Monday, 15 October 2007

Do you have the X~Factor?

Why are people, (especially in the UK) always afraid of what other people might think, if they do something that makes them ‘stand out from the crowd?’

I admire people who have their hair died bright purple, wear clothes that others might not class as being ‘in vogue’, listen to the music they really want to, and not just what’s classed as being cool. My personal favourite is people who actually say what they think.
Not the rude types, who try and impose their own views upon you, but people that stand up for what they believe in, or who aren’t afraid to do something that might make them unpopular.

Love him or hate him, Simon Cowell is one of those people. My daughter and I have only recently discovered the ‘joys’ of the X-Factor on Saturday nights. And I have to say I really admire The Cowell. Look beyond the tight jerseys, and high waisted trousers – see that’s something else he hasn’t bowed down to the critics on, his unique dress sense, even though he’s been ribbed about it mercilessly.
The Cowell always says what he thinks, if that then makes him unpopular, he doesn’t care (ok, perhaps he can be a bit harsh on occasions – even I have to admit that.) but at least you know you’re getting an honest opinion from him, and I admire that.

Why can’t people take a leaf (if not the whole tree perhaps) out of his book? Why are they so scared of what others will say?

I’m a member of a message board for a well-known singer. I’ve been a fan of this chap for about five years. (if you don’t know who this is, then you’ve not checked out my website very thoroughly – the clues are there…)
My husband and I always attend a charity ball every year he holds in aid of his family’s cancer charity, and we will be doing the same this November.
So what should I find when I log onto his website’s message boards, but a topic created for this very event.
I log on with interest, to see what everyone’s saying, and am not really surprised to find the usual bitching and carryings on. (Just why are women are so bitchy? Another Blog me thinks) But the most interesting thing is – the comments on the thread are nearly all from people who are NOT going to the ball. So where are all the posts of delight, from people have got tickets to go to this wonderful event?
They’re kept well hidden in those same people’s minds. Whoah! They can’t tell people they’re actually going to this can they - what might people think or even say if they find out?

So me being me, decided to write the following, and post it on the Ball topic – I called it

‘Circle of Shame.’

I looked around the small room and saw the look of guilt and anguish on the faces of the other women that joined me in the circle of shame.
We called it that – the little meetings we regularly attended.

All it needed was for one of us to speak up, one of us to stand up and be proud. Not have to hide behind the forced silence, imposed by the harsh words and guilt trip laid in our path by others.

Then one day it began to happen. I noticed the numbers begin to decrease at our meetings, as one by one the others found the strength and courage to share their guilty secret, and when they shared, they no longer felt scared, no longer felt the guilt.

Now their secret was out, and everyone knew, they realised it wasn’t a bad thing, they knew they should be proud of what they were going to do, and no longer would they hide behind the shameful secret that has haunted them for the last few weeks.

And suddenly I knew too. I knew it was my time to come clean, my time to hold my head up and be proud. So that others could also follow in my footsteps, and tell the world their joyful news.
I slowly pulled myself to my feet. The others around the circle of shame looked warily at me. Surely I wasn’t going to spill the beans, tell them my secret? What might people say? Would they walk past me in street whispering and pointing? “There goes that woman,” they’d say, a look of disgust on their faces “You know the one who… well you know?”
But I didn’t care any more, my guilty secret would be over forever, and I would be able to relax and enjoy myself once more.
“My name is Ali,” I said in a shaky voice. “And yes I’m… I’m…” I nearly bottled out, as my bravery began to drain away as quickly as the colour was from my face. I took a last deep breath, and thought about the real reason I was doing what I was. The important, life changing reasons that could take place as a result of my actions.
“ And I too am going to the Pink Ribbon Ball again this year!”

And so far it’s had some great reactions. And people have indeed ‘come out’ and told others that they’re going – and are pleased to be doing so.

So I say well done to them – The Cowell would be proud of you.

A x