Words to Use Instead of ‘Crazy’ Unless You’re Talking About Tyra Banks

There is great power in language, and much of the colloquial language we use without a second thought contributes to the stigmatization of mental illness. The good news is, we can also harness that power to improve our culture by being conscious of the words we use and removing ableist language from our vocabulary. Here are four words to use instead of “crazy”, unless, of course, you’re talking about Tyra Banks and whatever she’s been doing.



If you want to stress your point while describing something unusual or surprising, try replacing the c word with “unbelievable”. For example, “The line at the grocery store was unbelievably long today.” But if you’re describing the time Tyra Banks pretended to have rabies from being bitten by a dog, then foamed at the mouth, barked, and slobbered on an audience member in order to demonstrate an example of “acting,” then you can go ahead and say crazy because really what else are you going to call that.



Remember that guy you briefly dated who used to refer to his ex-girlfriend as “crazy”? Yeah, it wasn’t good luck then, and it’s definitely not now. If someone’s behavior is outlandish or even troublesome, try instead using the word “outrageous”. You could even use this word to talk about Tyra Banks spending an afternoon pretending to be homeless (with a camera crew) prior to having the contestants of America’s Next Top Model do a “homeless themed” photoshoot. Ugh, but does outrageous cut it? It’s fucking crazy. Just say it’s fucking crazy.




“Wild” might be the best go-to replacement for crazy, as it’s short, sweet, and packs a similar punch. But would you really want to call the years of egregiously harmful acts Tyra Banks committed during her ANTM tenure wild? Well, maybe crazy doesn’t do it justice either. Maybe we should strive to be more precise and intentional with our communication rather than attempting to distill the problematic behavior of a flawed but complex person into one word. Plus, we all watched that show. We were all complicit. In a way, we are all Tyra. Damn…that’s crazy.


A small change can have a big impact. Start by removing “crazy” from your vocabulary, and trying these other options instead. Unless you’re talking about Tyra Banks, in which case, just say what you need to say to try to process it all.