Two minutes of television viewing recently led me to ponder the things to which people aspire, and the things we, as a society, seem to revere.
This occurred when I got home from covering a city council meeting. I mixed up a libation from the chemistry cupboard at the bachelor pad, and flipped on the TV with the intention of unwinding after a longish day.
There was a fashion show on, presented by a company that sells lingerie.
I can’t offer a review of the entire program, since I switched off the set after a couple minutes. The bit I saw featured models describing their accomplishment of walking down a runway in their underwear in terms that made it sound like they just discovered a cure for cancer or something.
I had the impression they were quite serious, and that they consider their vocation to be of the utmost importance.
It is not my intention to judge these women.
And, in the interest of full disclosure, I want to make it absolutely clear that I have no objection to ladies in fancy undergarments.
However, a couple things occurred to me during this brief viewing period.
First, it occurred to me there may have been women and girls watching the show and wishing they were the models on the screen.
My advice to them, although women rarely seek my advice, is that they are better off being who they are.
As far as I am concerned, “real” women are much more attractive. I don’t mean to suggest the models don’t exist. I mean there is much more to beauty than some people think.
Women who are intelligent, able to carry on a conversation, and have a sense of humor are the most attractive. When a woman is able to go to work, take care of her family and friends, and otherwise contribute to the world around her, and still manage to look good while doing it now that is hot.
I think women sometimes miss that point. They are able to see beauty in others, but not in themselves.
It saddens me that a lot of women and girls who may not resemble the models on the runway models who devote every waking moment to their appearance and who have teams of professionals to help them create that appearance don’t seem to realize how hot they really are in their own way.
The truth is, women who may think of themselves as “ordinary” are often far more attractive than the one-dimensional plastic models on magazine covers and TV.
I suppose it’s possible the models in that fashion show were interesting people, but every time they opened their mouths I became less convinced of it. I had the impression that if I were to meet them at some soiree and start up a conversation, I would be wanting to jam an ice pick into my temple after about half a minute.
The other thing that occurred to me in the brief time I was watching this show was that we, as a society, seem to bestow a disproportionate amount of prestige on strange things.
What is really important to us?
There are people who spend their days doing important work such as saving lives, educating children, helping their neighbors, and caring for those who are unable to care for themselves, and these people will never get a fraction of the attention the models on this show got for prancing around in their underwear on TV.
If we want to find model citizens, the runway is not the place to look.
I concede my impressions may have been somewhat colored by circumstances.
I had been at a council meeting during which I encountered police officers and firefighters who had just returned from the scene of a crash in which people were seriously injured and had to be extricated from what was left of their vehicles.
During the meeting, another call came in and other emergency responders went out on a medical call.
There are men and women responding to calls like that on a daily basis, day and night, at a moment’s notice, sometimes risking their own safety and putting their own lives on hold while they do it.
Somehow, in comparison to that kind of dedication, models walking around in their unmentionables and talking earnestly about how important their work is seemed both cheap and absurd.
There’s nothing wrong with light entertainment, but we should recognize it for what it is, and not try to pretend it is something more.
I suppose there was a time when I might have watched the fashion show, and just had a laugh over the ridiculousness of it. But in this case, I couldn’t take it. I switched off the set and read a book instead.