Monday, November 22, 2010

Reel Life vs. Real Life

Alright - it has been exactly a week since I last wrote. My apologies. The last time we met, I was battling some badass bug that had decided to attack my throat. As luck would have it, this bug also attacked my lungs. Yes, what I thought was merely a throat infection turned out to be pneumonia. Instead of gargling with some salt water, I found myself with logging 16 hours of sleep per day while getting reacquainted with Zithromax. The good news is, I can finally breathe again, I can eat solid foods and I have the energy to actually write.

I recently went out with bambi and Darleya to catch a flick...While the boys were away, we thought it would be great to see a chick-flick, something we knew we had no chance of ever going to see with a significant other (not that I have one, but they both do). Our choice - Life As We Know It. That's right, we opted for the cheesiest one out there at present time. I would like to mention that it did not disappoint. Within 20 minutes, I looked to my left, then my right, only to find my girlfriends in the same state as me - sniffling, teary-eyes and mascara running down our cheeks while frantically looking for some tissues. The circumstances in the movie were horrible, and though none of us had ever lived through anything remotely trying as what these people were going through, we could all relate to the pain and emotion the characters were experiencing.

Watching this set the wheels in motion for this current post. What is it about these chick-flicks that has us so hooked? Or even reality shows in general? Perhaps my target is moreso reality shows than the movies, but I have come to realize over the last year that too many of us spend time idolizing things that just don't exisit, or that are so far from what reality actually is. Let's take anything (or most things) produced by MTV, The Real World being a prime example. I watched the entire last season of The Real World: New Orleans with bambi religiously. We each had our favorite characters, and would spend a fair amount of time discussing these. But more fascinating than the characters was the predicaments they seemed to always find themselves in, and the whole notion of the show to begin with. Life is so much more complicated than the images we are fed. Who really lives with eight COMPLETE strangers, in a pimped-out house without having to worry about money? And really, who is lucky enough to say that their biggest problem in life is a weird roomate. Not me, that's for damn sure. And yet these people are made out to be role-model types. People somehow think that being on The Real World is an accomplishment, something to strive for - why is that? And more importantly, who managed to convince today's youth of this, because this person is not only psychotic, but at the same time, a genius.

Allow me to take you through a week in my life. Everyday boasts some routine activities - showering, gym, meals and work. But my work is not going out and having fun and being carefree. My work is in a cubicle, with deadlines, working with some people that I like, and some that I don't like at all. I depend on my salary, and if I lose my job, I am up shit creek without a paddle. Pardon the expression. I feel like these shows are propaganda, instilling non-accurate depictions of what "real life" is in today's younger generation. Everyone wants to live this "fabulous" life where everything is taken care of for you, where responsibility and accountability are notions of the past, where by some miracle, you can dress in designer duds without having to work for any of it. Whose "real" life is this? It certainly isn't mine.

No one appreciates what they have anymore, and we are always seeking more, seeking something better. We are fed images of glamour and wealth on a constant basis, and find ourselves comparing our lives to these images. And for what? It would be nice to have the world handed to me on a silver platter, but I am 95% certain that if I did, I would have the same level of intelligence as Paris Hilton - I too would think that Walmart is a place that sells walls. I would much rather have a little less, and know that at least I worked for what I have. I would much rather save up for a vacation and enjoy the anticipation that goes with it than just mindlessly jump from one continent to another just because "I can". When I close my eyes at night and go to bed, I know that I have made a difference in someone's life, and it isn't because I was photographed wearing the newest Louboutin's. I go to bed with a sense of accomplishment, I don't need thousands of random strangers worshipping me in order to have self-worth.

So I guess at the end of the day, my point is the following - if you aren't happy with your life, do something about it, be proactive. But, don't for a second allow yourself to be fooled by "reel life" - everything is orchestrated, and nothing is ever really as it seems. Life is not like the movies, and problems are not resolved after an hour and a half of romantic comedy sequences. Life isn't a fairytale, and living vicariously through reality-tv lushes will more than likely leave you feeling quite disenchanted. Life is what you make of it. And if you spend your time idolizing others, and lusting after things that only about 10% of the world's population can actually afford anyways, you will always be let down. Work hard, and play harder, and above all, remember - as poor as you may be, all the money in the world can never buy pride, and you can take pride wherever life brings you.

-Milie B.

1 comment:

  1. Could not agree more. Dont forget, there is a formula to these shows and they fill a need. People who create them behind the scenes are laughing in the money and playing with people insecurities. The make people think their live are out of control, when actually, you can have anything you want... Glad to see someone else sees through the lines!