I confess.. I wore “Hammer pants”. I listened to The New Kids and vowed my undying love to Jordan Knight. I still use the word “like” and the phrase “ya’ know” more than I should because the kids on 90210 did it. And today I want to have Oprah’s money, Halle’s skin, and Britney’s style. Why? Because they’re cool, hip, fresh, popular, and way more exciting than the lady who works down the hall from me, right?
Only, that lady has been a mother for several years, an employee here for longer than that, and a wife for even longer than that. She’s stable, cute, funny, smart, honest, kind, generous, and one of my closest co-workers. Why is it, then, that I would rather have the life of JLo, but won’t begin to aspire to be the lady down the hall? Like it or not, celebrities shape a lot of our behavior, habits, and personality. Why? Why don’t we model ourselves after each other? Let’s use JLo and the lady down the hall and see if we can get to the bottom of this, shall we?
The lady down the hall is tired, irritates easily, and gets headaches. She’s moody, laughs too loud, and complains even louder. She doesn’t like working out, has a weakness for chocolate, and eats almost the exact same thing for lunch every day (which she brings in a lunchbox she’s been using for years). She wears clothes she bought on sale, has no piece of jewelry worth more than her $2,000.00 engagement ring, and doesn’t know the difference between “hip huggers” and pants that “just don’t fit that girl right.”
JLo, on the other hand, eats at fancy restaurants, gets free clothes, and wears hardly anything at all sometimes. I’ve never heard of her having a hangover, a headache, or cramps. For all I know she’s never had a fever, a pimple, or diarrhea! She’s been seen with some of the “hottest” men in Hollywood, danced before millions of people, and sings like an angel (to some people). She owns houses to die for, jewelry that I won’t be finding at Wal-Mart when I go shopping, and cars I wouldn’t dream of even test-driving.
Obviously these are two different women on two different paths, and seemingly, in two completely different realities. They are as different as night and day. Both, in their own ways, are model worthy. Both have qualities that everyone would love to possess, strengths that we’d all love to imitate.
Celebrities, for all their pomp and circumstance, are still just people. We don’t see the ups and downs of their lives the way I see the ups and downs of the lady down the hall. And it’s for this reason that we shape our behavior around the celebrities of today. We don’t know the whole deal. It’s the mystique that draws us in and the glamour of a life we know we can never have that keeps us there. Humans almost always want what they can’t have.
At the end of the day, when they go to bed (the lady down the hall in her 20 year old hand-me-down and JLo in her $4,500 get-up), they still, like, lay there with some stupid song keeping them awake, ya’ know?