As some of you know, I have been heavy into a new app called Periscope. It’s live video with chat interaction. One of the first people I followed was Sara Haines, the weekend Pop News Reporter on Good Morning America.
One of her early broadcasts outside of the studio was a thoughtful reflection on how she works constantly to not be judgmental of celebrities she covers, especially ones like Kim Kardashian, who engender such hatred from so many. I did a blog post based on that for my Shame series. Here is the link to that. – ‘Sara Haines, Kim Kardashian and the Power of Empathy‘
Sara as Kim
A few weeks later Sara did a segment on GMA where she actually made up, haired up and dressed up to look as close to Kim Kardashian as she could. She did a periscope during the transformation and asked someone to take a screen shot. I took a few and sent them to her via twitter. Here they are.
In the meanwhile this is what she usually looks like on camera, not at all like the pics above.
The interesting part of this story isn’t about her physical transformation into a KK type look. That was fun to see but it became interesting and insightful the next day when she went for a power walk and talked about what happened when she dressed up that way. She took the walk while it was raining. She had on no makeup at all, the exact opposite of the day before. Here is a very small and blurry screen shot I got during that walk. My apologies to you, Sara, that it isn’t better.
Here is what I heard her say she discovered. First, many complimented her, saying she looked better than Kim. The compliments were appreciated but they also started her thinking about why they were being given in that way. Why didn’t they simply say “You look great in that style.” if that is what they thought. Why did they feel it necessary to say she looked better than Kim? Was it that they felt Sara needed to know she won a competition? Was that what it was about? While she was saying this I thought about the ‘who wore it better’ segments I used to see on Fashion Police (before I stopped watching it due to it being negative, gossipy and hurtful). It wasn’t enough to just give the compliment. Sara had to be propped up above the competition. In Sara’s mind that wasn’t true and it was a side to the experience she didn’t really like. It made her sad to think people had that need to compare and judge and that they felt Sara needed it.
An even more disturbing discovery was how many didn’t just stop with the compliment of how she looked better than Kim. They went on to rant about Kim, cutting her down for her lack of talent, her exploitation of her body, her media overexposure, her big butt, her husband, her lifestyle, her TV show, her this her that…on and on and on.
This made Sara sad as well. It made her sad that so many of the people she came across, including friends, co-workers and family, spent so much time hating someone they didn’t even know. She said some of them seemed to be way too happy hating Kim. And then she said this to the camera, “Don’t love hating people.” and I had my quote for my next napkin.
Getting Smaller, Not Taller
It comes down to something we all started experiencing and doing as children, that is the cutting down of someone so you feel higher. It’s an immature and insecure reaction to life, to other’s success, to other’s looks or lifestyle or preferences, etc. And we all have moments where we do it or are tempted to do it. But when we are tempted remember what it really is we are doing. It’s the equivalent of cutting off someone’s legs so you can be taller than they are. You aren’t really any taller. All you have done is hurt someone else so you can grab hold of an illusion of tallness.
But really only one thing grows when we do that, and that’s hate. And when you fall in love with hating people, judging people, you become smaller. Much smaller.
Getting Taller, Not Smaller
So, if you feel you suffer from this, here is an exercise. Take a celebrity you hate and say five positive things about them. Now evaluate what happened. Did that celebrity suddenly feel empowered to do something bad? Did they feel justified about something? No, they didn’t. Why? Because they didn’t hear you. Only you heard you. Now do that same thing of saying something positive about that celebrity you hate in front of someone else. Was the celebrity affected? No, they weren’t. Just you and your friend. And how were you affected? You said something kind or nice or insightful instead of ugly and mean and gossipy. You aren’t approving of them or their lifestyle, you are simply choosing to find something kind and positive, just as you would if the person was a close friend of yours.
That sounds like a win to me.
I have written another blog post about Sara and Kim. You can find it here: Sara Haines, Kim Kardashian and the Power of Empathy
© 2015 Marty Coleman / napkindad.com
Quote by Sara Haines, 1977 – not dead yet, American TV Reporter specializing in Lifestyle and Pop Culture