March 9, 2021

The de-normalization of "normal."

I'm reading "Maker of Dove Soap Will Drop the Word ‘Normal’ From Beauty Products/Unilever.... said a study had found that the word 'normal' makes most people feel excluded" (NYT).

The study found that 56 percent of participants thought that the beauty industry could make people feel excluded, and that as many as seven in 10 people agreed that the word “normal” on products and in advertising had negative effects. That figure rose to eight in 10 for people between the ages of 18 and 35.... 

The changes were long overdue and “completely necessary” after last year’s worldwide Black Lives Matter demonstrations, said Ateh Jewel, a beauty journalist and an advisory board member of the British Beauty Council, an organization that represents the British beauty industry. “Saying the word ‘normal’ has been used to set you apart,” Ms. Jewel said. “I am normal. My dark skin is normal. My juicy West African curvy body is normal. Everything about me is normal.... Words are powerful and we’re so used to having this unconscious bias.... It just washes over us. We don’t even realize what we’re saying because we’ve been spoon-fed racism."

In this light, "normal" is not a bad word, to be avoided. It's a concept that demands more attention. If the position in the middle is called "normal," then it makes it sound as though the other positions on the continuum are defective. Even if the other positions are less healthy — such as oily or dry skin compared to "normal" skin — why be unpleasant about it by creating the inference that they are abnormal? 

It's pretty normal to have dry skin or oily skin and actually unusual to think you have normal skin! I can remember shopping for some skin product and having the sales person ask me if I had dry or oily skin and when I answered "normal," she rejected the answer. It just didn't compute. Surely, I lean one way or the other. Or maybe I have "combination" skin with a "T-zone." 

If I understand Ateh Jewel correctly, she would like to free up the word "normal" so it can be used across a wider array of possibilities. But what word do you use for the middle position? 

By the way, in the OED, the 4th meaning for "normal" is "Heterosexual." Examples:

1914 E. M. Forster Maurice (1971) xxii. 106 Against my will I have become normal. I cannot help it.

1972 T. Keneally Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith v. 38 Of course, Jimmie knew, Farrell was not normal and had once begun to caress him.

1990 Lesbian & Gay Pride 11/4 Back west in a long standing ‘normal’ society like old Blighty, many lesbian or gay teachers go in fear of exposure.

145 comments:

Joe Smith said...

When will they make the soap black?

Fuck this entire world.

Or stop it so I can get off.

Madness.

D.D. Driver said...

Mine says "Extra-Special"

RNB said...

Oh, good! The next time someone tries to deny me entrance to a store or restaurant, I will fix them with a righteous gaze and call them out for opining that my 100.3-degree body temperature is not 'normal.'

Nonapod said...

There are a lot of things that are "normal" that are probably not good. Being overweight is very "normal" in the US and many other countries. But it might not always be desirable in terms of health. So in that sense, maybe it's a good idea to reduce "normal" and use different terms, like "medium"?

Joe Smith said...

"...I will fix them with a righteous gaze and call them out for opining that my 100.3-degree body temperature is not 'normal.'"

You sound hot : )

tcrosse said...

Normal also refers to something intersecting another thing at a right angle, not that there's a wrong angle, heaven forbid.

Jupiter said...

"Juicy"?

gspencer said...

Perfume makers would be wise to drop some of their titles like "Passion," "Obsession," "Romantic Nights," "Sensual Lure,"

and use something more realistic like,

"Reasonable Expectations" or "You Could Do Worse"

J Melcher said...

The woke are beginning to push " modal " for this concept. The middle bin(s) of the histogram occupied by the most members of the sampled distribution. The woke clerisy feel all science-y and progressive and superior by importing the technical terms from statistics into common (normal, typical, usual, widely-used, traditional, regular, natural) speech.

Sort of like they imported, last century, the terms "idiot, moron, and imbecile" to replace hurtful terms like "stupid, dumb, sullen..."



hombre said...

It comes as a surprise that 80% of people between 18 and 35 consider themselves abnormal. Perhaps they have more self awareness than is readily apparent.

Mattman26 said...

I guess you could go with "for skin that is neither oily nor dry," but it doesn't have much of a ring, does it?

Wince said...

Even if the other positions are less healthy — such as oily or dry skin compared to "normal" skin — why be unpleasant about it by creating the inference that they are abnormal?

The problem for the woke corporation is that any word used to describe the efficacy of a product meant to bring you in line with a more desirable state becomes a euphemism for superior.

Indeed, in this case, a form of epidermal supremacy.

MayBee said...

I hope they replace "oily skin" with "juicy".

Joe Smith said...

"I guess you could go with "for skin that is neither oily nor dry," but it doesn't have much of a ring, does it?"

I can see the multi-million dollar ad campaign now:

"Dove: for 'meh' skin."

Douglas B. Levene said...

Normal means within two standard deviations of the mean. What’s so complicated about that?

Gracelea said...

So if I'm not 'juicy and curvy' to your 'west african' standards, I guess that makes me 'dried up and shapeless', huh. Well, that doesn't make me feel bad at all.

I think the word they're searching for is 'average', but nobody wants to be that anymore, either.

Amadeus 48 said...

Succulent

Amadeus 48 said...

Mediocre.

Yancey Ward said...

Modal used as an adjective to describe the accompanying noun is ok if people actually know what modal means. Let's say it does replace normal- it will then simply be attacked for the exact same reason normal is being attacked now.

All of this is just so tiresome, though. These people are relentless.

Yancey Ward said...

I think oily should be replaced by wet ass.

Amadeus 48 said...

Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right.

Yancey Ward said...

These really are the sorts of things mediocre intellects work on and write about.

Bunkypotatohead said...

So what are us normal people supposed to buy now?
Are they gonna make soap for whites and soaps for blacks? Separate but equal?

Gahrie said...

"default"

Fernandinande said...

Looking at googoo images, I can't find a Dove product with the word "normal" on it. There must be some, though, right, or it wouldn't be big-time international news?

“I am normal. My dark skin is normal."

Therefore it would be abnormal for you be bothered by the word "normal".

Wait for it...

"We don’t even realize what we’re saying because we’ve been spoon-fed racism."

Oh shut up.

God of the Sea People said...

Isn’t “normal” a reference to the formulation of the soap, not to the users?

Gahrie said...

it will then simply be attacked for the exact same reason normal is being attacked now.

This.

Look at how we have referred to Black people in the United States apart from the word that must not be mentioned.

Negro was the polite term originally. That's why you have the United Negro College Fund. Then Colored became the correct term. That's why you have the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Both of these terms have become unacceptable, so both organizations now go by their acronyms officially.

I refuse to use African-American to refer to Black people, because my favorite African-American is Elon Musk, and Charlize Theron is no slouch.

We have reached the point where colored people is considered racist, but people of color is fine.

The same thing has happened with retarded. The word retarded was adopted to replace the previous scientific terms of imbecile and moron, which had become insults. Now that retarded has become an insult, new scientific terms are used to replace it.

Joe Smith said...

"So if I'm not 'juicy and curvy' to your 'west african' standards, I guess that makes me 'dried up and shapeless', huh."

Don't worry...all hope is not lost.

You can still be sassy.

Are you sassy?

All black women on TV are sassy.

Don't give up!

Joe Smith said...

"I refuse to use African-American to refer to Black people, because my favorite African-American is Elon Musk, and Charlize Theron is no slouch."

Ernie Els!

Except during the President's Cup...then he sucks : )

Sebastian said...

J Melcher said...
The woke are beginning to push " modal " for this concept. The middle bin(s) of the histogram occupied by the most members of the sampled distribution. The woke clerisy feel all science-y and progressive and superior by importing the technical terms from statistics . . .

--

Ha! You mean, like, "normal" distribution?

Of course, then we'd have to start talking about bell curves and such, like, showing that human traits are distributed unequally, though regularly, and there's little you can do about it. And that the distributions vary across populations or subgroups, again in regular ways not subject to much social engineering.

Lucid-Ideas said...

"moist"

Everyone loves moist soap.

J Severs said...

Expand the boundaries of 'normal' as much as you like, the Establishment will never accept Trump's views.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Maker of Dove Soap Will Drop the Word ‘Normal’ From Beauty Products/Unilever.... said a study had found that the word 'normal' makes most people feel excluded"

Spend money to figure out how to make a product better/cheaper or spend it on navel gazing? Let me guess how that goes.

Kate said...

In the film "Local Hero" Peter Riegert plays a Texan securing an oil deal in Scotland. When he asks the shopkeep for shampoo, she says, "Dry, normal, or greasy?"

He blanches and says, "Normal. Perfectly normal."

Bob Smith said...

More proof, if we really needed it, that we’ve become a 24/7/365 stand up comedy routine.

Arashi said...

Maybe they can just say 'for woke skin'? Would that appease the mob? Maybe stop trying to appease the mob and market to the people who aren't trying to find something to blame their poor life choices on instead of look at themselves - you not, use the power of introspection and stop assuming everything on the planet has to be about you?

Maybe find a more suitable brand for your SJW lifestyle? Maybe start a company and market beauty products for the woke and become a bazillionaire - or end up broke as you constantly appease the mob.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Fight Club was a prescient book. Just make the soap using lipoed landwhale fat. Nothing more normal than putting what they took off back on them where it belongs.

Balfegor said...

Even if the other positions are less healthy — such as oily or dry skin compared to "normal" skin — why be unpleasant about it by creating the inference that they are abnormal?

My first reaction was wait, this isn't a matter of "normal" being defined as White (e.g. skin-coloured crayons being a peachy colour), it's just oily/normal/dry, or sensitive/normal, etc. There's no implicit hierarchy there. People are getting bent out of shape over that?? But I guess they are.

I guess I sort of understand the impulse. This is why we have vanity sizing after all -- the perception that being "normal" is better than being at an extreme, so all the terminology has to be shifted to accommodate that consumer perception. Have people started complaining that "Big and Tall" and XXXL sizes are stigmatizing yet?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

woke lotion
woke soap

wash your Nazi phobias away!

Antifa lotion
antifa soap
Free bomb making material, mask, angry pamphlet, and Kamala's get out of jail 1-800 number with every purchase.

pacwest said...

All descriptors in the English language must be banned. Safety first.

Looks like the theme today is the humor of absurdity.

Fernandinande said...

An otherwise normal deaf-mute kid signed so many dirty words that his mom washed his hands with Dove.

Owen said...

Instead of "normal," say "mediocre." The Latin sense of the word is "in the middle."

People will surely love to buy them some mediocre soap etc.

Leland said...

I identify my skin as super.

Balfegor said...

But what word do you use for the middle position?

Just call it "medium." Oily/medium/dry is perfectly intelligible, no need to use words like "average" or "modal" etc. But the kind of people who complain about "normal" will probably complain about "medium" too because what they really want is for the scale to be centred around themselves. Hence:

Ms. Jewel said. “I am normal. My dark skin is normal. My juicy West African curvy body is normal. Everything about me is normal

Which is fine in a sense -- we all have different standards for "normal," and what's normal in one community may not be what's normal in another. But it doesn't seem worth complaining about. In the US, I'm a size large at most places (unless the vanity sizing is especially aggressive in which case I could probably fit into a medium). In Japan, I'm . . . okay, this isn't quite making the point as dramatically as I thought it would but I just checked some size tags and I'm either an L or an XL, leaning towards XL. Who cares whether a manufacturer labels something as "normal" or "medium?" Just figure out what works for you. I have a 38 inch waist, but "size 36" trousers fit comfortably -- even when they look somewhat precise, these kinds of labels convey only relative information, nothing absolute.

rhhardin said...

Your skin is not normal, he said meanly.

Tom Swifty

Openidname said...

"You're special, just like everyone else!"

Ozymandias said...

Wokies normally disdain the adherents of the mainstream, whom they refer to as “normies.” Is this insistence—“Stop using ‘normal,’ I’m normal!—a rare instance of wokies refusing to subsume the individual into identitarian categories?

boatbuilder said...

I would prefer to be exceptionally good-looking.
And of exceptional hight, and athletic ability.
Alas, I am merely normal. (But exceptionally so).

Michael K said...

I suspect the word "normal" makes most NY Times readers uneasy.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Balfegor,

The "vanity sizing" in female clothing is especially annoying. Not just the size numbers (totally different system in the UK than here, and neither has anything to do with actual measurements as men's sizes do), but the categories. Until recently it was "Misses" for standard sizes, "Petites" for, well, petites (these aren't just scaled-down Misses, but proportioned differently -- Terry Gross described this memorably somewhere in print), and "Women's" for what used to be called "Plus sizes, and now mostly aren't. But even the Misses/Women's distinction is too much these days; some outlets are replacing it with something less demeaning. (Less demeaning than "Women's"? WTF?) Meanwhile, in the hosiery aisle, the larger sizes are "Queen" and "Queen 2." I think these should be renamed "Freddie Mercury," myself.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"Normies" also means "not-alcoholics," btw. As distinct from "alkies."

Wince said...

Here's another one of those advertising terms: "combination skin."

"I have, uh, what's known as 'combination skin,' and that seems to have a glow of its own under the lights."

daskol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
daskol said...

"Average" would be a likely compromise, average skin. It's appropriately meaningless since nobody has average skin, but its unspecificity makes it the most equitable solution.

Balfegor said...

Re: Michelle Dulak Thomson:

Thank you, you have opened my eyes to the nightmare of size names that no longer have anything to do with size. Like Starbucks sizing for clothes.

Obviously the new Dove labels will have to be Glowing/mellow/luminous.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Getting older is the pits in many ways.
One benefit is the wisdom of no longer caring what some mega-marketing genius wants to sell me.

J Melcher said...

ME:
The woke are beginning to push ...the middle bin(s) of the histogram

Sebastian said...
Ha! You mean, like, "normal" distribution?

Uhm, yeah, that's what I wrote. But not what I meant. The most occupied bin of the histogram is not, necessarily, in the middle EXCEPT in a "normal" distribution. Good point.

If the distribution is highly skewed ... say, heights of NBA basketball players ... and those measures are binned in two inch increments from say 5' 8" ( -- average US male adult height) up, there will be very VERY few samples in the left most part of the distribution, then a whole bunch at around 6'6" or so, then it will fall off. The mean and the median and mode will all be different.

The "average" human being has one testicle and one ovary. Any individual human with that equipment has no claim at all to being "normal".

Gospace said...

Average. Mediocre. Virtually the same thing, yet the latter has more negative connotations.

And here’s something I find amusing. Somewhere a while back a group took a bunch of pictures of women’s faces. Using handy dandy algorithms they morphed them all into one average face with average features and average color. They would pick a random 9 pics and mix them with the average and ask men to rank them by looks. The averaged morph was usually first.

So if you tell a woman she has an average face you’re paying her a great check compliment. But will she be in front of you long enough to hear why?

PM said...

Fine, Dove, ditch normal but in the meantime make a giant-sized bar of soap again.

mikee said...

Balkanization results in becoming like the Balkans. Not a good thing.

I'm going for superintersectionality, which is division of all the population into smaller and smaller and more and more defined groups again and again, until finally I am left with mere individuals who must be treated by society and government as individuals. Then I'm gonna base my constitutional government on rights of the individual, and my social behavior/expectations on individual behavior, and to hell with any other grouping.

tim maguire said...

Normal can mean "not abnormal" and suggest a defect in those who aren't, but it can also mean "usual." In that sense, not normal--unusual--does not have any negative connotations.

A funny thing about normal--if you make a list of human attributes--height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc. You may be surprised at how few "normal" attributes need to be on your list before literally everyone fails to make the normal list.

It's not normal to be normal.

Iman said...

One could say it’s abby normal.

Iman said...

“Whether dry or oily, it puts the lotion on its skin... and soaks in it.”

—- Madge Howard, Palmolive spokesperson

Iman said...

^^ https://youtu.be/dzmTtusvjR4 ^^

Witness said...

Rediscovering the work of the 1940's Air Force: https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/01/16/when-us-air-force-discovered-the-flaw-of-averages.html

n.n said...

Diversity [dogma] and exclusion.

Semantic games. Conceptual corruption. Conflation of logical domains. Political congruence ("=").

n.n said...

Establishment the Progressive Church/Synagogue/Office/Clinic/Chamber with Twilight faith, Pro-Choice religion, and liberal ideology, has consequences. One step forward, two steps backward.

n.n said...

Normal refers to distribution and to functional. Once you go Pro-Choice, the path and grade are historically progressive.

n.n said...

"Average" would be a likely compromise

Average is one statistic. Variance another. The distribution, however, despite sociopolitical gerrymandering, semantic games, conceptual corruption, and conflation of logical domains over nearly half a century, is normal (e.g. Pro-Life or human rights-oriented, civil rights less the Twilight Amendment).

James K said...

The "vanity sizing" in female clothing is especially annoying.

Not just women's clothing. Men's shirts seem to come in regular, slim, extra slim, super slim. "Regular" really means chubby, "slim" means average, which is a little overweight, and so on.

As for dry vs oily, I'm accustomed to thinking "sweet" is the opposite of dry.

Joe Smith said...

"The "vanity sizing" in female clothing is especially annoying."

The only women I've seen (outside of anorexics) who are a zero or a one, are mostly Asian.

It's really unusual to see an actual 'fat' person in Japan.

Chubby maybe, but even that is not ordinary.

svlc said...

I have purchased Dove soap forever. I never noticed the designation "normal" nor would I care. I imagine that I will continue to purchase Dove soap regardless what marketing terms are applied to it. This strikes me as another meaningless point of conflict pushed by more people seeking attention.

Balfegor said...

Re: Joe Smith:

It's really unusual to see an actual 'fat' person in Japan.

Depends where you are. And I suppose how big the crowds are. In Tokyo, you see a couple fat people any time you make your way through a large pedestrian thoroughfare or one of the big train stations, etc. But yes, obesity is a lot rarer than in the US. That said, when I think "fat," I'm thinking of someone who is grossly obese -- you know, like BMI 40+. When someone is just over the threshold for obesity at BMI 30, that still just looks like "chubby" rather than "fat" to me. But perhaps my standards are heavily influenced by the US average. Certainly in Korea, girls and women start attacking each other as fat while they're still only in the upper half of what we categorize as a "normal" BMI.


Mikey NTH said...

"Oily" "Dry" and "Perfect"


Let the fireworks begin.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

It's really unusual to see an actual 'fat' person in Japan.

This, from the country that invented sumo wrestling? But I know what you mean.

New profile who dis? said...

Hmm. I decided to investigate a little, and my suspicions were confirmed. Her body may be 'curvy' or 'juicy', but it's clinically described as morbidly obese. And the only place it's 'normal' is in a type II diabetes clinic.

That may sound vicious, but her normal juicy west african body is going to kill her one way or another. She's extremely lucky to have dodged the covid/comorbidity bullet.

Hercules, not that one though said...

"My juicy West African curvy body is normal."

We all hunger for a place where we can belong and be normal. For 'juicy, West African, curvy bodies', there is a place. The answer is in the description.

Gahrie- "my favorite African-American is Elon Musk, and Charlize Theron is no slouch."

Kim du Toit.

PM- "...ditch normal but in the meantime make a giant-sized bar of soap again."

Finally...someone had the courage to say it. What is it with bars of soap designed for pygmies. BTW...there's a place where pygmies are normal. Not here, but somewhere.

Skippy Tisdale said...

Here' my definition of the word normal -- anyone not offended by being referred to as normal.

Scott M said...

What population were the study subject drawn from? Berkeley?

Joe Smith said...

"What is it with bars of soap designed for pygmies."

Irish Spring. And they're leprechauns.

Jim at said...

These mentally ill children are exhausting.

Howard said...

For many brands of men's shirts, XL from the 1970's is a Medium today.

Skippy Tisdale said...

That's why you have the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Wow! All this time I thought NAACP stood for the National Association for the Abasement of Caucasian People.

Learning new things is why I love this blog.

stevew said...

Is it still the case that all condoms are labeled "Extra Large"?

Saw a meme or somesuch the other day that stated these companies make a single health and beauty care product that does everything for a man (hair shampoo, body wash, face wash, skin exfoliant, and so on) while women have specialty products for everything, for example washing her left elbow.

Is Ivory's 99 44/100% pure claim offensive yet?

Quaestor said...

Everything about me is normal...

That's textbook paranoia.

Paranoia is common, but not normal.

Mizzz Ateh Jewel, (jeeez, even her self-selected name shouts paranoia and pathological narcissism) suppose Quaestor the Demi-God (That's my new vainglorious name) says you know nothing more about beauty or skin or juicy West African curves (that mean having an ass that travels a full timezone behind one's nose) than any randomly selected person in Fargo, North Dakota... Just suppose.

While trying to kill me with whatever weapon-like object comes to hand, Mizzz Ateh will be shouting at the top of her juicy West African lungs about how gloriously goddamned exceptional she is.

tommyesq said...

Abbie-someone.

Abbie-someone? Abbie who?

Abbie-Normal.

Abbie-Normal?

I'm almost sure that was the name.


Igor and Dr. Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein

tommyesq said...

Even if the other positions are less healthy — such as oily or dry skin compared to "normal" skin — why be unpleasant about it by creating the inference that they are abnormal?

How about "acceptable?" "Non-deviant?" "Not needing change or treatment?" Surely the right answer can't be to eliminate the "normal" category, that would be treating normals as abnormal, which cannot be done!

tommyesq said...

Is Ivory's 99 44/100% pure claim offensive yet?

Is calling the soap "Ivory" offensive yet?

Matt said...

"My juicy West African curvy body is normal."

Is it normal to be so crass?

Skippy Tisdale said...

Is calling the soap "Ivory" offensive yet?

Not if you bought it before 1989.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"My juicy West African curvy body is normal."

Is it normal to be so crass?


It's a side-effect of the steroids.

Paco Wové said...

"Fuck this entire world."

I believe the correct usage is "Fuck this gay earth".

n.n said...

Ha! You mean, like, "normal" distribution?

Yes, precisely. This is where they developed the idea that math is diversitist. The new normal is ostensibly uniform, nice and flat, almost dead, but is it viable? Perhaps in isolated islands where secular religions are enforced under the watchful glare of hunters, judges, and protestors wielding double-edged scalpels. That said, throw another baby on the barbie, cannibalize her profitable parts, and sequester her carbon pollutants. Progress!

n.n said...

"Fuck this gay earth"

Earth was indeed merry and gay when prides roared. Then through cultural appropriation it mutated, evolved, and through inclusive philosophy excluded black, brown, and white. A model of diversity dogma. One step forward, two steps backward.

n.n said...

Is calling the soap "Ivory" offensive yet?

I though ebony and ivory as in the black and white cookie were forward-looking. So yesteryear. Oh, well. Have liberalism, will diverge.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

obesity-covid-death-rate

The report found that every country where less than 40% of the population was overweight had a low Covid-19 death rate of no more than 10 people per 100,000.
...
In the US, where 152.49 deaths were recorded per 100,000 people, 67.9% of the adult population is overweight, according to the report.


h/t The Narrative Crumbles

The new normal, which, with progress, is approaching uniform, is morbidity and evolutionary dysfunction by Choice (pun intended).

Hercules, not that one though said...

stevew- "a single health and beauty care product that does everything for a man (hair shampoo, body wash, face wash, skin exfoliant, and so on) while women have specialty products for everything, for example washing her left elbow.

I love that women do that. I don't know what 'skin exfoliant' is, but Ivory soap is the one ring that rules them all.

But...I do love that women do what they do.

Markoni said...

"My juicy West African curvy body is normal"
Goodness, well we certainly shan't be allowed to call it "heavy" or "overweight" (do a google image search of her). This "award winning beauty journalist" has multiple fat rolls on her neck. NOT putting down here, or making fun. Just pointing out. She is seriously overweight, and NOT healthy. But if that's "beautiful" to you, then go for it.

Known Unknown said...

I have never felt normal.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“ Meanwhile, in the hosiery aisle, the larger sizes are "Queen" and "Queen 2." I think these should be renamed ‘Freddie Mercury,’ myself.”

I hear they’re adding another size range. It will now be:
Queen
Queen 2
Sheer Heart Attack

stevew said...

Not to offend but "juicy West African curvy body" does not create interest for me.

typingtalker said...

“Where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

--Garrison Keillor about Lake Wobegon. And, I guess, Dove Soap users.

rcocean said...

The middle position should be called "special". Women always love to think of themselves as that. Nobody else has skin, like that honey. You're one of kind!

Joe Smith said...

"Not to offend but "juicy West African curvy body" does not create interest for me."

'Huge ass' is easier to say...shorter too...

rcocean said...

you're not fat baby. You're full of life.

rcocean said...

Yawn.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Known-unknown - "I have never felt normal."

Normal is the Bell Curve. Simple as that.

No need to feel normal. Plant your flag on the Bell Curve, and then Rock the World.

Hercules, not that one though said...

BTW...how does one remove a comment, and would prefer to not have made that comment?

Balfegor said...

Re: Hercules:

BTW...how does one remove a comment,

I think there should be a little trashcan icon next to the comment after you've made it. That should allow you to delete a comment.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Ahhh...I see it. Thanks balfegor.

Josephbleau said...

Doesn't Unilever make Irish Spring? Just say MAHHNLY yes, but III like it toooo. Modern advertising just makes everything worse. Call it Irish Dove or Canadian Dove, the Irish and the Canadians can do whatever they will and the world press will hold them guiltless. Why? you don't blame children.

ALP said...

The advertising changes came after the company commissioned a 10,000-person study across nine countries, including Brazil, China, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
*********
Now this is interesting. Makes me wonder - was it the English word "normal" or another word from the native language?

Josephbleau said...

"she would like to free up the word "normal" so it can be used across a wider array of possibilities"

I don't understand, with an infinite range of means and all real non-negative variances, the Normal does cover all possibilities.

Darrell said...

Shut up, Weirdos.

Josephbleau said...

"Shut up, Weirdos."

Sorry I was born this way, Ha Ha.

Lurker21 said...

"Oily" and "dry" are insulting.

Shampoo used to come marked "D," "N," and "O" to spare consumers the shame of having to admit to having dry, or worse, oily hair.

Normal is normal.

Lewis Wetzel said...

So you go into the super market. You remember that you want shampoo.
You are faced with an entire corridor of shampoo. The more expensive stuff is on the top shelf. The cheap stuff is on the bottom shelf.
But it is all really the same stuff, all the brands are owned by unilever. It is all basically dish detergent, produced from the same factories that make dish detergent, with maybe a few different drops of scent.
How much will you spend for 12 oz of dish detergent" Maybe two bucks?
Now much will you spend for the same amount of liquid with a different scent and maybe a different color?
Nine bucks.
It is the miracle of branding.

John henry said...

Would I be incorrect if I said my hair is neither dry nor oily but "Gaussian"Or is it "gaussian" in this usage.

Screw modal, Gaussian sounds really sciency.

John Henry

Paul A. Mapes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John henry said...

Or perhaps my hair is "median"

I usually just buy whatever shampoo they have in Costco in the biggest bottle at the lowest price.

My wife also has 10 bottles of shampoo and another 10 or so of conditioner.

A couple months ago I needed shampoo and was in a Walmart so figured I would pick up a bottle there. A full aisle of shampoos and pretty much everyone was something to eat. Strawberries, avocado, blueberry and so on. What was not food was some kind of flower.

All I wanted was plain old shampoo and it took me 20 minutes to find.

Skin cream or is it "creme"? is even worse.

John Henry

Josephbleau said...

"Would I be incorrect if I said my hair is neither dry nor oily but "Gaussian"Or is it "gaussian" in this usage."

I think you would have to state your hair at any point as between non-oily and oily, a continuous interval. Dry confuses understanding as it is merely completely non oily. "Gaussian" applies as an abstraction, if it is useful.

Hercules, not that one though said...

John Henry - "Gaussian"

I just spent 15 minutes exploring that. Can't comment on it right now. 'electronic structure modeling'? I want to tie it into Buddha's veil of illusion, but...I don't really know.

I'll give you this. It sounds sciency. Kali? The destroyer.

wildswan said...

I checked out the most recent magazine I have here - Feb 2021 - to see how it handled "more attractive" without saying it. This wasn't an AARP health magazine. It was for young women with men and children in their lives, with a house to run and a job Yet it seemed to be marketing looking good after fifty: how can you look good at 53?; "Give hair immunity from future damage". There was an escape from Covid theme: "Makeup that lasts beneath your mask"; hand soap with ethylene alcohol and shea butter; "results backed by nature and science." There were some heavy women (I've heard that Covid-19 stands for how many pounds we'll each gain from this pandemic.) And there were some sharp-featured young women. The models all seemed like the before picture but that's my Fifties outlook. The idea was not wokeness so much as not jarring fearful and dumpy women with pictures from a brighter land with good-looking men (there were none). I can't think that will last.

Josephbleau said...

Never confuse the model with reality, never confuse the map with the territory.

John henry said...

I've often seen gaussian distribution and normal distribution used interchangeably to describe a bell curve. For example in looking at quality with some products falling below the target spec and some above. Normally, this distribution is normal.

I also, from my naval days, know how to de-gauss a ship.

I do not know how to do much more with gauss. When I look at gaussian functions, my head starts to hurt.

John Henry

Caligula said...

"Normal" surely has multiple meanings.

If you tell someone their intelligence is "normal" they'll probably be insulted, as something like 80% of adults are convinced their intelligence is above average. And, clearly, to be "normal" in this regard is, if not exactly bad, certainly not as good as you might wish.

So, there's "normal" in the sense of the peak of that Gaussian distribution: there's nothing especially bad about being there, but being "normal" in that sense does not (can not) imply any sense of being superior to those who are not. Especially if they're on the right-hand side of that curve.

And then there's "normal" in the sense of "the norm": most of us would prefer not to see ourselves written up as a case study in a book on abnormal psychology. And so, too, if you take your temperature with a fever thermometer, "normal" is just where you want to be. Just as it is when you read your medical-lab report to see if your measurement falls in that "reference" range, normal is good and not-normal is not-so-good.

Nonetheless, this level of subtlety (if that's what it is) is not at all what Righteous Woke Indignation seeks: that world is a moral crusade, a Manichean world of pure, shadow-free intensely bright light and abysmal, inky-black shadows; a world in which subtlety of any kind is simply intolerable, unbearable, a thing which cannot be tolerated to exist.

Josephbleau said...

Where do they diverge? when variables not in the model change.

John henry said...

Re body temp,

A lot of plants I visit take my temperature as I drive in. I always make a point of keeping my let forearm directly in front of the AC vent when I am driving to the plant with AC on high and cold.

I once scored 80 degrees (real, not eurotemp). I told the guard I was actually dead. He didn't care. I was not over 99 or whatever he had been told.

Just doing my bit to widen the curve.

John Henry

Josephbleau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John henry said...

Speaking of modes and modalities. Or rather, singing about them:


When the mode of music changes
When the mode of music is changed
When the mode of music changes
The walls of the city shake

He who does not dance neither shall he eat
He who does not prance neither shall he drink
He who won't romance neither can he think

He who does not dance neither shall he eat

You can have the men who make the laws
You can have the men who make the laws
You can have the men who make the laws
Give me the music makers

When beauty barks I heel
When beauty barks I heel
When beauty barks I heel
When beauty barks I heel

Beware a man who is not moved by sound
Beware a man who is not moved by sound
Beware a man who is not moved by sound
He'll drag you to the ground
Drag you to the ground

Come dance with me come dance with me in Johnson's land
Come dance with me and we'll beat that hooary band

Music have alarums to wild the civil breast
Music have alarums to wild the civil breast
Music have alarums to wild the civil breast
It does not bring me rest
It does not bring me rest

But in the bitter end
This wildness brings me rest
I sleep in the eye of the storm
And in the startling end
Bluewhiteness makes me calm
I dream in the eye of the wind


The fugs

https://youtu.be/n-Tk5nDm0F4

John Henry

Josephbleau said...

"I also, from my naval days, know how to de-gauss a ship."

Gauss was a Genius, the measure of a magnetic field is the Gauss. Force is a Newton. De-Gaussing,say, an old CRT color TV or a sub is eliminating the magnetic field it builds up over time. A magnetic field can be used by mines or magnetic detectors on aircraft or destroyers. So be happy to de-gauss if you are steel navy, but also know that there are new quantum ways to find subs.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Caligula: 'Gaussian distribution' Ohhh.
Josephbleau: A further exposition. Ahhh.

John Henry is usually not so opaque.

Thanks guys.

Josephbleau said...

In need of a song:

The river runs wide, the river runs muddy.
The river runs long after I am gone;
With a steamboat running at a wide bend
Skipping in the mississippi dew.
39 days I skip on the river
39 days on a BalliLine boat
Wouldn't get home without the muddy water rolling
Towboat making up barges
On a long hot summerday
Paraphrase, the great John Hartford.

Bob said...

Let's replace "normal" with "ordinary".

I'm sure Ateh Jewel would just love to be called "ordinary."

Misinforminimalism said...

As a very acne-prone teenager, I welcomed the idea that there was "normal" skin, which apparently I didn't have, and that my complexionary woes were the result of my "oily" skin, which wasn't really something I could change (except to mask the effects by purchasing products tailored for my needs). It's a useful dichotomy and while I might have wished, at the time, that my skin had been "normal," the difference in skin type was a neutral explanation, not a condemnation of me. The cosmetics industry didn't "exclude" me, my genetics did.

BBridges said...

Sorry but "juicy" is not normal.

The Crack Emcee said...

Most people are weird.

Duh.

Nathan Redshield said...

"The normal position of the switch is for Marlboro'." Railroad operations will never be the same. But I thought Dove soap was "tested on real curves"!

katikati said...

My husband suggests "median"

katikati said...

Update: "How 'bout they call it 'uninteresting'?"

stlcdr said...

katikati said...
My husband suggests "median"

3/10/21, 7:40 AM


'Mean' would be more appropriate - in this day and age.

Unknown said...

I guess I'm supernormal now.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

In this light, "normal" is not a bad word, to be avoided. It's a concept that demands more attention. If the position in the middle is called "normal," then it makes it sound as though the other positions on the continuum are defective.

Wrong

"She is of normal intelligence. He is of superior intelligence." The "normal" intelligence is in the middle of the range. That doesn't make having a different position defective.

What this is about is freaks demanding that their freakishness be "celebrated."

Which is to say, it's about freaks being losers.

There are many ways in which I'm a "freak", where I'm significantly different from the norm.

Some of these are failings. Others of these are successes. Others are just different, where I prefer the difference from the norm.

But, because I'm a functional human being, I own them all.

People who are freaks, but don't own it? They are losers. And they shoudl be mocked for being losers.

Is your skin to oily? to dry? No, and no?

Well, you have "normal" skin. Or, you have "superior" skin, because it's clearly better than having skin that's too oily, or too dry.

This decision is just more pandering to the pathetic. it's a bad decision, and makes me think less of Dove.

Which means I won't be buying their products any more

Ray said...

"Juicy" = fat + ugly.