Superman in Disguise

Cecelia Germain, Co-editor-in-chief

What is a social norm? Social norms are what is socially acceptable in our society. For example, it is socially acceptable for girls to wear makeup, do their hair, and look presentable for school. Or it is socially normal to say “bless you” if someone sneezes near you. Or for girls to have either a Quinceañera or a Sweet 16. It is socially normal for high school students to think about college starting as early as ninth grade. And by senior year they should have already thought about what they want to do and where they want to go to college. But I think social norms are overrated.

In my Psychology class we had to do a project that was worth 50 points on our next test. We had to break a social norm and write about it. Easy enough right? I could basically do anything you wanted, as long as it was appropriate. However, I might have to totally embarrass myself. I would say that I was definitely not looking forward to this project, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I am graduating soon. So why should I care what people think, it’s not like I will see most of these people again? I chose to wear my halloween costume to school. I decided that I was going to be Superman for a day and see how people reacted. I would wear a Superman shirt, socks with a mini cape on each, and lastly a red cape.

I was completely nervous to walk into school like this, but as soon as I got to first period I was pretty confident. I did have one of my teachers from 10th grade stare at me like “what is she wearing?” And later that day I had a parent, who was picking up her kid, roll her eyes at me. Other than that I was surprised by the reactions I received. One of the security guards saw me in the hallway and said, “Don’t worry everyone Supergirl is here!” Then another security guard sang the opening theme song of Superman. Of course throughout the day I got a few compliments and people noticing the girl wearing the Superman outfit, and a few teachers questioned why and what I was wearing.

Overall I would say this social norms project went way better than I expected. I realized that I break social norms on a daily basis. For example, I have worn blue lipstick a few times. This project proved that you should really be your own person. You should totally break social norms and not care what people think of you, of course as long as you’re comfortable. Social norms are definitely totally overrated.

* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license