I really do dislike trendy phrases. Currently two that I despise are, ‘authentic self’ and ‘transparency’. I think that many people who use these two are the least authentic or transparent of people. Also, ‘keeping it real’ is odd to me. What is being kept real, and for whom?
I have observed that when these phrases are being used, it’s more like a marketing ploy than an attempt at accomplishing anything worthy of effort. Take for example the show I just watched recently; Mr. Box Office. It is a show that transfers between what the kids are doing at school, and what the adults are doing at home and work. Usually with these shows, they are so ridiculous it is often times hard to tell who is the adult and who is the child. Not because the kids are behaving so mature… but rather because the adults are not.
In the episode, Samboozled, one of the teenage girls meets a nice boy from a wealthy family. He attends private school. She feels that she is in need of a make-over to raise herself to the standard of girl he is used to being around and/or dating. She learns etiquette and changes the way she looks, and dresses to impress him. As per typical anti-Cinderella, Hollywood rhetoric, he hates it, thinks she is being fake and wants her to go back to her ‘authentic self’. That would be fine and well if it were not for the fact that they are demeaning girls who wish to act a certain way as being ‘fake’. Instead of just concentrating on this one girl changing herself for the wrong reasons (I don’t agree with them on this) they went too far and tore at people who do work hard to learn etiquette as being fake and ridiculous. Ignorant people always make fun of what they do not understand and/or fear.) Learning etiquette used to be a ‘thing’ in American schools. Hygiene, being polite, being courteous, respecting your elders (yes there are people who are older and wiser than us and whom we must treat with greater respect than some people). This does not mean we disrespect other people, we just need to get back to treating the elder, pregnant and disabled respectfully. I do not see where such things are still taught. I learned them form my mother, and some things in Home Ec. class.
I’m so over a few people making life miserable for the rest of us… example; some women who became offended at having a door held open for them (what???!!!) have now made it so that few men open a door for any woman out of fear of being yelled at by a crazed feminist. I realize I am starting to rant so I will get back to this t.v. episode.
If this teenage girl felt that learning etiquette made her a lesser version than her ‘true’ self, that is unfortunate and maybe she should not have tried to change in the first place. To accuse people who do want to learn such things as being fake disingenuous, or not ‘authentic’ is what is wrong. We have fat shaming, thing shaming, fit shaming, smart shaming, and now, etiquette shaming? Come on, people. when does it all end?
We discuss this all the time in my church ladies’ book group. Some feel that they are not being, ‘authentic’ there’s that word again, if they are calm during life’s trials and tribulations instead of remaining calm, praying and trusting in and accepting the will of God in their lives. I propose the question; what if remaining calm, learning etiquette, being polite, humble courteous, etc., IS being authentic and all that other stuff, the stuff that the world is promoting, is what is in-authentic?
If you want to lose weight, get fit, whatever, it is nobody’s business but yours. Yes, when your efforts start to become visible, people will notice and some will have an opinion about it. Pay attention, this is when the true nature of the people around you will be revealed. Do you want such people in your life possibly sabotaging your efforts? In that t.v. episode, if she had wanted to learn all about etiquette, change her hair and the way she dresses without a boy being involved, would her friends have been as supportive? Would she had stuck with it if that boy had not told her he thought she was being fake? to me, this is how people oppress one another and, to no surprise, here is Hollywood perpetuating the oppressive message that this, or really any change that does not make society less bearable, is bad. This means that while some of us work at speaking well, good posture, good hygiene, treating others with respect, etc. We must also tolerate people who not only choose not to make any effort whatsoever at improving themselves or even making themselves at the very least pleasant to be around in public. To top it all off, those deliberately offensive people are called ‘authentic’ while polite people are called fake.
We see it in movies such as; What a Girl Wants. Amanda Bynes plays a teenager who is a bit rough around the edges. she goes through a make-over kind of like the Princess Diaries then changes back to be her ‘authentic’ self. Well, is it really her authentic self or is she just a quitter?
Look at the changes Kate Middleton went through to get her prince. Has she ‘changed back’? No. She is even more transformed than ever before-as a mother of two, soon to be three, who is now teaching her children the things she has learned. IT’S OK TO CHANGE!! Kate Middleton changed and will one day be the queen of england. Melania Trump changed and is now the First Lady of the United States. If you want to change you can… but you must put in the effort AND stick with it.
For decades we have heard that the definition of insanity is doing what you have always done and expecting different results. Suddenly, that’s not the case? Now we call unfit people fit? Fat is the new fit? Obesity is now called ‘curvy’? We now celebrate obesity as beauty and conveniently sweep under the rug the culture of laziness, death, and mediocrity that has become America. There are few, if any definitives in our society. Relativism is killing us & lowering our standards, and we are just sitting back and letting it happen.
The people who refuse to get on the band wagon of poor grammar, obesity, rudeness, etc. Are now seen as the odd balls.
I think one of the reasons we do not change IS because it is so hard to be different than those around us. Birds of a feather and all that. If this is a spot in which you find yourself, find different birds with whom you may associate. No really. Your current circle of friends is killing you if they are not supporting you and your efforts.
Ok, rant over… for now.