Letting our Freak Flags Fly, within Reason
We place far too much importance on societal standards, on what the majority accepts as normal or “appropriate.” We’re too afraid to step outside the box.
Too much importance is given to what is trendy or “in style.” At times, even when people start to step outside the norm, it becomes fashionable, and is imitated. One can’t wear a unique pair of boots or an outlandish hat without some copycat jacking their style. A few guys wear baggy jeans which could cover their entire bodies yet fail to cover their asses, or some girls inject artificial hyaluronic acid into their lips to make them puffier and more duck-like, then the look catches on and everyone is doing it for the next few years to a decade.
Or, as is more often the case with ridiculous fashion choices, no one else adopts it because it looks stupid and/or ugly and it disappears, at most a regretful memory in the mind of the attempted trendsetter.
Then there are those that go too far, the bold souls that do some drastic shit and succeed in individualizing themselves, but in so doing alienate others. Those that truly buck trends and shatter norms are labeled freaks and ostracized from the majority. If someone gets their body modified so that they have the coloring and stripes of a tiger, with eyes and fangs to match, rather than appreciating and admiring their mutant tiger-human appearance, we regard them as a freak.
While I unfortunately can’t exempt myself from some freak-regarding, I do think that all of us should be doing more to follow such trailblazers’ examples, if not to an extreme extent. There are so many options available in modern medicine and technology that frankly we’re stupid for not embracing them more eagerly. Why have boring, brittle human fingernails when we can have sharp, thick, durable claws? Why have sensitive and breakable bones and joints when we can have ones made of metal and industrial polymers with motors and hydraulics that allow us to leap yards in the air and run three minute miles? Sure, there’s the expense, and some would say impracticality, standing in the way, but mostly it’s fear. Fear and insecurity, in response to the perceived negative reactions of broader society. Few but the weirdest among us are daring enough to be the first.
We don’t all need to go full-on cyborg all at once. Personally, I am wary of having certain technologies integrated into my body, particularly my brain. I’m not ready to jump on the chips and hard-drives train just yet. But there are things that surely every one of us would like to change, improve about themself.
Something about myself that I have wanted to have modified is my teeth. They have already been altered to a small extent. After being jumped at age sixteen and having my top front teeth broken, I had to have root canals and caps put on. Years later, when I had a job with dental insurance, I had what remained of those teeth shaved down to pointy nubs and fitted with crowns. What the experience taught me is that I want to have all the unnecessary and inconvenient parts of my teeth removed. I want every one of them to be root canaled, shaved down, and crowned. But, I don’t want the crowns to be boring ones made of porcelain or resin or whatever the standard is. I want metal teeth. I’m thinking tungsten, or maybe titanium.
You might be asking, “but Mr. H. Christ, won’t that make you look like a freak? For all your talk of not crumbling under the weight of society’s superficial standards, aren’t you a vain and self-conscious person?” Well, dear reader, you know me too well, and cut to the core, but you are correct. I’m not about to be so bold as to walk around flashing metal teeth proudly like a D-list supervillain. I would prefer that they be coated with a durable enamel closely resembling real teeth. That way, I will have unbreakable and insensate chompers which look perfect and practically natural.
That is my dream.