Forget Rihanna, or: in 2013, live a life without gossip

If you feel the urge to gossip, just go watch Revenge — you´ll have a lot to talk about: most characters are awful people and are very creative in talking behind each other´s backs. The men and the women alike…

Gossip is one of those subjects disturbingly related to women: put it together with fashion and miracle diets and you have yourself a so called female magazine, as opposed to masculine matters such as politics, naked gals and cars. A protest against this categorization on the present post would sadly be absolutely pointless, as a good number of magazines targeting each gender is there to confirm this unfortunate truth about how simplistically the ladies and the gents are generally portrayed.

The worst part of it though is our passive acceptance of these generic portrayals; worst, we indulge in it, by consuming products that define who we are in a quite unflattering way. I diet, I enjoy fashion, and as a human – not as a woman – I do fall prey of that morbid curiosity that results of – and from – gossip.

But here is what I don´t understand: while dieting is O.K. and fashion is fun, and both matters can have somewhat uplifting effects on a person´s life – after all, being in a great shape (thin, in our days) and dressing well are self-esteem boosters – gossip thrives in the most horrible emotions, envy being at the top of the list. So why admitting in such an open way our deep, dark feelings towards a gorgeous, talented (this may be open for discussion), millionaire young girl from Barbados because she has offered the world, publicly, something that can be constructed as a personal flaw (her love for a man who once hit her – No, I´m not defending men who hit women. I just think my speech against domestic violence doesn´t need to turn Rihanna into a victim or an idiot or into anything at all)? Worse, why should women accept gossip is a gender-related concern? Because we do it by consuming self-proclaimed feminine products that insert gossip as part of what is offered.

On top of already having tried a few times to induce you to abandon your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts — surely without success — I now take an even wider step by urging you to share with me one of my favorite New Year Resolutions: no more gossip, in none of its forms.

Hard. Gossip is a favored corporate social interaction: everybody loves to talk about each other at work, usually not in a flattering way nor in the subject’s presence (this is one of the male´s favored form of gossip, at least where I work. Women are far less aggressive on their work environments and more concerned about their friends). Gossip and family — I know it’s what binds mine together on Christmas (and also what sets us apart while provoking epic fights among “enemy” relatives).

The thing is we spend a lot of good energy hating someone else, or simply over-examining their faults. Our attention could be probably put to better use if we just focused on bettering ourselves and finding our own flaws and living our lives instead of wasting time worrying about Rihanna being irresponsible or whatever for getting back with Chris Brown, or getting extremely upset because a third-grade cousin has knocked up a 14 year-old and she doesn’t want to abort and he’s clearly been set-up (even though your cousin is ugly, has no money whatsoever and the girl is underage and he shouldn’t have been playing with games other than those you can play in a public park, some in your family think she’s the bitch here). If you want good and dirty little secrets and a lot of shit to say about dubious people, go watch Revenge — one of ABC’s hit series with the previously sweet (Everwood anyone), now kick-ass manipulative millionaire avenger Emily VonCamp. You can definitely go wild talking behind the backs of every single character in that show, with the advantage that (1) they are really mean. All of them and (2) they are not real, so your conscience is clean.

Do this for me and abandon this preferred form of judgment for good. No more InStyle, no more Kardashians, no more royal pregnancies or marriage scandals, no more taking behind your aunt’s back about her new 24 year old boyfriend. No more telling everyone at work that you saw your boss hand in hand with his assistant on a family barbecue picture his sister published on her Facebook profile. Ride on that boat with me and save your wisdom for the mirror. Forget what else Paul McCartney has included in the lyrics of that (extraordinary) song, and stick with the part that says live and let live.

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2 Responses to “Forget Rihanna, or: in 2013, live a life without gossip”

  1. I agree with all this – I read gossip if its there, but I always feel really terrible when its gossip about someone being cheated on or their marriage ending. That sort of thing shouldn’t be a spectacle. There’s just so many better thins to discuss & to do with your time then talk about people you don’t know, I guess. & people need to stop putting pressure on stars like Rihanna do be “role models” for their children. It’s a parent’s responsibility to explain things to their children & be role models, not a singer’s.

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