“Normies” as defined in urban dictionary as someone who embraces mainstream culture. The opposite of hipster. It could also be used when describing irrelevant people that you come into contact with everyday. The latter definition definitely feels much more offensive and a word that is on the same level as calling someone a “bitch” or “retard”.
In our community, the word “normies” is usually used to talk about those who aren’t part of our community, the gamers would use the word for non gamers and the anime fans would use it for those who don’t watch anime. It’s usually also used in a degrading manner like, “those normies can’t compare to us with their filthy normie shows like America’s Next Top Model! ” Here’s a question, should we really talk about these people like so? Are they really that different from us? Are they really our “enemies”?
I would like to argue that the way we talk about those who are out of the community reflects strongly on how we see ourselves. No one likes someone who sees themselves all high and mighty, but that is exactly what our community is doing by calling those not involved as “normies” with a tone that belittles them.
Shouldn’t we try our best to be more kind and tolerate their ignorance towards the subject matter that we love so much? Besides, we definitely wouldn’t know too much about what those “normies” love, so why would they bother with what we love if we treat them like our mortal enemies? We ultimately want more people to love our culture and join us, so how would treating them like an alien help us?
I personally think these people share more similarities with us than we think, they all have something they are passionate about. Maybe they are passionate about The Hunger Games, and if that is the case, you could introduce them to some anime that share similar qualities like The Hunger Games such as Danganronpa or The Future Diary. So instead of trying to push them away and think that they are out to get us, we can always “convert” them, by showing them what we love and just maybe they would see and understand why we love these stuff to death.
All of us starts out as a normie, and we become who we are because of that one episode of Naruto we watched after our school, or maybe because one of your friends wouldn’t shut up about how Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is the best thing ever… Bottom line is, we wouldn’t be in this community if we were shunned off and looked down upon just because we don’t know the voice actor’s name for Luffy or if we didn’t know just who the heck is Hayao Miyazaki.
As someone who is actively participating in the community myself, I can see why people get so defensive around these “normies” and why we would even look down upon them. I think a large contributing factor is how the general public perceives us; they see us as someone lazy, filthy, perverted and childish. So, naturally the people in the community would get defensive and see those “normies” similarly as how they would see us. An eye for an eye as the saying would go.
However, let’s think of it this way, our culture is indeed quite weird. We dress like our favourite character for fun, even though it’s not cheap, and the costume isn’t the most comfortable thing to wear on a hot day. We spend entire evenings doing nothing but screaming at the computer screen as our stupid teammates feed the opposing team. We engage in heated debates about just who is the “best girl” in our favourite show.
All these are definitely very weird when compared to what the general audience is used to. However, we share more similar traits than you may think. We would all cheer when our favourite ships sail no matter if it’s 2D or 3D character. We would cheer when our favourite sports team win no matter if it’s Manchester United or Cloud9. We would all get hyped up when a long awaited movie is finally released, doesn’t matter if it’s Evangelion or The 7th Fast and Furious. We share more similarities than we care to admit.
So, next time if you feel like belittling a “normie” try to think of them as a potential super close friend that you can game and watch favourite shows together with. Who knows, maybe they get to share some of their favourite shows with you too, and everyone can be BFFs!