Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reality Bites

Last year I finally gave up on the MTV reality show, The Real World, after coming to terms with the fact that I am almost twenty years older than most of the cast, and really, the show has all been pretty much the same since the first Las Vegas season filmed over ten years ago. So, when I need a little dose of fake reality, I watch: Top Chef, Rachel Zoe Project, and Project Runway. I also dabble in a little Real Housewives, but only Atlanta because I used to live there. Earlier this year, I was following Jon and Kate, before the hate, but have given that up for obvious reasons.

I love the two fashion shows for the clothes and the creativity. Though Rachel Zoe is a nut job, she has an eye for what she likes and the balls to ask for it. I can relate to the fact that she is a total conflict avoider, while at the same time insanely opinionated. Project Runway is always good for a little drama, but the design process is what keeps me hooked. I love watching the designers make the clothes appear like magic and Tim Gunn's arched eyebrow really works for me.

Which brings me to Top Chef, and the real point of this post. Are you still with me?

This season, the women are dropping off the show like crazy and I can't help but compare how the sexes are managing the competition and stress. I have yet to see a guy burst into tears on the show or rattle on during the monologues about how he is feeling about his work. The dudes, despite various levels of skill, seem mostly focused and confident. I think it is natural and maybe almost expected, for women to constantly question ourselves and our motivations. Sometimes, as a result of our proclivity to sensitivity, we get in in our own way.

So lately, when I find myself getting sidetracked by my inner dialogue, I picture myself in a chef's jacket, slicing and dicing, juggling pots and pans, and everything sizzling away, time running out, but I am not rattled. I am completely focused.

So there you go, life lessons from a reality show. And they say television is bad for you...

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