unusual

  • Jessica Holden-Cook says:

    “NORMAL” is your normal.

  • cjfrankie says:

    I learned last year that the little people community (those born with dwarfism etc) call people like me A P which stands for "average person" as opposed to L P which stands for "little person". I quite like this as it's more statistical rather than being something that suggests being other is wrong it says something is just as valid but less common. It won't work for everything, but saying "Would you like your cutlery or average cutlery?" is maybe more user-friendly? Even though you don't mind it might be a good habit to have so that if it ever comes up in a group setting your less likely to inadvertently offend/upset someone.

  • angelbaby99 says:

    Think there's anything wrong with the word normal I just believe that normal is a relative concept for everyone. It varies from culture to culture and even person-to-person. What is normal for me may seem outlandish horrible or terrifying to someone else.

  • Narnendil says:

    Swedish here. I guess "normal" could be translated as both "vanlig" and "normal". If someone said "vanlig" about a thing or a person it wouldn't feel too bad, that's more like "common" or "usual" way of being normal. But using "normal" in Swedish really sounds like the other option is "not normal" in a bad way. So in Swedish I'd in general stay clear of the word normal in this sense. In English though…. it's not my first language so I don't really care, but I guess it's okay.

  • Narnendil says:

    Jessica, can you use computers and cellphones allright with your hands or do you have some aids? Because my hands hurt terribly and I'm looking for things to help me with these things.

  • Brie Wilder says:

    I'm a diehard fan of the words "standard" and "conventional".

  • P. T. says:

    I have no problems with the word 'normal', until someone tells me "I'll just treat you like a normal person and ignore you when you have a sensory meltdown". Then I have a HUGE problem with the idea of 'normal'. And I've been bringing my own tumbler and cutlery around because I can be inflexible like that. Let people stare, my snowflake tumbler and lime green spork is a thousand times cooler than what they're using and so there.

  • PhoebeFay RuthLouise says:

    "Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine."
    —Whoopi Goldberg
    (My favorite definition of normal!)

  • Mimzy says:

    I like the context you use normal in

  • Amina Kombo says:

    I think this video's the first time I've heard you swearing. Also: "normal" is a redundant word when it comes to describing people, in my opinion.

  • punyfiend says:

    Normal is subjective
    As Morticia Addams said "what is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly"
    Your normal is just as valid and wonderful as someone else's normal

  • Jose Juarez says:

    Is normal

  • Jaymie Hu says:

    People don't have CFS/ME does not understand how hard life is from days to days. Your story inspires me even I am gonna have ME for life, I can still meet my the woman I love. Once you have CFS/ME, your life will not be "normal" anymore. Abnormal with 140 symptoms that's define being "normal" with ME.
    FDA and NIH do not study us, millions of people are suffering from this condition for decades.
    My professional resume is gonna be : being sick and fighting with ME forever, with that being say, being "normal"
    Jaymiie

  • Life on Low Batteries says:

    I think the BSL sign for "normal" you're using is "butter" in American Sign Language! LOL Also I've noticed that the sign you use for "happy" is the ASL sign for "school." (I love making these comparisons.)

  • Gabriele V says:

    I say that there are normotype people (most frequent kind of people) and non normotype people.. in the end we are all normal

  • sofy Wah says:

    Your cardigan is lovely 🙂

  • Shala Carter says:

    Hello Jessica! I take every opportunity that I can to tell people that I am disabled. I am not differently-abled. I don't even know what that means. I mean, I get disability from the government. They are not differently-abled payments. I am so sick of the politically correct BS that is in America! Some people try so hard to be politically correct, that they don't even put adjectives in front of nouns. It makes no sense to me.

  • _helloyellow says:

    I’d have fed you if you were my friend

  • Caoilainn McKee says:

    Where did you get those utensils? I so need them! I am experiencing extreme muscle weakness in my hands and both pain & numbness.

  • Vivian Andromeda says:

    Honestly, think the term "normal" is entirely subjective. Everyone has different standards for what normal is in their own lives. While it may not be the "average" or "standard", every person, household, etc. is going to have different takes on what is "normal" for them.

  • Sachi Rae White says:

    I feel like the word normal is a little bit upsetting to me because I’ll get a friend, my family will ask if they’re normal or gay or whatever because I’m in the lgbtq+ community and then they’re surprised when I get irritated about them asking if my friend is normal or not.

  • Túlio Souza Lima says:

    I think that I just discovered a tremendously AWESOME person! OMG, why haven't I found your videos before?!
    You are so ALIVE! Thank you very much for making my life happier. Wish I could meet you girls some day.
    Hugs from Brazil! ❤

  • Cædrik Labrecque says:

    From a different, or rather open/friendly/curious point of view : would it be rude to ask that "oh, is he/she deaf too?" out of genuine curiosity? I don't think I would use the term normal (as it is quite a strange way to describe someone in french), but I would probably be excited to meet "a deaf friend of a deaf friend" just to, I don't know, maybe watch and learn and ask questions about some sign language, and try to be more involved.

  • Mariann Rusnak says:

    I prefer "regular", because wtf is normal anyway? That's relative. Regular just means the more common thing in question. But as long as whatever word you use isn't followed by a degrading way of talking about the alternative, I'm generally cool with it either way

  • Kassandra Lee says:

    I’m so glad you’re not like the crazy people in America that gets offended by everything!! Not everyone knows the right things to say. Like once I was at work and a deaf person came in so I googled how to ask if he would like some water and I practiced it and when I asked him he was so happy and said yes but his friend was a jerk about it and said “HE CAN READ LIPS YOU KNOW!!!” Like dang. I just wanted to be respectful. Just like if I went to a different country I would try and learn some of the language. People are too offended by everything these days.

  • Dorissa Claire says:

    At times, normal feels like a very isolating, discouraging word, but other it’s a tool that I use to empower myself. My condition affects me in x way, meaning that I can’t do x normally. I’m not a “normal” student, i don’t learn “normally” “I’m not able to take care of myself normally” are all things I need to have the language to communicate.

  • P Davis says:

    I have drawn such inspiration and motivation from seeing you and hearing your life story. Your beauty is exceeded only by your undefeatable spirit. Thank you for being you!

  • ThatDutchguy says:

    4:20 good impression of your wife Jessica 👍, you even sounded like Claudia for a second there xD.

  • Jess Sheridan says:

    As a 'verbal' autistic who uses Australian Sign Language at home/with some friends casually – its really great watching your videos because there is an overlap of some signs and even signs I dont recogniise, I can see the sign origins and basic handshapes that have overlapped as sign languages have travelled and changed. between British Sign Language and Auslan, regardless of the grammar and structure stuff, there are enough identifiable signs there that I could turn sound and captions off and still have a ok idea what youre saying (although Ive never seen autistic signed that way).

    I also dont so much have floppy wrists so much as a very floppy neck. My housemate definitely has floppy wrists. I feel kinda like a brontosauras – with the long neck – that just looks so difficult to hold up and thats how i feel.

  • Sophia Lepley says:

    If you use something all the time, like a type of cutlery or disability aid, then I think it's normal for you. What is normal for one is not normal for all, but society likes to pretend that there is a basis for "normal." I get that a lot of people don't mean any harm by it, but I also know that intent ≠ impact and on a particularly bad mental health day when dealing with chronic illness and disability, at least for me, sometimes language like that can be really hurtful unintentionally.

  • Suzanne Berry says:

    I prefer “ordinary” or “common” as descriptors of things that fit near the center of the spectrum of a continuum. Normal doesn’t exist.

  • im19ice3 says:

    i try to avoid the word normal and instead go for average, standard or predictable, varies case by case of course but will i don't think normal is an eeevil word only used for eeevil purposes i alter my language with the thought of avoiding misunderstandings, of all types not just moral intention, i think the word normal has a place in the exchanges in which one is completely sure that the parties involved have the same idea of what is being referred to, like if there is an unusual weather phenomena or something ican ask are things back to normal?? and i can be sure nobody is going to misunderstand that as me saying that a certain kind of weather is the only one to be expected, i just know 100% that i'm on the same page as who is recieving my words

  • yo merengues says:

    mmm… As an Autistic girl… "normal" Is i guess a word that just is… arbitrary. When you say "Act normal" it means… Just don't flap, spin, rock or engage in some behaviour that could make someone think you're Autistic. so actually "normal" is… "For how long can you have this mask on?" But life is not a masquerade ball. I cosplay… And even cosplaying I flap. Like Bon Jovi said "It's My Life". If it doesn't hurt you just deal with it!!

  • Šťăŕľįģhț Pøťåţö says:

    i know for sure there's no such thing as 'normal'

  • Ravenofthedog says:

    “ Every dinosaur feared the T-Rex.”
    Your amazing!

  • Ellie Nichols says:

    I have week Hands to so maybe just go like a T rex to not making this up

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