Welcome to Peculiar Girl, a blog that celebrates the unconventional and promotes ethical, more compassionate living. Through my writing I’ll show you how challenging social norms can demolish the barriers that are preventing you from finding true happiness. I’ll also demonstrate how treating yourself and others with greater kindness and compassion cultivates a richer, more meaningful life.
What do I mean by social norms? From the moment we’re born, we are bombarded with messages about how we should look, act, and live. You can choose to blindly follow along, like most people, or you can take the time to uncover the truth… that many of these messages come from those who have something to gain from your compliance, often at the expense of your own fulfillment.
The fashion and cosmetics industries perpetuate an unattainable beauty standard to keep us spending billions on their products. The underlying message is that for women and girls, looks matter above all else. We’ve created a culture where, according to one poll, young women would rather win “America’s Top Model” than the Nobel Prize. The same survey found that 22 percent of women would rather lose their ability to read than lose their figure. If you’re interested, you can see the full survey here.
Boys are socialized to be aggressive and to suppress their emotions, or risk being called “gay,” the ultimate insult in many circles. Every day there are new stories of young people committing suicide because they were being bullied for not complying with social norms.
We are also a culture obsessed with stuff. People, animals, and our environment are suffering as a result of our demand for cheap goods that we are told are necessary to achieve the “American dream.” Yet it seems the more we consume, the less happy we are.
Each of us is unique. If you spend your life trying to fit into a mold that others have created for you, you will always be disappointed. Yes, sometimes going against the grain is scary, but it’s also intensely rewarding. By sharing my experience and expertise, I hope I can inspire you to leave normal behind and discover the joys of being peculiar.
I write about gender stereotypes, body image, philanthropy, living more simply, and the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
My name is Cheryl Breuer (pronounced BROY-er). I left my corporate job in 2010 to pursue my dream of freelance writing. I’m also a yogi, a vegan, and an active volunteer. I live in Madison, Wisconsin, with my equally peculiar husband Tom and a one-of-a-kind rescue mutt named Romeo.
For more about me, and the inspiration behind this blog, you can read my first post, Life on My Terms: Why Bullies and Critics Can’t Keep Me Down.