tonight i had a bit of an epiphany about competition-based reality shows. i'm sure i'm not the only one, but here goes:
if there are enough top models/top chefs/brilliant designers/gifted decorators (and the list goes on) to perpetuate several years worth of these shows, why does it matter who's the "top"?
now, i understand that there are prizes, career advancement opportunities and various other carrots at stake. i also don't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with honing your craft and being the best at what you do. that's a great thing.
but, beyond that...
it should be quite obvious that there is no dearth of beautiful women in the world, so why do we need a "top" model?
if you can cook, and you enjoy cooking, why subject yourself to an insufferable prick of a man (or, at best, someone who enjoys playing that role), all manner of stress, and the scrutiny of millions of strangers just to "prove" how good you are?
see my point?
talent isn't rare. giftedness isn't rare.*
there are many of us on this planet. each of us is born in a particular corner of said planet, with these gifts, talents, and abilities.
please understand: expansion and exploration is a wondrous thing. i'm not saying spend your life in a one horse town if that's not what you want to do. sometimes you're not born at home. go out, see the world, have a great time.
but, in that world-seeing, if you find a niche that contains family, friends, joy and abundance, what does all the stress and the scrutiny matter? what are the real reasons we get caught up in all this competition and hierarchical thinking?**
what's wrong with being an awesome force in your community, shining so brightly that you bring the world to you instead of forcing yourself on the world?
how many bloggers who make livings from the breakthroughs and breakdowns are living vicariously instead of using their talents to the fullest? conversely, what does it say when the only viable outlet for gifted satirists and social commentators is a sort of vicious voyeurism?
there is no need to create false hierarchies and artificially unattainable goals. we have what we need.
who has the audacity to tell us that we don't? m.a.c.? nike? walmart?
please. those things should be icing on the cake, not the alpha and omega of our lives.
let's get real. for real.
*dr. estes makes this point beautifully, often and well.
**i highly recommend reading yurugu. one caveat: i do not see euro-descended folks in the 21st century as a monolith; i firmly understand that there are whitefolks who "get" it. that said, "getting it" almost invariably involves an immersion in either an african culture or one (e.g. native american/indigenous, asian, etc) that is fewer degrees removed from humanity's ancient african ancestry. also keep in mind that much of what we think of as "european culture" is western, anglo-saxon and/or northern european. eastern europe and the moorish-influenced nations have some marked differences.