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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Reflections: Glamour is fiction, live in the real world


The scene is a ballroom, and a glamorous ball is in progress. Everyone is dressed immaculately, clad in smart tuxedos and elegant flowing evening wear. Weaving in between chatting guests are bow-tied waiters balancing silver platters of caviar. Flutes of champagne are in everyone’s hand, except for those twirling gracefully on the dance floor.

Suddenly the dance music stops, and in its place a melodious tune from a harp begins to fill the room. With the soporific sound of strings playing in the background, focus turns to a tall, dark, handsome man – we’ll call him Diego – who pauses, then turns his back to the elderly couple he was talking to. He is looking across the room, at the entrance, and the beautiful woman who just walked in.

Everyone at the ball is awestruck at the sight of the stunning woman wearing a ball gown like no other. Of course, from the moment she walks in, the light focuses only on her, leaving the rest of the room decidedly darker.

Lit up, the beautiful woman slowly makes her way; some would say floats, across the room to the dance floor. She scans the faces around her with beautiful, piercing brown eyes, which settle on one face, Diego’s. A waiter materialises by Diego’s side, whereupon Diego places his champagne glass on the waiter’s tray.

With bated breath, the whole room watches and waits as Diego approaches the beautiful woman, takes her hand in his, and kisses it.

‘My name is Diego,’ he says, ‘the richest man in the world. And I’ve been waiting my whole life for you. Will you marry me?’

‘Yes!’ the beautiful woman says. ‘But first, we dance.’

And with that the room erupts in applause, as the dance music starts up again, and Diego and the woman, take to the floor.

Obviously, this didn’t happen, nor could it have. That’s fiction for you, where magic happens, waiters emerge at the exact second you need them, and where every moment is saturated with glamour.

Suffice to say, the glamorous scenes that take place in fiction, do not happen in real life. And yet, there are many who expect glamour in everyday life, seeking out at every turn a more exciting, attractive, and interesting life than an ordinary one, just like it is in the movies. You see it in photos posted on social media, which give the impression of exotic holidays taken every other week, and in newspaper society pages, suggesting a magical time had at some glamorous event. And on the receiving end, those pining over the glamour pictures, wondering as they intensely study the photos why their lives aren’t as magical.

Make no mistake, glamour is irresistible, we seek it because it offers an escape from the dull and ordinary, but sometimes some of us go too far chasing the illusion, either by going into debt to fund the glamour, or falling into depression because we’re not in the glamour circle.

But as alluring as glamour is, what you need to remember so as not to fall completely under its spell is – it’s not real. That holiday selfie, those glossy pictures in a magazine, that scene from the Kardashians, it’s only but a moment in time. What of all other moments before and after that photo was taken? Surely you can’t imagine they are all glamour moments.

Real life is all the moments, dull and exciting. Glamour is moments of illusion.

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