Monday, December 13, 2010
'TIS THE SEASON
'Tis the season and I’m not talking festive people, I’m talking lists.
You know, the end of calendar year wrap where newspapers, magazines and television programs like to compile lists of everything from ‘The Best of 2010’ to ‘The Worst of’. Most fashionable, most stylish, worst break-ups and greatest moments; just to name a few.
There is nothing like a list to spark some hot debate. At least, that’s what I like to call it. Lashings of criticism and ridicule from the masses just don’t have the same high spirited ring to them.
It seems we are obsessed with lists. Not just the compellation of them and the content that goes into them, once they’ve been published we love to tear them and those who appear in them completely and utterly to shreds.
Celebrities who inadvertently end up in Who magazines sexiest people of 2010 are subject to endless amounts of condemnation and not just from our living room whilst pouring over the latest issue with our girlfriends, but by members of the general public and paparazzi who not only see it as their right to bring these people down, they enjoy it.
How many times have we seen a buff young maven appear in a Top 100 only to find pictures of her cellulite surface the following week? The paps know this is a money shot and the public, secretly or not so secretly, love it.
A little closer to home newspapers like to publish most stylish and best dressed based stories that introduce the readers to a collection of people they may not know in our cities in a bid to showcase our State. While these lists are seen by some as inspirational they are looked down upon by others as some kind of back-slapping exercise to be loathed.
As someone who was fortunate enough (yes, that’s my take on it) to be nominated by peers and members of my community and then placed on some of these lists in our fair State, I was stunned to read the opinions of complete strangers as a result of the list’s publication.
While I fear it may sound as though I am defending myself (and in a way I probably am) I am astounded at what goes on behind the scenes. For those seemingly normal people that read and possibly enjoy such lists you may find this surprising.
A few years ago there was a list published of the Best Dressed variety and as with such articles there was a panel of judges that were asked to rank numerous nominees into the final list. Upon the glossy and extensive publication of this list, of which I was included, avalanches of opinion descend in all forms. Not only did those involved in the assembly of this list have an onslaught of denigration thrown at them, so did those that were in it.
Please don’t feel I am having a ‘boo-hoo poor me moment,’ I am completely ok with members of the public being able to publish their comments and feelings on any matter - these types of articles included. What flabbergasts me is the direct emails and phone calls that also seem to follow as part of this right to opinion.
Yes, you read correctly, there are those that think it is not enough to publish their comments online where this article appears, they need to take their grievance one step further. They write direct emails or make a phone call, often abusive and not identifying themselves, to a judge or a person included in such a list. Honestly.
There seems to be some general misconceptions that money equals style or the ability to dress well. I don’t know about you but I know plenty of instances where this is most certainly not the case. The other interesting fallacy is that those appearing in these lists are shallow human beings distinctly lacking in personality.
So who are these ignorant, ill-informed opinionistas? Clearly a list can make people crazy. Why, one might ask? Is it jealousy or feelings of inadequacy? I wonder how those people would behave if they were in fact nominated to be part of such a list? Would they decline the invitation?
For every one of these not very nice people I am sure there is an entire host of people who feels differently. The problem is they don’t feel it necessary to devote their time to sharing how they feel about such topics and before any conclusions are jumped to, they aren’t all women.
One could even say this behaviour describes a certain ‘social phenomenon, in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.’
Interesting. Apologies to anyone I may have offended by airing your grievances to the world on behalf of all of those whom have appeared in such articles. Oh? That’s right… you already did that all by yourself!
Give the journalists who spend endless hours putting these articles together a break and just see them as the piece of entertainment they are intended to be. If you feel that strongly about someone in particular being included do something politely and proactively about it. Who doesn’t want to see some fresh faces mixed with those that never seem to disappoint us with their style?
I am pleased to agree with the late but fabulous Alexander McQueen on the subject of style; “I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern - wearing head-to-toe designer has become a bit passe. It's a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It's all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.”
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