Dismayed again by a writer’s block, I gathered the only army one has in the world – one’s friends – and asked them to do the dirty work. I asked for subjects to write on, for them to just blurt them out and not to think too heavily on it, because that’ll be my job and sometimes is my downfall. The topics are pretty much the order I got them, only that some worked well together in a tandem post. Did you miss out on getting asked by me? Leave a comment and I’ll add you to the list.
Tell me about: the addiction of America to Hollywood.
Submitted by GS, the fastest responder.
Seeing a collage of Julia Roberts’ hairstyles in a magazine at the hairdresser, I had a thought – and this carries with it an allusion to level of the mundane in my inward narration – what is getting ready to go to a ritzy party like for Julia Roberts? Where does she leave her keys if she’s not driving? Does she bring an ID? What TLC rerun did she rouse herself from when she decided it was time to get ready? And then, what gave me pause was, by gum, yes, I would have glorious hair too if I stepped out of the house after an hour session with a hair and makeup pro.
This is what I focused on too. For her, it’s not just trying out a new cute little number she got on a sale or a debate on whether or not she’ll break a beer bottle stumbling over her heels – it’s her livelihood. But the corollary thought I had was something I absentmindedly asked several days beforehand to my Mom.
“Do you think men get really confused when they undress a real woman for the first time and it is entirely not what they’ve been cultured to believe it’s going to look like?”
She continued to stare at the television, “Don’t think they don’t have a façade that they’re working on too and that there is a similar pressure for them to achieve something that doesn’t exist?”
This is what worries me the most about American’s obsession for “perfect”, it’s not actually perfect. It’s an abstraction to proportion, a denial to the dignities of age, and a glossing over of the indignities of the same beast. I think there is much missed out on when you push away the bits of humanity that media cannot depict: the smell of the person you love, listening to the rattles of their sleep, overcoming perceived inconveniences to better yourself, being accountable to more than what you are alone, pointed eye contact from friends when a situation’s stupidity overwhelms you, or the exasperation you keep to yourself in the balance to achieve harmony.
Strangely enough, just the other day I did read an article by Cary Tenis, advice columnist at Salon, about a woman lamented to him that she had an unfettered obsession to celebrity. She cognitively knew that she was wasting her time, but what she wanted to know is what did he think that the obsession did for her. He replied that our culture is creating its own myths and essentially its own pantheon of gods, archetypes for the mere mortal to follow. It was hopeful in the idea that we at heart, when viewing a dispassionate and uninterested pantheon, still strive for being the best we can be as humans. I agree with that too, as much as we in American build a cult for these gods, ultimately we know for all their immortality, we might have the better deal with living in our hand-created versions of humanity.