You Can't Eat Glamour For Breakfast

It's become cliché.  You're in your car listening to the radio or lounging around watching television and someone  who works in a job that just about anyone else would die to have is sitting in a cushiony chair by a conspiratorily nodding talk show host, or sitting in front of mike in a radio studio, and they say something to the effect of "believe me folks, this job that I have that seems so awesome?  It's not as glamorous as it looks". 

Why do they say this?  What's the point?  Is it to say, "I may look like I'm having a blast wearing beautiful clothes and getting my picture taken for a living, but my life it still really hard and I'm to be pitied"?  Because that's what anyone who says this sounds like.  A big fat cry baby.

And I know, their motives may be kind of sweet.  It may all be in the vein of "don't be jealous of me guys, life is hard for me, too" but honestly?  I don't want to hear it.  Really?  There are downsides to your job?  People judge you more harshly?  You don't eat?  You have to work out a lot?  That's the price of glamour.  And even if you don't feel it, can't appreciate it, doesn't mean it isn't there.  It's just not there for you.

Glamour, most of the time,  is not something seen from the inside out, but from the outside in.  That's the point of it.  Nothing is truly as glamorous as it appears.  If you look closely, almost everything has it's dark sides, it's "shadow side".  But truth be told, none of us consuming the glamour wants to look closely.  Somewhere deep down, we "know", we just don't want to know. 

Glamour is an aspirational concept  it's for those who don't get to dress up every day and go to movie premieres.  They look at those who do and think... "that could be me someday, if..."  We don't want to hear that it sucks to be you, because to a small or large degree we want to be you, and if your life really is no better than ours?  If we have to sit down take a look at our lives and start fixing it from the inside to be someone's idea of happy?  How daunting.

That points to another aspect of glamour.  Not only is it ethereal, and mostly for the benefit of others, it's also relative.  So while it may seem like I was tearing all those nameless movie stars and makeup artists and chefs new ones, I was really tearing all of us a new one.  Our life?  The ones we live?  To someone else, it's a pretty luxurious lifestyle.  And while I don't want to boil everything down to a facile "let's all just be happy for what we have" lesson, we've all seen these people, these "glamorous" people who should by all preconceived notions, be happy, and yet are not. 

It's easy to look at those who have more than us and say "you should enjoy your own glamour.  You should, for one moment allow yourself to be the kid who has been pressing his nose up to the glass and looking at the Christmas display, and let yourself into the shop."  If you think of it, we are all that person, that glamorous person.  In a way,  we are all the kid inside the toy shop or the movie star at the premiere.  We just have to decide if, when we play, we are going to play "full out"  and appreciate the glamour the glamour surrounding us and within in us.  It won't last, that's the nature of glamour.  But it can be enjoyed for what it is, some fleeting glimpse of fancy that makes us feel the specialness that's always there.

Joe Hartman