We admit it! We’ve been known to be more than a touch judgmental about the price tag and frequent waste that comes with celebrity awards shows like the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. We’ve also voiced our concern about how the haute couture fashion of these awards shows feeds into the idea of “more, more, more” and nothing ever being enough. As we re-read some of these opinion pieces recently, we wanted to walk a few of them backwards a bit. Not in that we’ve changed our minds about some of the dangers and waste, but in that we think there is actually a healthy middle ground to be reached.
All of the Dangers and Waste We Described? They Exist.
Let’s start from here! While there are some stars who appear on the red carpet in dresses they bought at Target or have worn before, the majority of stars are wearing new gowns and tuxedos that cost as much as many of us make in several months (or years). Combine that with the general waste of one-night opulent events and you have a consumer and ecological nightmare. We still believe that. But we also enjoy the escape from reality, and let’s be honest, right now an escape is a nice thing. But how do you balance your rewards show enjoyment with a dose of reality and more importantly a defense against the sneaky consumer messages that abound.
Tip One: Accept that Celebrity Reality is Not Your Reality
Making this distinction seems to have become more difficult in the era of social media and reality television where the line between celebrities and “regular people” has become very blurred. Any old Joe off the street can turn into a celebrity overnight on YouTube or other streaming sites. And celebrities can easily appear “just like us” on their reality shows that intentionally position them as normal people (unless you are Mariah Carey, who clearly prefers to appear nothing like a real person in her reality show)! The truth of the matter is that celebrities are nothing like us, and that’s largely due to their pay day. What would be an opulent purchase for us is barely a drop in a bucket for them. We speak frequently at Postconsumers about the idea of each person finding their own definition of the satisfaction of enough. Part of that process involves accepting what is realistic for you and what is not. The fact is that, for most of us, we are never purchasing a designer couture dress. So while you can appreciate the dress itself, don’t use it as an aspirational tool (or manipulator) to make you think that you need more, more, more.
Tip Two: Also Don’t Get Wrapped Up in Hating Celebrities for What They Have
As much as you don’t want to think that celebrities are your materialistic role models, it’s equally important to keep yourself in check about hating their opulence. Again, the scale is different for every single person. There’s almost certainly something that you purchase in your life that others would consider an opulent purchase. Your definition of “enough” may not be the same as the definition that a person with more resources would have. But unless you know the celebrity personally, you have no idea if their concept of “enough” is reasonable or out of control. You only know that they have more than you do or more than you think is necessary, and that’s not a reason to well up the emotions of anger, jealousy and hate in the world.
Tip Three: Fantasizing Is Healthy
We mean this in all aspects of life, but today let’s talk about it specifically as it relates to awards shows. There’s a significant difference between wanting “more, more, more” and taking a break from the grind to imagine that you’re independently wealthy and can buy anything that you want at any time while surrounded by adoring fans. We all deserve the sweet release of imagining for a moment what a different life would be like. Perhaps for you that doesn’t include thinking about being a glamorous celebrity on the red carpet, but for some people it does. And that’s healthy and good. The key is that you’ll want to realize that it’s a fantasy – albeit a delicious one. That the truth is that even for most celebrities happiness doesn’t come from the “stuff” they have. It may or may not be true that the money that they have makes happiness easier – but keep in mind that, often, more money equals more problems.
The Long and Short: Just Keep In Perspective What It Is
Like many things in life, the key is to just not take this too seriously. We know, we just devoted an entire article to it! But at the end of the day it’s simply a glorified employee of the year show with great dresses and some catchy soundbites and some emotional moments. It’s okay to indulge in it. It’s okay to think it’s superfluous. It’s okay to think and feel whatever you want as long as you’ve put some mindfulness into the entire process first. Now, enjoy some popcorn, a cocktail and a night of awards show fun!
Do you have a thought on a healthy way to indulge in awards show consumerism? Share it with us on the social media channels below.
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Photo Credit: Alan Light via Flickr