There's something to be said for the way society runs itself these days. You can't look anywhere without seeing an altered image, a changed sound, some form of visual aesthetic that has been altered to be something that it isn't. Everything has been made to appeal to you in some way that is completely different from what it really is. I mean, you can hardly ever even go online without finding some hipster-edit of an otherwise boring picture. But, of course, once one adds in softer lighting and vignette, everyone loves it. It's what Instagram thrives on.
But fake goes farther than that. I don't just mean the literal definition of it, like soy substitutes for meat or faux-fashion.
No, as I'm sure you know, it can apply to people, too. It's hard not to come across at least one person who is so pretend that you wonder what is real about them. I mean, I can't be the only one having to deal with that, can I?
In this world, sometimes I think so. I know that I'm not, of course, but it's incredibly easy to lie and tell yourself that the person isn't fake, that you just don't like them because they're different from you. So you bite your tongue, pretend there's nothing wrong, even though you secretly seethe with anger when they show up looking way better than the have ever before, after conveniently taken a three week trip to New York for "sight-seeing".
It's not even just talking about appearance. There's something about being fake that seems to permeate the soul. Being fake is like a virus that travels faster than an apocalyptic disease. And what's worse is there's no rehab for it, no form of treatment. The best you can do is hope that someday that person will get their head out of their ass and join the real world, maybe even start to transform back into the person they used to be.
We've all fallen victim to this, I'm sure. Some people just like to say that shit happens, that people change. But when you have to deal with people you've known for your entire life suddenly changing, hating everything they used to love, dressing differently, becoming someone completely opposite to who they used to be.
No one likes having to deal with that. It feels like the world has started falling down around you, and sometimes you wonder if you're the one who's changed.
And that very well may be, but there's a chance that it might not have been you. There's that chance that they could have just become what society loves and you yourself hate:
I don't mean for this to be some form of public service announcement. I'm not aiming to change the world with inspirational writings that tell you "Just be yourself," and "Don't try to impress others". I won't even say anything like, "The people who love you will love you no matter what!"
People like to say those things, but does anyone really listen? Have you ever paid attention to the stupidly naïve posters in a nurses office in high school? The ones that try to motivate you into being yourself and not listening to peer pressure.
I've never really been sure what the exact purpose of those were; what they were intending to get at there. Are they trying to, in a weird way, brain wash individuals into being proud of themselves?
Okay, so that's a little far-fetched. But the concept is there.
Why, you might ask, am I writing this? To inform you, to let you know the signs. Not necessarily to persuade you of how not to become, but so you see the warning flags before you get hit with the shock of someone becoming totally fake.
Or, maybe, this could even serve as a self-help book. Are you fake? Did you never know it before now?
Well, now you will know, thanks to the progression of this blog. That's the intent, anyways.
Because, like always, I've decided to take one for the team and try to expose fakeness for what it really is. And the only way to do this is to dive deep into the heart of it all.
So let me tell you in advance:
* * * * * * * * * *
Eslie Grey leaned back in her seat, eyebrows scrunched together. If she were like the normal girls around here, she would be worrying that those would cause wrinkles later on in life. But she wasn't, so she didn't.
No, instead she was puzzling over something that might seem normal, but wasn't. At least, not for her. She wasn't used to having to slave over what to wear, or even considering that kind of thing.
Eslie was more the kind of girl who didn't care what she wore. In fact, one of her favorite shirts to wear had been one that said "And No Fucks Were Given", until her school's principal had called her out of class for wearing it and threatened expulsion if she didn't stop wearing it around. Still, she kept it in her closet with fond memories.
She examined the colors on both of the outfits that were up for debate. Finally, giving up on being able to make the decision on her own, she dialed Vivienne's phone number.
After a couple ringing tones, she picked up.
"Vivi, I'm in a crisis."
Her friend sighed. "This is the fourth time you've called with a supposed crisis. No, I still don't know what a fancier term for the word bitch is, and I really can't say that I---"
"Not that kind of emergency." she said, a tone of discomfort in her voice. "More like… a fashion problem."
"You have got to be kidding me," Vivienne said with disbelief. "Since when do you care about what you look like?"
"Since I'm taking one in the name of science, that's when."
Eslie could hear Vivienne laughing even though she had muffled the receiver with her hand. "This could hardly be considered scientific."
"I'm putting myself at risk for the greater good of people's education. Science!"
"You act as if you were begged," Vivi said. "Anyways, what are the options here?"
"Um, well, a purple silky top thing with a ruffle and some tight jeans, or a light grey dress thingy,"
"So descriptive." she sighed. "What color are the jeans."
"Blue, I think…"
Vivienne inhaled deeply. "I'll be over in a minute."
After a lot of debate and a mini lecture about giving vague descriptions and how hopeless she was at dressing herself, Vivienne and Eslie settled down on her back porch with warm mugs of tea.
The crisp autumn air blew threw around, rustling up newly fallen leaves. Eslie smiled faintly, happy that it was officially her favorite season. She stirred the little teaspoon around in her cup, trying to keep the sugar from forming some sort of wet sand in the bottom.
"Why are you even doing this?" Vivienne asked. "You never really cared before, so why now?"
"Because…. I just… I don't know. It feels right. Like I can actually do something that might contribute to the world."
"By going incognito as a fake bitch? Yeah, that seems like a great contribution. You deserve a Nobel Prize, really." Vivi snarled.
She sighed. "You know it isn't like that; I just want to try to find out the reason why people are stupid. I want to know why they change into someone they aren't, especially after…"
"I know, I know. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Who-Has-A-Nose."
The name made Eslie laugh, even though it was still a rough subject for her. "Yeah, him. But it isn't just about him. In a way, I kind of want to know if I can stop that kind of thing from happening to anyone else."
Vivienne leaned back in her seat and took a sip of her tea. She looked at Eslie hard, like she was trying to read her mind or something. After a couple minutes of silence, she leaned forward and ruffled Eslie's layered brown hair.
"You can't stop people from being assholes," she said, trying to feign a smile. "We all wish we could, but it's just up to that person. I don't want you getting hurt, kiddo."
Eslie scowled. "Just because you are a grade ahead of me doesn't mean you get to call me kiddo, just so you know."
"Ah, but it does." she laughed. "I'm not just a grade ahead of you, I'm in college."
Vivienne took another sip, then added. "It makes me far more superior to you, young grasshopper."
That night, Eslie checked her blog before she went to bed. There had been a couple reads, and one person liked it, but she was pretty sure it was just her grandmother who liked to keep tabs on her. The lady was one of those "forever young at heart" kinds of people, and Eslie never had the heart to burst her bubble that this was synonymous to cyber-stalking.
She read and reread the post over and over again, trying to make sure there were no typos or anything that could be overly scrutinized. There was an attitude to the entire post, but that's what she liked about it. The entire thing came across as, "I know what I'm doing, and you know what it is? I'm doing you a favor."
Blogs that had been like that had tons of views, she knew that much. Only, those were usually about bashing people or sleazy celebrity gossip. She knew this one wouldn't turn into something like that; the most she could ask for was about a hundred views on each post, max. If she had even gotten close to that, she would have been over the moon.
Taking a final glance at her computer screen, and then the first day of school outfit she had planned, she tried to keep herself from grimacing. There was a chance that this wasn't going to go over as well as she had hoped.
"Oh well," she said to herself softly as she shut the screen to her laptop. "Fuck it."