Recently I was asked to give comment on a (thankfully very positive) in The Sunday Mail YOU Magazine all about the fan base of The Duchess of Cambridge and why we look to identify with others around us… It really reminded me of that paradox, that battle we face as we look to find our own self, be individual and yet in the same manner are pulled to be part of a tribe and be accepted within that... to have community.
I remember as a young girl the fascination I had with Princess Diana – in the days before social media every newspaper article and magazine picture were lovingly cut out and placed into my scrapbook. I was only just old enough to be interested in fashion but my Diana blouse with the bow was so perfect and loved alongside a pair of corduroy pedal pushers (Adam Ant meets Duran Duran). I was fascinated by that fantasy life |I imaged she had – marrying her prince and becoming a real life princess. ... but I was just a young girl and as I grew, I started to find my own way of being and of course found new role models.
But what happens when we become so involved in a person that we seek not only to follow them but to be like them ... this is when our own sense of self can truly become lost and why do we do this?
In the article it interviewed different women who had made part of their life to be committed to being like their idol, buying the same clothes, having the same hairstyle. Making large financial commitments and giving much energy into this activity. Of course, this got me thinking about what it about their own selves was, their own lives and their own appearance that created this need to ‘be’ someone else.
We bow live in a world where we have it papers unlimited access to a celebrity’s life – each aspect of themselves is featured through media and social online interaction. This gives us greater accessibility which can be wonderful for fans to feel involved – but I also see it when people start to believe they know this person – that this person plays a part in their life – when in fact they have never met them on a social level and have no idea who this person is outside of their public persona.
When this happens, the fan can start to experience emotions they would feel in a reality-based relationship. |Joy at happy times but also disappointment when the celebrity does not act in the way they believe they should, or they feel ignored or jealousy when someone else gets attention. It was concerning in the newspaper article to read that there is online abuse going between fans of the two Duchesses – both believing their Duchess is the best ... but of course, based totally on a fantasy connection.
I understand totally how lovely it is to seek inspiration from those we see in the public eye – those that know me know I adore Dolly Parton; I always seek wisdom form the words of Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant. It is wonderful to imagine living a life that is so different from your own and see yourself for a moment in that world.
However it is important to remember that you are simply watching from a distance, it’s great fun to mimic fashion and enjoy the glimpse your get of a life outside of your own ... but when it starts to encroach on your own world , impacting your time an relationships and bringing out behaviour which is based on real life interactions – it’s time to take a step back and focus on the person who is truly important and worthy of your time .. YOU!
You can get support in discovering your true you through my Reconnection Programme
or by joining my On Line Community.
and you can hear stories of Reconnection to inspire and motivate via The Reconnection Space on You Tube.