Watch more than a handful of American Idol auditions, and you'll quickly discover that many people's perceptions of themselves aren't even close to lining up with reality. Sure, there are plenty of pure attention-seekers who manage to grab a few seconds of fame on Fox...but there are a significant number of others who misguidedly think that they're the next Carrie Underwood or Kris Allen.
The other night a young Colorado girl poured her heart and soul into a song that was downright awful. Every judge hated it, including Simon who said that her performance "killed every cat in Denver." But she honestly thought she was fabulous.
If you've been on Facebook over the last few weeks, you've likely seen another example of this "self-confidence chasm": doppelgangers. In a nutshell, this involves changing your profile picture to that of a celebrity who you think looks like you. (Here's what my co-host Pam chose for me: it's the teacher from "Glee". Really?)
Some people have done a really good job. But, to be honest, I've seen more than a handful of pictures that actually made me laugh out loud. Friends of mine are actually comparing themselves to some of the most beautiful celebrities in the world: Jillian, the trainer from the Biggest Loser, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Bruce Willis.
Wow. I know this is a game, but come on. What mirror are they looking in? And where do I get one?
Now maybe I'm just bitter because one of those celebrity look-a-like websites told me I looked like Nelson Mandela...while another said I was a dead ringer for Kate Moss. But its more than that.
I'm concerned that our society has created an entitled generation. A generation that genuinely believes they deserve a million dollar recording contract from American Idol...regardless of vocal talent. A generation that honestly thinks they are owed a starring role on television...despite an inability to act. A generation that legitimately believes that they look like Heidi Klum or Brad Pitt...elastic waistband and coke-bottle glasses notwithstanding.
Are we really so insecure with ourselves that we can't accept who God made us to be? Do we really think that our friends or family (or even complete strangers) will more lovingly accept us if we pretend to be talented or athletic or beautiful?
Mother Theresa's beauty wasn't found in her appearance. Billy Graham's worth can't be measured by his bank account. Princess Diana's value wasn't in what she wore. These people accepted who they were (or weren't) and made a difference in the world anyway.
I guess that means being compared to Nelson Mandela isn't so bad after all.