Hyperreality

I’m sure you’ve seen this video before.  If this woman stood next to her picture that went on the billboard at the end, you wouldn’t recognize that it was the same person.  Every time I see this, I have a thought at the end:  Why use a model at all?  Certainly technology can create a fake pretty face for a billboard.  Maybe sometimes they do that, I don’t know.

This morning at church, the pastor talked about this video as an example of hyperreality.  It wasn’t the main focus of his message, just the hook.  Hyperreality is an issue created by all the media and advertising that occurs in our world.  Everything we see on t.v., every billboard, every magazine ad, is selling us this idea of what life is like.  We sometimes see more of this hyperreality, this imaginary ideal, than we see of real life.  It sets us up for feeling inadequate and disappointed. 

It starts from little on.  Full House tells us that when we are mad or sad, our parents will come up to our rooms and talk to us and make us feel better, and they don’t.  I remember having conversations with my friends joking about how we began to expect this.  Our parents had never once come up to our rooms when we ran away mad, but after watching Full House, we expected them to!  🙂 

Then we grew up a little bit, and we became addicted to chick flicks.  Romantic comedies teach us the formula for getting married:  Boy meets girl.  Boy and girl are enemies.  Boy and girl realize that all the fighting means they actually love each other.  Boy and girl get torn apart by circumstances.  Boy and girl overcome circumstances and live happily ever after.  Throw some sex into the story and you’ve got a paperback romance novel.  Real-life relationships are not so predictable, and if you’re in a good one, generally not so dramatic.  So when you experience a drama-free relationship for the first time, it’s a disappointment because it doesn’t feel exciting enough to be “real.”  Not like what you expected from a relationship.

Then you get through a few relationships that, whether drama-filled or not, are nothing like the chick flick formula, and you realize that you can predict a chick flick, but you can’t predict real life.  And every television commercial that works its way into our lives shows us what our house/body/clothes/family/car/food/etc. should be like.  I think I should be immune to it by now…but I don’t think any of us are really immune to it.

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