Friday, August 12, 2011

Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt's search for the myth

Last week, there was a headline on the Huffington Post Entertainment page that I couldn't resist clicking: "How Heidi and Spencer Squandered All Their Money"

If you've stood in line at a grocery store at any time over past this year, you've probably at least once seen their names on a magazine cover. A headline about her numerous plastic surgeries. One about their supposed divorce.

Here is the summary, with the main points: How Heidi and Spencer Squandered All Their Money. Here is the full article: When Reality-TV Fame Runs Dry 

My opinion: EVERYONE should read this article and really think it through.  Why?

Because the article paints a great picture of how false being famous is. It all looks shiny and tempting and amazing on the screen, but at the end of the day it is just bells and whistles, smoke and mirrors. This is the type of article I'd want to get a bunch of teenagers in a room so I could go through it with them. At the end of the day being known by masses doesn't equal anything. Having tons and tons of stuff makes the soul empty.

The article's importance doesn't stop here though.  As easy as it would be to stand outside the celebrity zoo and point accusing fingers at the inmates, no one else can really claim difference. When you really get to the heart of what the article reveals, we are all in there. At least read the summary article if you haven't already (CLICK HERE) and really think about the bullet points there.

One of the most powerful statements in the article is when Pratt says, "My whole million-dollar wardrobe - I would never wear that again. They're props. Everything we were doing, we were buying props." 

How many of us buy and use props? Here's the hard thing to swallow on this: we all do. All of us. Not you? Really?

Why do you iron your clothes in the morning?

Most people wouldn't say, "because my clothes deserve to be straight and to be well taken care of." Most would say something along the lines of, "I don't want to look like a slob." Now I'm not advocating for the world to throw their irons away. What I'm saying is that deep down, to varying degrees, we are all worried about how we appear to others. The iron is a prop, and we all use them.

Props are used to craft an image. The image might be for others viewing - we want them to see us in a certain light. The image might be for our viewing - we have an unsatisfiable desire to see ourselves in a different light.  The prop might be tangible: an electronic we want to be holding or a brand we want to be wearing. The prop might be intangible: the way we talk around some people in comparison to others, the attitude we express in different environments.

Reading this article about Heidi and Spencer forces me to ask tough questions: 
  • Am I going to be truthful to others and myself about who I am?
  • Does insecurity or pride drive my desire to craft a false image?
  • What do I spend money on or invest time on in an effort to craft the image?
  • Am I willing to own up to my mistakes and shortcomings? 
  • How do I make excuses for mistakes or try covering them up?
  • Do I embrace a title as a means of crafting an image?
  • As a leader, am I OK never being known on a large scale?
  • Do I hide my struggles because I fear rejection or people's opinion of me being changed?
  • Am I afraid of people rejecting the real me?
Whenever I use props to bury myself underneath a false image, I have to realize I am living the Hollywood myth. It's the Reality TV life of smoke and mirrors and a scripted false identity. It is a stress and an emptiness.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we shouldn't care about who we are. In no way am I advocating for an attitude of apathy and lack of responsibility. That would be even more destructive to our souls than using the props. The central issue here is honesty and vulnerability. 

I'm going to flesh these ideas out a little deeper in a few more posts. For now it comes down to this: do I see and reveal the true me or do I use props to create an image that I think others will find more accepting?
Avoid the Hollywood myth.

Be you.

But if you are really courageous, allow God to show you how He sees. 
But that's for another post.

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