Especially when one person’s “real” is another person’s “ridiculous”.
In just about every magazine you read and on every lifestyle TV show you watch, there are always stories telling you that in order to be happy, you need to be “true to yourself”. You should be “real”.
And in the stories written about the celebrities who grace the pages of these magazines, they’re peppered with anecdotes of how the journalists witnessed these celebs as they were “being real”. And it’s usually interesting, refreshing and inspiring to know.
“With no makeup on and freshly washed hair, the star’s natural glow was evidently real”.
“Sitting at the cafe without his minders, he was down-to-earth and honest as we talked about what life behind the scenes of his latest movie was like”.
“As she skipped down the stairs to meet me, she looked me in the eye and shook my hand with a firm shake, unpretentiously excusing her slightly roughened hands as “I’ve been out gardening”, she declared”.
But ironically, these very same actors, models and performers who we as a society worship the most and turn into celebrities, are people who spend their whole working LIVES being someone that they’re not…
Often one of the worse things you say about someone is “you’re so fake”. Obviously if someone is two-faced – they say one thing and do another – it is pretty annoying. But what about the other types of “fake”?
Like the MTV Jersey peeps or Jordan/Katie Price kind of fake. Is that really so wrong? And how are they any different to a camp, gay man who likes to speak dramatically, wear the odd jewel, jaunty hat, feathers and heels?
Women or men who pile on the makeup, the hair extensions, the fake nails, the spray tans… Are they any less “real”? And should they be castigated for not being their “natural selves”? They are being whomever they want to be, right this very minute.
Or what about the person who gets botox four times a year to erase their frown lines? What’s wrong with them striving for their idea of perfection?
If having a smooth, unlined face just so happens to be important to you – is in fact what you “truly” want – then doesn’t that mean that you’d be better off going and having whatever treatments work, whether they be creams, peels or injectables, than doing nothing, just in an attempt to “keep it real”?
And what about the “fake” that is actually essential for keeping society running? Wouldn’t you generally prefer someone to whack on a “phoney” smile and play at being nice rather than be a rude, nasty, belligerent prick?
The problem here is that it’s all about perception. To some, Dolly Parton is a better look than a 64 year old woman who has never dieted, had surgery or injectables.
Wearing your heart on your sleeve and openly displaying your emotions, whether they’re happy, sad, angry or confused is one person’s prerogative. Hiding these emotions completely is anothers.
And what right does anyone have to tell them that they’re wrong, just because their perception is different?
Disclaimer: I love reading magazines like Wellbeing and Prevention but also read Famous and NW. I prefer natural therapies whenever possible and don’t take drugs. I don’t like fake nails but have had them in the past. I dye my hair and get spray tans sometimes. I love yoga and running in the park. I have botox a few times a year and am open to cosmetic surgery. I try and eat organic food when it’s available. I had my right arm slimmed down in the photo on the homepage of this website because I thought my shoulder muscle made me look fat. I think that the Jersey girls look over-done and Katie Price is starting to look totally weird but chances are, they’d think I look plain and boring. My outlook is that people come in all shapes, sizes, colours and with different brain capacities and, as long as they’re not harming others or expecting the world to look after them if their choices end up harming their health, they should be accepted for whatever they choose to be. And if you don’t agree with this outlook, that’s ok too. (In fact, not only is it ok, I want to hear about it! Please leave a comment, I’m super keen to hear what you think about “being real”).