Monday, November 7, 2011
Real vs. Make Believe
They wanted me to get some girlfriends together for a photo shoot. There was an article about real women and real places and real struggles. And they needed a picture. Of real women. Real friends.
So we gathered, after real stress about outfits and haircuts...to match or not to match? We smiled and really laughed...just be natural, say something funny, promise you won't get my butt in this shot, don't knock over that tree. We gave the photographer what she needed and headed home for a glass of real champagne...Congrats, you were awesome! You're so funny. That wasn't so bad. So true, so true.
And I started thinking about that finished cover shot. Those real friends. Those real women. And what we were making you believe in that picture.
You know for certain that an image of a giraffe with blue spots and a top hat is a charming work of make believe. The readers of this local magazine are expecting real life on the cover next month. Who shall we tell them was photographed that day? That skinny girl in the middle of the holiday scene wearing the designer vest and the knowing smile...she is exactly as real as the be-speckled giraffe.
We are all hiding something. Leaving out just enough that our message is still true. Creating a certain type of make believe to be consumed by the public. How we look can create a very confusing set of facts. How would you know what I'm hiding unless I told you? The short answer...you wouldn't. But most of the time you don't really want to know. I can't go around displaying the whole reality all of the time. It's messy. It's ugly. It's complicated. It doesn't need to be all out there all of the time. And I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that I only show you a tiny slice of the big picture.
So the question is...If I don't give you the real story, if I leave things out...is that make believe? If the unglamorous stuff gets crafted right out of the picture does that make it imaginary? The well crafted reality that is my personal style and my writing style...is it make believe?
I honestly don't know. But it's got me thinking, and that's a good thing. Thinking about what my outside says about my inside and what my writing says about my living.
Thinking about the real people in my life and what I'm trying to make them believe.