“Sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on
That’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong”
While I haven’t quite gotten on the Drake bandwagon yet, this is one line I will always love. In a world filled with superficiality, I think we’ve developed a very real need to gage the authentic by seeing beneath the surface. It explains our interest in seeing our favorite celebrities without makeup, bare and dressed down. It allows us to picture the kinds of people they would be just walking past us on the street-ordinary, human, like us.
This week, when pictures of Kerry Washington without makeup surfaced, I, like most people, was curious enough to click through the link. But what startled me wasn’t the actresses’ bare face. Rather it was the vicious way that those commenting on the pictures launched into their vicious attacks that made me uneasy. The nastiness makes me wonder if maybe we’ve turned our interest in who people are beneath their shells into a launching pad for express the most vile of our thoughts.
I understand the game that is the blogosphere- enough to know that when people click through to a link like that they want to see a celebrity that suddenly looks less familiar even strange. But there is something wrong with us when we suddenly prop ourselves into the judges seat to point out flaws that I am sure many of us share.
It seems we are always searching for the unraveling trait in a person just so we can tear into them. We gather in a collective ring and taunt: Kerry Washington doesn’t have perfect skin, so gather round and let’s all make fun. It is a seemingly harmless game played from behind a computer, but it also translates into the way we treat others right here, in these real lives of ours.
Women are culprits, men are too. But as women when we point the finger and make the snide remark about ‘that other girl’ it’s mainly because we feel entitled and detached enough to cast snide remarks into the ring. The irony is, that while we are people watching and pointing out flaws, we speak about them abstractly- which may be nothing to the celebrities who have become hardened to the chatter- but everything to the sisters who our shark water culture can engulf with hateful words and derogatory treatment. As any woman who has dealt with those remarks knows, eventually you grow a tougher skin, but there’s no forgetting the hurtful words.
We could all stand to whip out our 4th grade manners and return to the adage, “if you have nothing to say, say nothing at all.” Because the truth is the mean girl chatter does nothing to uplift the women around us, but everything to tear us all down.