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The reality behind the mask

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. I switched the television on this week and it was that awful show, Love Island. I don’t normally watch it and have only seen a few minutes of it but all the hugging and false emotion seemed distasteful to me. Drama is one thing but that show blurs the difference between reality and fantasy. Their fantasy is all smiles and hugs, while real life is full of conflict and stress. I am not surprised that two contestants on the show have committed suicide. The suicide of Caroline Flack, who must have been really confused by the blurring of reality and fantasy, is no surprise either. The reality behind the mask just waits to be exposed.

The reality behind the mask

Vulnerable

The reality is that we are all a bit delicate at times and vulnerable and we need to stay grounded and in touch with reality. In a statement, Caroline Flack’s management said, “An immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country.”  No, that is your fantasy, she wasn’t loved by television viewers. In the dead of night, when she was worried what people would think when she went to trial for assault, no one loved her. Very few people even cared despite the fake outpouring of emotions by people living the celebrity fantasy now. They all need to face the awful truth, the reality – no your viewers don’t love you. They see the mask, the makeup, the glitter and hear the canned laughter.  The reality is behind the mask. At 3 am in the morning when you can’t sleep for worry, that is the reality you must face.  You should try to be strong enough to face that reality.

The reality behind the mask

We all wear that mask of course as we adopt different persona and attach different labels to ourselves. I have a badge that says “Community photographer”, it’s a label that helps me adopt that particular role. Our role does influence the clothes we wear. On television they use clothes, makeup and hairstyling to create a fantasy person who couldn’t exist in reality. The problem is that people try to recreate those fantasies in their real lives. They aren’t on TV but they wear all the makeup and clothes to go to the pub to escape their reality for a few hours. Then they have to come back to a humdrum reality. The television personalities try to live the dream and never come back to reality and therein lies the danger. When the mask slips and they have to face their public, not in a television studio but in a crown court, then they are alone with their fears. The reality behind the mask is that we can all suddenly become vulnerable and scared.

Help lines

There are the helplines, of course and their numbers will be trotted out after every life lost. The Samaritans, MIND, Rethink and others. Do they really do any good? If Caroline Flack had phoned the Samaritans would they have really understood her plight? If the public found out she had gone for help from MIND would there have been an outpouring of support or would it have turned into the death-knell for her career?

In the public eye

Everyone in the public eye has to enter a fantasy world. The movie stars, the stars of television, the pop stars and even politicians. They all act out a role and behind the masks there is a real person; a vulnerable person. We should all remember that before we judge them so harshly. We should consider their feelings. The same applies to every one of us particularly on social media where the armchair warriors love to feign their internet outrage and attack people they have never even met, with such vicious language.

That’s all for today. If you would like to subscribe just enter your email address in one of the spaces provided. You can also follow me on Twitter for links to the latest posts. Those links are also on my Facebook page.

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