Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Insecurity & The Media

The great director, producer, and screenwriter, Francis Ford Coppola, once said "I don't think there is an artist of any value that doesn't doubt what they're doing." When we watch an Oscar winning performance we don't consider how many takes or do overs were required to give us that perfect film.  When we see a model gracing the cover of Vogue, we don't realize how many shots and how much air brushing it took to get that immaculate cover. We hold ourselves to impossible standards. Standards that even the professionals cannot reach.

Whenever I see a sparkling, clean home on television I secretly wish mine was like that. I find myself assuming every other American woman has somehow mastered the art of meticulously cleaning, decorating, and bringing home the bacon too. I beat myself up because there are just not enough hours in the day to reach let alone maintain a film ready house. Even though I know if the cameras panned out 9 times out of 10 it is not even a home I am viewing, but a carefully constructed set created by dozens of hands. Even when it is a real house dozens of hands pitch in to make it camera ready. Unfortunately, I only have 2 hands and they are too busy juggling to dust my baseboards or remove the cobweb I saw in the kitchen last night.

The fact is we all feel that we have fallen short in some area of life, if not several. The media has taught us to judge ourselves against their make believe standards. Advertising executives peddle their wares by feeding on our insecurities. Fear is the number one seller of goods in America. Fear of injury or incomptent medical treatment, don't wait for a disaster to occur call 1-800- Lawyers now. We have operators standing by to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fear of aging? Buy the same wrinkle cream that has kept Cindy Crawford looking decades younger than her half century years. Fear of getting flabby? Get the latest extreme workout DVD. If that is not enough hurry to sign up for the newest meal delivery service promising you will see the pounds melt away. Fear of having a poor golf game? Buy the newest training device endorsed by Tiger, sure to give you a drive of 200 yards or your money back.

As models and celebrities grace the covers of magazines in the grocery store check out lane, many of us subconsciously wish we had Debra Messing's gorgeous red locks, Halle Berry's toned abs, Jeffrey Dean Mogan's killer smile, or Tim McGraw's beautiful wife. The fact is that none of these people were born perfect. They have an entourage of professionals at their beck and call. Personal trainers, stylists and publicists, hair and makeup teams, and even Botox on demand are all in celebrities' arsenals stocked for career success. They make it their jobs to turn heads and invest big bucks in keeping up their images and employing only the best to fight their own insecurities.

Those in the public eye wield the kind of money and expert contacts that most of us just don't  have at our disposal. Instead we press our faces up to our screens and secretly envy those who do. We fall to the mercy of modern day Mad Men, making purchases we can't afford and/or don't really need based on celebrity endorsements and our own fears of not measuring up. Falling prey to celebrity endorsements makes us feel more like them, the elite with perfect air brushed lives.

This would explain the 2 lipsticks I recently added to my collection of a dozen, just because these 2 were named for Julianne Moore. Did I need 2 more lipsticks? No, of course not, but having them in my purse makes me feel a little more special. Painting my lips with them makes me feel a little more like I could be the perfect starlet she shows the camera.

The fact is perfection would get annoying after awhile. As Emma Stone's character in "Crazy, Stupid Love" pointed out who wants a partner who looks Photoshopped? I want someone who will eat Haagen Daz and snuggle with me at 2am while watching the latest Hollywood production, even if we are surrounded by 3 baskets of unfolded laundry and that cobweb I am secretly afraid to pull down. Someone who will tell me I am just as beautiful as Julianne Moore, even when I am not wearing her namesake.

I call on all of my readers to find the perfection hidden within. Cast aside the media scripted standards and create your own. Commit to being the best version of you possible. I think you will find that you are just right for the life you have designed.


  1. I am certain that you are just a beautiful a Julianne Moore. I am unable to find the perfection within all I see is continued darkness and can't find the best version of me that is possible because everything seems so far away including who I used to be.

    Thank you for your words.

    1. We evolve and grow throughout the journey of life. Let go of who you believe you used to be and focus on the here and now.

  2. I have let go. Nothing remains except a welcoming for my last breath.