Seeing self on TV? Oh, the reality

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2012

They say the camera adds 15 pounds. After seeing myself Monday night on TV, I would agree, and then add about 20 more on top of that.

As a society, I would venture to say we tend to be hypercritical of ourselves in terms of appearance. Ladies, especially, know what I’m talking about. It’s the reason we spend gobs of money on haircuts, new shoes and little black dresses. Every time we pick up a magazine, we’re greeted with the sleek sophistication of perfect noses and high cheekbones. Makes me say, “Yuk.”

In college, it took me a while to narrow down my search of a profession, and even in journalism, there are a multitude of avenues one can take. There’s broadcast, both in terms of radio and TV. Then, there’s print, which can range from newspapers to magazines. Now we have something called multi-media journalism and so on.

It didn’t take me long to rule out broadcast. One reason is I write better than I speak…or at least my thoughts are more cohesive when my fingers are doing all the work instead of my mouth. Then, there’s the fact that I sound like either a 3-year-old or a perky stewardess on air – a fact that was pointed out to me by my daughter as my voice came through the set.

“You sound impy,” she said.

“Impy? What exactly does that mean?” I asked back.

“You know, small and young,” she said.

“I guess ‘young’ is better than sounding like a leprechaun’s distant cousin,” I told her and got the ‘huh?’ look. “An imp is a mythological being similar to a fairy or demon…or, like I said, a leprechaun’s distant cousin.”

Since it was 10 p.m. and she’d just finished homework after a late ball practice, I sent her to bed on that note.

As I put myself to bed, it made me wonder – why do we all feel the need to push ourselves into this mold of what others think we should look like or sound like? Why is it that we have these preconceived notions? And why, above all else, do I waste $5 on some magazine to show me the next greatest fashions, when, quite frankly, 95 percent of the stuff photographed is absolutely wretched looking? (Feathers on shoes? Really? Come on, people.) There are millions of others like me out there or they wouldn’t keep printing those magazines, uploading those web shows or running tickers across the bottom of the TV screen.

Tuesday morning when I awoke, I was still wondering why I bother. But I do. So, excuse while I take this call from my hairdresser.