by Shannon Everest, Australia
While sitting eating my lunch at work, and fanning through the latest Vogue mag. in the patient waiting room, I read bits and pieces of an article about a new and upcoming young actress called Alice Englert. The article was titled ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
The article itself is not what is important here – what is important is the ponderings that occurred after reading the article.
This young woman of only 18 years was being celebrated with such expressions as ‘Englert heads into the light’… She was being placed on a pedestal for all the world to see, described with such beauty and awe, but for all of the things she can ‘do’, the way she looks, the way she ticks boxes – and not for who she actually is. Lauded for how she has managed to carve her way into the industry, descriptions of her physical beauty and the uniqueness of her old-world ‘look’.
I found myself wondering, how does she really feel? What does she do to care for herself working in the film industry? What did she have to go through to get there?It is an interesting phenomenon and set of words to describe the rise of a ‘star’, someone stepping into the ‘limelight’. There is a sneaky-ness in the appeal of someone rising into stardom and fame, because words are used that are actually close to our hearts. There is a truth to each and every one of us being a ‘star’ and a radiant light. Yet when these words are used in regards to fame, we feel it in a very different way. The person is not honoured as the true light they are. Not for shining in the radiance of their own inner beauty. Not for allowing the glorious light from the essence within to shine out and touch the world.
We are so easily given these false examples, using similar words that tantalise our inner knowings, yet don’t give us the full taste or bite we are looking for. We are not reflected the true light that shines from within, where you don’t have to ‘do’ anything but be exactly who you are.
It is not the fault of this young actress or even the journalist who wrote the article or the magazine itself – all of these things are merely caught in the same system and cycle we have all been mischievously fooled to believe is all there is in life to look to. From that system, we are sold the lie that what this young actress has is ‘It’.
Yet there is so much more.
Recently I attended a presentation by Real Media Real Change. As part of this presentation, a beautiful older or elder woman presented on topics close to her heart; self-care and personal experiences with breast cancer.
Then a most beautiful short film was shown, titled ‘Truly, Deeply, Beautiful’ and truly – it was. Women of various ages, talking about the way they have lived in the past and how they have made changes that have begun to truly honour themselves. These women – not famous, just everyday women: mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends. Yet there was a quality that came through from each and every woman that was to be in awe of, but in the true sense of the word awe. The awe of the divinity we each have within, where we can appreciate those true qualities in another. I was touched deeply by this very simple film.
Then the final part of the presentation was by a young woman, Natalie Benhayon. I wonder what it would be like if this woman was featured in Vogue magazine? Photographed in her beautifully selected outfits, but reflecting the depths of connection from a woman who knows who she is and is not afraid to show that, be that, and shine that out to the world.
Here was a presentation about the development of an amazing app to support, not only women of all ages, but men too – and this all at the ripe age of 23. This app, Our Cycles – Period & Moon Diary, both physically beautiful and smooth to touch and glide through, has given women and men one of the most powerful tools of self healing and self care, encouraging us to develop a relationship with ourselves, with our bodies, and with how we feel in the world. I don’t know if we have yet fully realized the incredible power and gift in one simple app worth $4.49 in the iTunes store.
I wonder what the world would be like with more true role models: where role models from all walks of life can be applauded for their grace in such avenues that reach wide audiences. I wonder what it would be like if each one of us recognized and appreciated the qualities within ourselves that are worthy of true role model status.
It is not the true intention to have that type of ‘attention’, but I myself would love to see these true qualities we each hold within be brought to the fore, in our modern world for all to see.
The two different forms of media were great examples of two very different approaches to looking at a woman. The first looked at the woman from the outside in – praising and applauding the woman for what she can do and how she is ‘making it’ in the world, and the second looked at the woman from the inside out – who she always has been, that has never changed and does not require any improving, bettering or doing, but a deep honouring of those qualitites that are already there within.