If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.

MAYA ANGELOU (1928-2014)


No-one is Normal

No one is ‘normal’. Everybody is made up of a multitude of individual characteristics. If you take an average of each of them (height, shoe size, length of fingers etc), you won’t find any individual who is average in all respects. This is known as the ‘jaggedness principle’. In the 1940s the Jaggedness Principle forced the US Air Force to refit fighter planes with adjustable seats and other fixtures. The cockpits were originally designed around the average range of 10 body measurements taken from a population of 4,063 pilots. But because no single pilot met all those criteria, they ended up with a seat which actually didn’t fit anybody.

In 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics used the national census to find the average Australian. They announced that she is a 37-year-old woman with a son and a daughter aged six and nine. She is 162 cms (5’4”) tall, and weighs 71.1 kgs (11st). She lives in a three-bedroom house, has about $200,000 still to pay on her mortgage and her family originally came from the UK. However, when they checked this description against the census data they couldn’t find a single person in the whole country that fits that description. 

Normal Date

In 2014 a dating site surveyed 2,000 London men to discover what their ideal London woman looks like. She’s 5ft 6in tall, weighs 9st, has a 34C bust, drinks white wine, has no tattoos and supports Tottenham. She has brown hair and blue eyes, she drives an Audi TT and works as a teacher or nurse. Her favourite movie is Dirty Dancing and top TV show is Friends. She loves roast dinners and has an exotic foreign accent. In the same survey, 2 out of 5 men who were already in a relationship stated that their partner wasn’t the perfect woman for them.

WEIRD is Normal

WEIRD is normal in Europe. WEIRD stands for Western, Educated, from Industrialised, Rich, Democratic countries. WEIRD people are a problem for psychology/sociology research because 96% of the people who participate in such studies – usually students - are WEIRD, even though they only represent 12% of the world's population.

WEIRD people differ in many ways from other populations. Examples include moral decision making, fairness, even things like visual perception – WEIRD people are better at optical illusions involving line lengths, possibly because our environments contain a lot of straight lines.


It may be normal, darling; but I'd rather be natural.

A slug can stretch to 20 times its normal length, enabling it to squeeze through the smallest of openings.

The average Eskimo is 5'4" tall with a life expectancy of thirty-nine.

A stealth-geek is someone who hides their nerdy interests while managing to maintain a normal outward appearance.

There are at least four towns in the USA that are named Normal.