I like looking at the beautiful people. The movie stars in their finery at their Met Galas and Academy Awards – it’s quite a show.
How curious it has been during this pandemic to see photos of the famous ones with wild, greying hair. To see them walking about in sloppy jogging pants with shades covering their naked eyes. Everything is cancelled and they, like most of us, are letting loose a little. Slowing down. Being more earthy and real.
COVID-19 is a disruptor not only of our businesses and health, but also our methods of defining social status. We care a lot about social status. Research suggests that respect and admiration from our peers is more valuable to us than money for our sense of well-being.
This time of redefinition is transforming my click-bait habits. Do I want to see one more photo of the Kardashians flaunting yet another ridiculously tight dress? No thank you. Their audacious wealth and excessive lifestyle is, frankly, kind of gross right now.
Sitting by the pool and taking a selfie? C’mon. I know their faces and bodies are the Kardashian brand but the status of stuff and glamour is off-putting right now. Go DO something. Go HELP someone. Go FEED the world. I want to click on stories of entrepreneurs and people who create opportunities and empower people.
The high consumers of energy, goods and services ain’t the cool kids anymore. The whole equation is being inverted so that the bearded nomads saving trees, the farmers with calluses and soil under their nails, the nurses with masks on their faces and the grocery clerks smiling from behind plastic protection are the ones who have a growing wave of respect flowing their way.
Those who tread lightly upon this earth, do not over-consume and help their fellow man are the ones earning the clicks right now.
I find it so fascinating, this whole experience. We are redefining status and how we want to live. Facebook posts are tracking the change:
• When one family had to cancel their international vacation, they chose to research, make and eat a series of meals from different cultures including Italy, the place they were going to visit.
• From bread to macrame to painting, quilting and woodworking, those with an artistic bent have time to create to their heart’s content. They are making gifts for friends and family and improving their own mental health at the same time. Cardmaking has been my personal outlet as I “Create to Connect”.
• The expression of “quality versus quantity” is making our physical distancing visits and online chats more intense, more valuable, more connected and more real.
• Not wanting to regret goals not achieved, people are pursuing their educational objectives. Online learning has gone global and allows both young and old to learn from universities around the world to achieve degrees and certificates, add value to their lives and learn the skills to put into practical purpose.
• People are making face masks for neighbours, applauding health care workers and delivering groceries to elderly neighbours.
• Vegetable gardens and unmowed portions of lawn to create pollinator habitat versus perfect landscapes are to be praised, not scorned.
All of the above are adding points to their status, precisely because it ISN’T about creating status. I suspect there is a brilliant new world awaiting us once the pandemic has lifted; a place where we recognize we are all parts of one real, beautiful (without makeup and designer clothes) body where all the parts are equal and valuable. ◊