Eva Bradley: Your life is interesting, too

By Eva Bradley


Who follows the lives of Brangelina? Go on, admit it if you do. I won't tell.

We've all been delayed at the checkout lately while reading about the sticky demise of TomKat, and who can forget the blooming love story followed by the public implosion of Bennifer, Vennifer (different Jennifer) and every other celebrity couple that came before them and will continue after as surely as night follows day.

The real lives of famous people have become so serialised in recent times that sometimes it's easy to forget that the faces we see in magazines and online are attached to individuals with failed hopes and dreams just like the rest of us.

So accustomed are we to seeing A-list actors in various states of emotional turmoil on the silver screen that it becomes all too easy to start digesting the public fodder put out about their private lives without thinking two things; is it right ... and more importantly ... why the hell do we care?

One thing you learn as you grow older is that real life is complicated. For everyone. I have enough trouble keeping abreast of all the various tragedies and triumphs unfolding in the lives of the people whom I know personally without obsessively following the events of those I don't.

And when you strip away the perfect makeup, the long, willowy limbs, the white capped teeth and the luxury cars, what in all honesty makes the daily dramas of a celebrity life any more interesting than the life of Joe Public?

Reality television has proved an interesting study in the human psyche because these days you don't even have to be genuinely famous to have the boring ephemera of your daily life catalogued.

The only requirement is to be extremely foul (Jersey Shore), extremely dumb (Police 10/7), extremely hot (The Ridges) or a selection of all the above if you want a spin-off series (Keeping Up With The Kardashians et al).

But is fame for fame's sake alone enough to compel us to donate an unrecoverable hour of our life each week to following someone else's?

Could a genuine Joe Public going about his business in middle class, suburban New Zealand hook us in quite the same way? Would we tune in to find out what Mr Nobody was having for his breakfast and to hear his opinions on last night's footie during his morning tea break?

Movies like The Truman Show with Jim Carrey suggested a bored public would lap it up and it's probably true. Show someone with too much time on there hands a little bit of anything and you can guarantee they'll want just a little bit more.

And why not.

Why should the lives of the rich, famous and beautiful be the only ones worth following?

Why shouldn't' there be a magazine where we can read about the custody battles and crash diets of the people we wait at the traffic lights with, and see pictures of them dropping the kids at school or on holiday at the camping ground in all their raw, unairbrushed glory?

Put anything under the microscope for long enough and it becomes interesting.

Even my own pedestrian private life has been popular public fodder for almost a decade now.

Life no matter who you are and how you live it is still just life, after all. The only difference is how much of it gets broadcast beyond the front gate.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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