I bumped in to a fellow musician I know, a couple of days ago, before singing at an event, whom I hadn’t seen for about a year.
He greeted me with “You look well.” Then he patted his stomach, smiled and walked off. I was mortified. I felt like I had let myself down, by putting a little weight on over Christmas ( as we all do). I felt very exposed, this man’s comment, made me feel a sense of shame.
Why did I feel so horrified at this comment?
The mask had fallen off, of this public image that we all inexplicably wear. In my creative industry, I suppose it’s more prevalent, with the whole keep smiling attitude you are constantly portraying. I felt humiliated and paranoid, that perhaps, this man was insinuating I looked pregnant. Then the thought crossed my mind, maybe everyone thinks I am.
This experience made me realise the extent of how much we care what people think of us. As a singer and writer, I love my job and getting feedback of how my singing has perhaps touched someone, is an amazing feeling. What goes with that is the whole package of a look and attitude as a performer, OK, admittedly not an Oscars glamour look, but to feel you’ve made an effort. What felt like my appearance taking a knock, actually hurt. I felt judged on my weight gain. But what I was feeling on the inside, I refused to let show, kept up a facade.
No-one knows what another human is truly feeling or thinking. Someone may look like they have their life together and everything is as good as a 2008 uplifting romantic comedy, but that’s just what we want you to think, on the inside things can be a totally different story.
Fran and I have swapped a blog post, each with the same title! Check out my guest post for her, plus Fran’s other amazing writing pieces on her website: Frantastic View.