Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Overdue Rebellion

Status:  Final NaNo word count—404,404

Mental State:  Not quite as exhausted as I would have expected—close though. Mostly I’m just sad it’s over. *sniffles*


So, I’m sitting in my room with my feet propped up drinking tea, not that anyone really cares. In fact, if I took a picture of myself right now and posted it on the internet, I doubt anyone would give it more than a passing glance or go out of their way to Google it. Maybe a couple friends would like it on Facebook. No biggie. But, if I were—say—Louis Tomlinson, almost every thirteen year old in existence would probably stare at my photo for a good solid five minutes. Its Facebook likes would number in the thousands (at least). Probably a few creepers would print it out and post it on their wall (yes, you know who you are). Big difference huh? Just…change the person, and you change everything.

While you may not care about what I had for breakfast or what my favorite color is (green, by the way) or the number of marshmallows I can fit in my mouth, you probably would if I were someone famous. And I get that, so don’t think I’m griping. Isn’t it at least a little bit intriguing, though, that if Louis posted a video relaying those exact details, a couple hundred thousand individuals would probably watch it at least once while I might get two views?

But what’s the difference between him and me aside from the obvious things like gender and facial hair? Well, he’s famous, yeah—a heartthrob. What else though? Is he a better person? Maybe. Since he’s rich and all, he can give gobs of money to charities, and he has significant influence he could use for good. That’s not really what I’m talking about though. I’m not referring to morality or talent. Actually, I’m talking about him…as a person. And me too, as a person. And you.

Countries like India have caste systems where those at the top are rich and privileged, those in the middle less so, and those at the bottom untouchable. Other countries, like the United States, are a little more covert about this—we have our upper class, our middle class, and our poverty stricken lower class. Granted, that’s a broad generalization. But the people in these different levels—it’s not like they’re some different species. They are all human beings—made in God’s image just like you and Louis and I. Both fame and obscurity can do nothing to change that.

So what makes some special and others not? Well, Louis is a halfway decent singer (some would disagree—but I wasn’t asking). Also, never underestimate the power of great hair and good looks. Those can often go farther than a decent batch of brain cells, but I digress. And I’m not like the haters. Don’t think I’m going to stand here and argue that Louis has been handed fame and fortune and adulation without just cause, all the while trying to mask my own jealousy.

Sure, he’s famous—that is something. But even if you’re not famous?—doesn’t mean you’re any less than he. Some day you may have the spotlight. Or perhaps you prefer the shadows. You know what though? Maybe the singers and the actors and the writers and the politicians are the ones we end up remembering at the end of the day. But the lady at the cash register who says something nice to the depressed teen? I think that puts a platinum album to shame.

Louis’ popularity—and the popularity of others—has nothing to do with worth. Like Louis and like me, you are a person. And we are all equal, no matter what anyone says. Granted, you might pass your evenings calculating pi to the millionth digit while I spend mine progressing my campaign to burn every math book on the planet. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. While Louis can sing, maybe you can’t carry a tune except to take it out back and bury it. Or perhaps he can’t make a decent soufflé while you can. Then comes the whole issue of appearance:  fat or skinny, tall or short? What does it matter? What do these things say about you—you as a person?

Living in this world, seeing all the gorgeous Hollywood people and the stick-thin shop window dummies and the talents everyone seems to have aside from you, it can get pretty depressing pretty fast. So here comes the point where I say something controversial. Before you shoot me, though, allow me to explain. This culture—it makes self-esteem a thing of the past. (Just so you know, that wasn’t the controversial bit.) Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt there’s any way you can look like the gals and the guys on the magazines. With all that airbrushing, they don’t even look like themselves. To try would be to drive yourself crazy, or worse. But people do. I do. And that’s a mistake.  

I’m not saying it’s wrong to look your best or to work out and be fit. Those are great things, just, not the most important. Rather than trying to live up to the lie that is the tabloid, the lie that the actors can’t even seem to live up to without collapsing on set or whatever, why don’t we try something else? Why don’t we rebel? Seriously. Who sets these standards anyway, the ones where you have to kill yourself to be pretty? Who made the ruling that beauty is something you put on your face instead of something you wear on your heart? I think it’s about time we stopped letting them pull this one over on us. I think it’s time we let them know how sick we are—us girls and guys—of being held to unreal standards. Why don’t we just let ourselves be human for once, stop trying to be gods? You do realize, don’t you? Things like this only happen because we let them, because we just accept the lies and don’t speak out against them.

So my challenge? Measure the thickness (not the width or length—the thickness) of a magazine cover. Sometimes that’s as deep as outward beauty goes. Why not find out what it really means to be pretty—on the inside? Age will take that face from you—what will you have left when it’s gone? And to help free ourselves, why don’t we message our friends and tell them how wonderful they are, the bits about their personalities that make them unique and special, the traits that make them better than a shop window dummy. Why don’t we rebuild our culture from the bottom up on a stronger foundation, one where we all have a little more room to breathe and actually be ourselves.


Note:  Please don’t misconstrue this post as a slam on Louis Tomlinson. I assure you, it is not. I just figured that using someone like Taylor Swift would come across as criticism rather than mere example. As for Louis, I do still intend to marry him some day. *grin*


  1. This article ended up taking a different direction than I anticipated—and I think that's kind of cool. Way to go. Beauty has become something superficial these days, that you can peel off at the end of the day, and I feel like that's not cool at all. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but sometimes I can't help but wonder if it's not. Sometimes it seems like beauty is in the hands of the servants.

    Yeah. This was an excellent post, though... I think I'm going to share it on my Facebook page. *nods*

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. The ending took me by surprise too, actually. But I figured I'd just take a chance.