“Un”defining Family - Stepping into Reality

The notion of family has evolved beautifully throughout the years.

With or without intention, we are breaking away from the idea that the nuclear family is the symbol of tribal perfection.

The Nuclear Family, also known as the heteronormative narrative of the blissfully committed mom and dad, with their 2.5 kids, along with a dog, nestled in quiet contentment behind a non descriptive white picket fence.

This image rings a bell as we were all quietly pressured to fit this “standard” family portrait.

All smiles, no problems, and a perfectly manicured front lawn, as per the portraits on the packaging of Tupperware recently purchased.

What were the origins of this familial “ideal?” Who decided what it should look like? Especially given this… ever so specific model.

There’s nothing wrong with idealizing family. It’s not like having a picture perfect family is hurting anyone…

I disagree.

There was always something suspicious about those plastic smiles and perfectly coordinated outfits.There are many issues, when society nurtures the expectation that fits fluid, complicated and flawed individuals, many with eccentricities and quirks, not to mentioned unresolved traumas and prickly past lives, into a model of someone’s version of perfection.

Everyone immediately feels inadequate.

Authenticity falls short, so we all attempt to live up to the portrait, necessarily hiding behind facades, creating fictional narratives of familial excellence.

What’s wrong with setting a standard? Is it not better to have something that perpetuates a norm?