There she is Jennifer Aniston, wow I want to be just like her, she’s got the perfect hair, perfect body, perfect tan…oh I wish I was like her.
All of us women, went through this every time we watched an episode of Friends, watched the Grammy’s or the Oscars. Why is it that we all desire, hope and dream to be like the beautiful, tanned, celebrities we see on TV?
They appear to have it all, the looks, the money, the great hair; the list is endless of all the qualities they have that we want to possess. When we look at celebrities, we think they have it all, but do they? Most cannot function in a marriage for more than 6 months. They name their children odd names like Apple and Tiger Lilly.
Their relationships are completely dysfunctional and their addiction to drugs and alcohol is quite alarming. Most celebrities have it harder than we think, bowing and scraping to directors, taking their clothes off in front of a large crew on set and above all (especially for women) watching their weight like hawks for fear of losing work opportunities.
Kate Winslet, Geri Halliwell and Christina Ricci, they have all succumbed to the Hollywood to do list. What is this list? Oh it’s nothing really, it just says lose all the weight you can till you look like a lollipop, tuck, lift, peel and yoga yourself into oblivion and hey we might cast you as an extra.
They all go through the dreaded watchful eye of overweight Hollywood producers who wouldn’t know a treadmill if it jumped up and smacked the full cream, mocha java out of their hands. These “lovely” men sit in judgment of these Hollywood stars and tell them that thin, thinner, thinnest are always best, whilst stuffing down another doughnut.
It’s quite a shame really that acting ability is judged on dress size, bra size and skin tone; rather than actual talent and dedication. Stars like Marilyn Monroe in her day, looked absolutely divine, but today that same shape would be completely ruled out and dubbed “fat”.
Yet why do we continue to aspire to be like these women who cow-tow to men and abandon their dignity for a cool $15 million a film? Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder wants Jen’s hair, Madonna’s body, Gwyneth Paltrow’s nose and Nicole Kidman’s eyes!
Down to the serious business here. Are our lives really that different from theirs that we would want to change places? Well apart from the money, would you really want every tabloid in the country publishing that you’ve just gained 5 kilos, broken up with James Famous who you’ve been dating for 2 years and that just recently you were caught shoplifting from Macy’s department store, neh not really.
Our self- perceptions are often diminished as we watch stars like Catherine Zeta Jones with flawless features strutting her stuff on the big screen. Some even say that magazines and designers are to blame for the increase in diseases like anorexia and bulimia. Young girls buy the latest magazines and compare themselves to the Gisele Bunchen’s and Estella Warren’s of this world and come up short when they realize that they aren’t as super skinny as these catwalk queens.
A while back I was watching a program on television and an editor of a popular magazine was talking about the fact that women complain about the amount of “fake” women on the covers of magazines and that they wanted to see more real women on the covers.
So what this magazine did was to place a “real” woman on the cover of their magazine who looked a lot like a fuller figured Sophie Dahl. Well surprise surprise; women didn’t seem to like that as much as they thought they would. So even though we are disgusted at the sights of super skinny women, we can’t seem to get enough of them.
Many of us will stand up and say I’m happy with my body, I wouldn’t change a thing. But deep down no one can deny that they would want a beautiful celebrity body given half a chance.
But not to worry girls we are not alone in our quest for the perfect bod. Men have it tough too. Imagine the lack of interest if stars like George Clooney and Brad Pitt were to put on about 10 to 15 kilos. I suppose men have their equal share of pressure to look good just like us girls.
Although this is a reality, it seems more emphasis is placed on women to look a certain way. The media is the greatest role player in women determining their self worth.
Women are constantly bombarded with Verimark ads advertising Bio Slim fat attack, Ab-fLex, Tae Bo and the Orbitrek. Women are frequently informed that their skin needs to be perfect, their hair, their teeth etc. Products seem to offer all the solutions, Pantene will teach you to love your hair, L’Oreal will show that you too need to make use of their anti-aging gravity defying lotion, because; Mary, Sue, Paula; you’re worth it.
We spend so much money on these products to look a certain way and if your Hollywood glamour patch doesn’t help, there’s always Dr Touch – Up to give you the Botox you’ve always wanted.
So after a hard days spinning, spa treatment and hair salon visit, its home to apply the Hollywood glamour patch, some daily renewal cream and maybe a few ab crunches with the ab-flex to round off the day. We are so preconditioned to look a certain way these days that we will inevitably turn into carbon copies of one another and lose sight of who we really are.
Sure it’s a good idea to stay healthy, by eating the right food, exercising and drinking water, but the trick is to not over-do it and to not punish yourself too harshly for the occasional Snickers bar.
Maybe following this simple list might help:
· Be sure to cleanse tone and moisturize.
· Brush, floss and rinse.
· Exfoliate, scrub and wax.
· Run, walk or swim.
· Be happy with your spirit otherwise no amount of L’Oreal will make the negative beliefs go away.
· Meditate and let your past failures flow right through you.
· Ignore the labels people place on you and choose your own.
· Follow your head and your hear t wherever they may take you.
· BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
Now all we need to do is switch off the television and leave Jen, Gwen and Madonna to their own little worlds and get on with our own.
It’s not always simple to be you or me, and the demands of social life are ever increasing. I’m remindful of the McCain veggie ad, with the women who’s gotta be the world’s greatest; mother, wife, businesswoman and cook. Women have so many roles in today’s society. These roles are both challenging and exhausting. They carry with them so much more than they let on and women are so much more than they care to believe.
So while the celebrity life looks glamorous and wonderful, the illusion lies in the fake smiles and laughter. We don’t see Angelina and Brad at home or know whether life is a bed of roses for the material girl, Madonna. We only see the fixed outside shell of happiness and joy and we are completely unaware of the hidden pain, anxiety and torment that comes with being famous.
Maybe being a celebrity wannabe isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Possibly life will still go on even if we don’t achieve a body or bank account of the stars. It’s a tough job living as a woman in today’s world without the added worry about whether our hair looks like the girl on the Revlon ad or whether we should consider Botoxing to achieve the cover girl look.
But we know that sometimes despite our efforts to be ourselves and free of the CWS curse, we will still be envious of the stars and their small waistlines and seemingly perfect (airbrushed) features, not to mention their extremely large bank accounts and posh houses in the Hamptons.
To be a celeb or not to be a celeb that is the fat burning, tummy tucking, wrinkle free question. To be viewed by paparazzi in our Woolies nightie, or to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Is it nobler to be Margaret Roos or Meg Ryan, is up to you. But just remember that all that glitters ain’t gold!