“Smoke and mirrors – the truth’s out,” said Adam with a nod-and-a-wink smile at the end of his TVGuide interview, referring to something we all already knew – that his hair is naturally strawberry-blond, not black.
But the remark got me thinking about image vs reality. As a fiction writer, it’s one of my favorite themes. We all present an image to the world whether it’s a conscious decision or not. The way we dress, the way we wear our hair and makeup, and our manner of speech all contribute to our image and what people think of us. Sometimes a person’s image matches the reality of who they are. Adam says of Kris, “what you see is what you get.” Perhaps that’s what many voters responded to – a “reality” that was easy for them to see, palatable, and didn’t take too much thinking about.
Adam’s outward appearance has gone thru a true metamorphosis – the dyed hair, makeup, nail polish and flamboyant outfits present an image which some people apparently can’t process. As a result, Adam has had numerous labels pinned to him, the mildest being “theatrical” and “over the top” and the nastiest being “evil” and “anti-Christian.”
But should outward appearance alone define someone? I don’t think so. Our attitude, actions, and words should define our “reality” much more than our physical image should. If the Adam-haters would take the time to look beyond the black nail polish and really listen to his interviews, they’d hear a calm, good-humored, humble and respectful young man who credits everyone else before himself. With those things he chooses to talk about or answer, he is open. With topics he’d rather not discuss, he politely deflects with either a laugh or a question of his own (“really?”). And yet some people criticize even this, calling Adam “coy” and even going so far as to suggest he wouldn’t make a good role model to kids. When in the world did the desire to keep certain things private make someone devious and less than real?
We all deserve some privacy, even celebrities. I sense that spirituality, religion, and symbolism are important to Adam. He puts them on display in very subtle ways, but he doesn’t talk about them. Nor do I think he should. The private things we hold close to our hearts are a big part of what keep us grounded.
So while some may look at the “smoke and mirrors” and see a person who is false, devious, or a pretender, I see the smoke and mirrors as simply fantastic entertainment. And behind the image I see and hear the actions and words of a man who is as real as they come.
So, people, what do you think it is that defines us? And should we judge celebrities at all for who they are, or should we simply admire them for their talent and artistry?