Tag Archives: aesthetics

But she’s a real phony..

“You’re wrong. She is a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony. She believes all this crap she believes. You can’t talk her out of it.”

Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

When you move to London you’re confronted with the widest scope of characters imaginable. The quiet reserved bookish types, the arty farty to the hippy dippy and the downright bizarre. When I saw all these people I was in awe at how unique and off the charts they were, both  impressed at their “out-there” way of thinking and absolute disregard for how they are perceived. As if it were all really just for them. But once the first glimpse of the untouchable individuals had passed, and I looked for longer than a glance, the dream, so to speak, started to collapse (a little like inception)- a dream within a dream within a dream. Layers and layers of something that did not stick.

Thinking of one case, as I got to unravel this one particular individual, I was amazed at what I thought was a natural charisma, a raw magnetism all as a result of looking and sounding as if they’ve stepped from a world decades ago, their air of you don’t know me and never will, multi-faceted exterior and utter lack of gravity toward THIS reality. But, I became to see the situation for what it was. An impeccably constructed image, but barely even an image it ran much deeper than appearance; an idea. Through voice, and senses and attire, the pauses between their spoken words- each carefully thought out so as to exude a breathy sumptuousness that none is born with; that part should have at least been apparent.

Stumbling upon the reality of what they WERE as opposed to what they had formulated, I could not buy into it any longer. However, whether this was my own issues or not, I began to question the line between being inspired by the movies you love, the music you listen to, the way it makes you feel, the places you’ve been and how you want to completely embody the essence of these things…and question the line between inspiration and transformation of the self. What this train of thought brought me to was an apt quote from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A Truman Capote line I never really understood until I was confronted with it’s message- ” the real phony”.

As intertwined as the whole thought process became, and as unsure as I was if I was just getting stuck in a line of thought that was irrelevant whatever it’s outcome, I wondered if we were all real phony’s. Whilst I had always thought we were influenced by our likes and loves, I now questioned if my whole persona, much like the phony I had so unforgivingly dissected, was as carefully constructed as theirs. Had I missed that I had been articulating every taste and passion verbally to others, through my appearance and pictures, only to add to an exterior image and perception I wished others to gain of me? Furthermore, were those typically handsome bearded men, the coffee drinkers, the bookish types that I had lusted over (and still do really) as some romantic “idea” been an “idea” themselves? Was anyone a true reflection of themselves, because of just loving the things they loved… without becoming them? And in fact…was this even possible?

Nonetheless, why did it matter if I, or they, were a phony…

because in the end, at least they’re a real phony?

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Nights out that never happened.

A group of friends sit in a bustling bar. It’s a birthday, they look their best and everyone can see it. Not the people there with them in the bar, no their phone contacts, their Instagram followers, your most snapped. Through eyes of their fellow punters they are a group with added artificial appendages strapped to their hands where bright flashes and risen arms catch moments in videos and pictures. These are the nights out that never happen.

The Social Network generation have gone beyond mere phones in hands during conversations and social events. An accelerating pressure beyond the need to be in know, in the loop and not missing out has been replaced with the need for everyone to be absolutely sure that you’re having a good time, even if in the process you’re missing the whole experience of being there. Rather than chat with friends, and experience BEING, the disposition of the twenty something’s “living” the best years of their carefree lives must be sure that everyone is seeing them. How they look, what their friends are saying, the 20 photos taken before leaving the house resulting in missing the last 20 minutes of happy hour, wondering how in all this uploaded calamity there was a moment of pause where they could wish a friend happy birthday, ingest the burger they added four filters on, on instagram or drank the 2 for 1 cocktail they pose coyly with in a hashtagged image.

I wonder if this is to do with the rise of the tinder fad, the confirmed actuality that this world is a competitive one for love and attention purely based on looks. But not just your aesthetics. Your constructed image, the places you go, what you eat who you know, what your friends look like, what you look like. The question is no longer one for most of capturing memories. It is an advertisement, a billboard of you, looking for accreditation. These pressures are real, they are understandable.

However, next time you realise you have a 110 second snapstory of your friends awkwardly smiling as the camera rotates around the table capturing faces lit up by bright phones while life continues around you,

is it a memory of a night out that never happened?….