[This series is a play on ‘writer’s block’.]
Warning: loads of cynicism ahead.
“Ugh so handsome”
“So pretty like a goddess”
“What can he not do?!”
“Why are you so perfect?”
Going through social media every day exercises my eyes so much that sometimes I’m scared they roll too far to the back of my head and won’t return to their normal position.
I get it. Fans spazz, flail and yay. If we won’t, who else will?
I try to recall if in my early days in social media (Blogger, LJ included), I also wrote things that would embarrass my present self. But then again, I still write stuff that would embarrass me two seconds from publishing it.
Who knows this is one of those.
But it could also be age. Or differences in perspective.
Or maybe it merely comes from following unconventional idols with acne scars, buck tooth, sloping shoulders and bad posture. Or having started off my flirtation with Asian pop culture over perennial bad hair day and terrible, Taiwan night market fashion.
They all ruined perfection for me.
It’s like eating bad food that ruined your taste early on so that everything tastes so delicious afterwards (yes, I’m side-eyeing Ohno).
But whenever I see something akin to the ideal or heralded as perfection, alarm bells go off in my head and I try to run very very far away.
Maybe I’m just a cynic at heart. That’s why I’ve stayed in this profession that thrives on questioning the status quo and playing devil’s advocate all the time.
I have this thought bubble forever hovering above my head.
Perfect beauty! Probably courtesy of so many visits to the plastic surgeon.
Ideal boyfriend. He’s probably passive aggressive in real life.
National daughter-in-law. Bet you, she probably hasn’t even peeped into her parents’ house for a long time.
Kind and generous! Must be sponsored.
So polite. All for show.
How sweet! How fake.
Yes, I do monologues in my head.
I don’t mean to undermine other’s idealism or naivete, or just plain optimism, whatever the case may be. But seeing how these carefully crafted public image of celebrities — from actors, actresses, singers, models and idols — have often been shattered by the ugly truth, my cynical self couldn’t help feeling justified. To be fair, some of them may be for real, but there are those that may just be playing a role.
Being in the entertainment industry is like cosplaying after all. You cater to your audience, anticipate what they want and fulfill their expectations. In the process, you compromise your values and in worst case scenarios, sell yourself out.
It’s a tough world.
Just like our real world except they do it in front of their public, from success to downfall, and they have to pick themselves up and keep their heads up.
That is why I go for not setting the bar too high. They say don’t fly too high because the fall may be too deep. Don’t put people up on a very high pedestal you yourself can’t reach. Manage your expectations so there won’t be disappointments.
As my friend @jhingnigami once advised:
“Hinay hinay lang baka madapa si ichiban sa harap ng estatwa ni Hachiko. [Take it easy or your fave might stumble in front of Hachiko’s statue.]”
“Hinay hinay lang baka mabaril si bias sa harap ng estatwa ni King Sejong. [Take it easy or your bias might get shot in front of King Sejong’s statue.]”
In short, chill with the over-spazzing and unrealistic expectations that might even force artistes to take drastic measures just to keep up, only to fall from grace in the end.
Let’s not set ourselves up for disappointments.
I’ve been disappointed in public personalities too, many times, but I merely take it as an affirmation that no one’s perfect. Nope, not even idols*. Keep in mind, a part of it may be airbrushed, scalpelled or faked.
*idols here cover all sorts of artistes from actors to singers.
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