What is real? Do we even know anymore?

In a world where …

most of the music we listen to starts with a human voice but is mixed in a studio and edited to perfection,

much of the food we eat is genetically modified and then processed,

the image of children “playing” usually involves some sort of electronic device,

people use makeup, plastic surgery, liposuction, and all manner of creams, tonics, and mechanisms to erase flaws and fight signs of aging,

the media presents a version of “reality” that is almost laughable–except for the fact that we believe it and try to adjust our lives and our bodies to match …

How do we know anymore? How do we know what REAL looks like, tastes like, feels like?

I only have my children home for a few scattered weeks this summer.   I hope to use a significant part of that time trying to remember REAL. Trying to teach them what ‘real’ is.

In the mean time, I hope to see more videos like this one by Colbie Caillat.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this is worth a million.

What are some things you do to ‘keep it real’?

4 thoughts on “Manufactured

  1. What a gutsy video! That took some real courage and I hope it goes viral. Melody, thank you for sharing it. I’ll have to try to find a way to thank Ms. Caillat for making it.

    The issue of keeping things real is difficult. I have a friend who has offered — kindly, gently, tactfully – to help me get rid of my grey hair (I earned every one; they’re staying). When I was young, my grandmother would always tell me “a little color” (make-up) wouldn’t hurt (I never did take up wearing it). Now that I am overweight, I try to be unashamed of my appearance (though I won’t wear a bathing suit) while acknowledging the health concerns that come with it. But I’d hate to teach kids that people who dye their hair or wear mascara or are thin aren’t real either.

    Other aspects of reality are trickier. Who wants to take away a four-year-old’s lovely best friend, even if the friend is one only the child can see? How does one explain to a child that of course the tooth fairy is real but no woman looks like Barbie? Or that any American child can grow up to be president, as long as he’s not gay or an atheist or this or that or the other thing?

    And keeping things real about ourselves can be head-spinning too. Are we the terrible spouse we hear we are at home? Are we the amazing CEO from work? The heroic bread-winner working two minimum-wage jobs? The equally heroic stay-at-home parent? The horrible parent who doesn’t understand ANYTHING? With so many competing versions of who are that can co-exist, figuring out the “real” can be mind-boggling.

    I hope I’m not ranting too much. Your posts always get me thinking.



  2. Thanks, Melody. I wish I fewer questions and more answers. Maybe some of your other readers will come up some deeper understanding od “real” than I have. Meanwhile, bring on the windmills …


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