It is a recurring discussion in my household of oddballs, this misfit myth. Just who are these "normals" we're not fitting in with? I don't know any. Do you? Like ROUS's, I don't believe they exist. (And if you got that reference, you might just be a misfit.)
The most successful stories, whether book, movie, television or comic, center around a misfit, or several of them. From Rudolph the Red-Nosed-Reindeer to Batman to the wallflowers in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the message is clear. "We are different. We do not fit in. JUST LIKE YOU."
We identify with these characters because we are these characters. Who identifies with the mean girls in Mean Girls? Well, sure they exist! We all know or knew some, but 1.) they are in the minority, and 2) the so-called normal kids are almost always the villains. Why is this so? Why is the minority set up as some sort of example we must all aspire to, while the vast majority of humanity exists in this misfitness?
In The Breakfast Club, who are the characters we feel for before we know their stories? Bender (Judd Nelson,) Allison (Ally Sheedy) and Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) no? Why? Because they are, for all outward appearances, the misfits. But then we learn Claire (Molly Ringwald) and Andrew's (Emilio Estevez) stories, and we see that their normalness isn't normal at all.
|left to right: Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald
We have a long way to go, but I am hopeful. More people have to realize the misfit myth is just that--we are all misfits. Gloriously different, with our own experiences and minds and influences. Celebrate the misfit in you, in your loved ones and someday--call me an optimist--everyone will.