be yourself

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So the other night while my husband was sleeping, I watched the excellent Up in the Air, with George Clooney. At the end credits, this song burst on - so raw, so recent, so inspiring and it brought me back to my formative years, as they say. (I saw once, while watching a brilliant documentary with my dad, on the development of jazz, that our musical tastes are formed in our teens. We looked at each other and realised, it's true. And then he started talking to me about Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw, and the era of the Big Bands, and Swing.)

I wonder if I only feel this way because of my age, and the age I was when I first heard it? I mean, if anyone out there is young - do you feel the same way? Is it me, or are these just the best friggin' lyrics? It's such a simple message, but it hit me:

We have never been in an age in history with more choice. And yet: I am so sick of, so bored to tears, with the endless PR flood of junk I get each day in my inbox. Follow the trend. Follow the celebrity. Follow the celebrity following the trend. Buy this dress because Kate Middleton wore it, and then.. what? You'll wake up and be a princess? Follow me on facebook, follow me on twitter. Do not lead: follow. And then in a few weeks the trend will change, so throw it all out and buy into to the next new trend. Tell your followers to follow us, and buy our stuff.

Change your body. Change your home. At whatever cost, alter your appearance, surgically, chemically, so you will look like someone else. So you'll no longer be you.

When I think that this song was written in the SEVENTIES, when not one person, not even celebrities, owned a laptop, and tweeting was something that only birds did (and there WERE birds back then - I swear, it's true!).. I mean, look at these lyrics:

We needed a tutor so built a computer, and we programmed ourselves not to see. The truth and the lying the dead and the dying, a silent majority. Don't theorize look in their eyes. Are they telling lies? The ones that they learn on T.V What a way to be free.

And then I think of Cara Delevingne. She was only Poppy's kid sister when I met her a season or so back, at fashion week. Posing like a clown for what I assumed were her friends or sisters, but one was her very cool mom, Pandora. I guess I later gave her the shots, or something, because we're now facebook friends. Not REAL friends - we don't hang out. And it's not the official Cara Delevingne celebrity facebook page, it's under a pseudonym. And no, I'm not going to plaster it on my post!

The thing is, Cara is herself. Purely herself. As wiki says Sarah Doukas of Storm said, "The most beautiful face in the most engaging personality, like her older sister Poppy. She is adorable and very talented. She also has the ability to shake up the energy in a room full of stuffy people and make people ask "who is that girl".

But most of all, she's simply being herself. She's not even terribly TALL, for goodness sake, and yet she's the new face of Burberry. (They say she's 5'9": maybe she's shot up in the last year, because she seemed pretty darn petite to me.) Because height is the one thing we can't change about our appearance. Yet.

I might sound cynical, or bitter, but I'm actually in a pretty good mood, making the best of this weather (it's the PITTS, says my sweet Southern friend Margaret) - having a grand old time, pickling my living room floor. Oh, gosh oh darn, if the sun didn't actually come out there, for a minute! Gotta go.


daisychain said...

and this post is yet one more reason I adore you.

mtg said...

She is adorable. I can't write a long comment right now but will be back. Have you seen Castaway on the Moon movie? I was watching it several days ago and it made me think about how we communicate today... all these computers, facebook, email, etc. very interesting twist in the movie.

jill said...

Thanks for the tip, Maya: I've tried LoveFilm, they don't have it, I'll try NetFlix.. uncannily, you'll see, there's a very interesting twist to Girl Reading, but I don't want to spoil it for you! (I've been thinking of you: will email you privately soon)

and DaisyChain: there are a thousand more why I adore you!

mtg said...

Hi Jill, I'm back. Netflix in US has it. I rarely watch movies twice but this one I don't mind watching again. It's kind of deceiving in the beginning but stay with it and I think you'll love it (minus a few gross moments, lol).


Pilar said...

I swear there is a photograph of Twiggy that looks similar to that last photo of Cara you have (Similar expression). She is quite lovely. She was in a "Factory Girl" inspired lookbook for A Wear that was quite nice.

lawrence said...

There is an actual operation to make yourself taller by a couple of inches! However it requires you to break your bones, sit in a wheelchair for a couple of years and learn how to walk again. Not fun!!! x