Sometimes I love diving into the beauty and elegance of the world of classical literature just to bring variety to my usual reading on psychology and personal growth. This time was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I remember reading it for the first time while I was still in Ukraine in a Ukrainian translation. I remember being very captivated with the sophisticated style and a beautifully written language. So recently, I decided to reread the novel but in the original language.
I must say I really enjoy the syntax and semantics of the English language. It helps me to improve my English, especially being married to a British man who doesn’t miss the chance to take a mickey of my English.
Because I have read this novel before, I knew what was coming; the plot hasn’t changed. However, I have changed and my awareness has changed. This time I saw something that I wasn’t able to see before.
The central theme in the novel is the obsession with the cult of external beauty for the price of the corruption of the soul. “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible….”, Oscar Wilde was as usual sarcastic depicting the flaws of the humanity.
This line from the book made me realise how Mr. Wilde thought ahead of his time. Looking at the world of social media we live in now I wonder if all these Instagram pseudo celebrities do anything else rather than spend their entire time posting photographs desperately trying to prove the world how beautiful and “successful” they are… And the emphasis here is on the word “pseudo”: pseudo beauty, pseudo success, pseudo happiness. They live by likes and comments reiterating their “beauty”. First of all, you don’t make money by getting likes. Secondly, is there real beauty?
Am I too harsh judging the porcelain and Barbie looking women, who are dreadfully trying to prove the world their worthiness hiding their insecurities behind fake masks? Maybe. But I am still going to make a point.
In my view, the amount of make-up they use make those girls unrecognisable from their real selves.
A good story comes to mind that I want to share. A middle aged woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God she asked “Is my time up?” God answered, “No, you have another 40 years, 2 months and 8 days to live.”
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a facelift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color. Since she had so much more time to live, she thought she might as well make the most of it.
After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was hit by a car and died immediately.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, “I thought you said I had another 40 years, why didn’t you pull me from out of the path of the car?”
God replied, “I didn’t recognise you.”
That’s the reality of those Barbie dolls, the pseudo-queens of Instagram. In the quest of some unknown illusion they have lost their natural beauty and authentic identity.
But above all it makes me sick to the stomach looking at all those duck faces, injected with silicon lips, breasts, and butts.
Look, I am not judging. I have an Instagram account myself, where I occasionally post some photos about my life. I have family and friends all over the world, and that’s a great way to keep in touch with people. Those who know me personally, will say that my social media is a reflection of my real life. I do not pretend or make up a story to look better in virtual world. I prefer being happy with myself and in my family other than pretending I am happy. It is my philosophy of life. However, I am a conscious thinker who is trying to analyse the world we live in, the direction it is going and the values it is loosing.
It is a personal choice of everyone how they want to live their life. It is a personal choice of everyone how they want to realise themselves. And it is a personal choice to hide their insecurities and inner vulnerability by hiding behind the mask of “looking good, happy and beautiful” on social media.
The tragedy of all this madness however is in the fact that those Instagram stars have millions of followers. Where is our younger generation going? Who are they modeling? What values and morals are they cultivating?
A bright example of this farce is Kim Kardashian. What on earth does she have to offer the world except for enlarged to disgusting sizes her backside, lips and breasts, and a trashy reality show? She has got 120 million followers?!?! What does that say about the human race and where we are at? What is she teaching the younger generation of those who follow her? What value does she bring? Maybe, I am missing something.
Is it really different from sarcastic tragedy of The Picture of Dorain Gray, who sold his soul for the eternal beauty and youth? In the book, a corrupt young man keeps his beauty while his portrait reveals his inner ugliness and evil soul. In our modern world, is there some substance behind those plastered with heavy make-up faces and silicon injected butts? Are there some inspiring dreams other than pretending? And is there a danger of ending up like Dorian Gray in misery, desperation and eventually death upon discovering the meaning of his shallow and empty life?
I would leave the end open… inviting you for your own reflection.
I would only say, that just like in the book the ugliness from within seeks out its expression, and eventually the outside reveals the inside.
Anyways, speaking about your future and true happiness, it cannot happen on its own, or by you pretending that everything is fabulous. You need to create it. Let’s talk about your growth objectives and what’s getting in the way. The first step is creating a compelling vision. Let me help you bring clarity to it and create an action plan.