My wife dragged me to watch the red carpet coverage of one of the last Academy Awards. (Ok, this is my macho excuse to justify my presence in front of the TV…) The red carpet was as always a runway of design dresses, flower shoes, debut jewels, arresting looks to the camera, and the same exclamation to every actress, “You look SO fabulous!!!”, of course
to the same reply, “You TOO!” Seasoned actors paid their annual visit while young ones tried to hide their nervousness. The coverage brought in specialists to analyze people’s movie records, hair styles, silhouettes, make-up, cleavage or the lack of it. It was, in sum, a spectacle of colors, looks and gossip.
To watch the red carpet always opens the bittersweet dam of envy. Millions of people glue to the telly wondering why didn’t they choose a more glamorous profession, or whether they will ever get the recognition they dream of, or why don’t they look as dazzling as Hollywood, or how much money they have to make for a gorgeous babe to settle as their girlfriend. They covet the semi-god status of modern-day celebrities; they wish fate had smiled to them and made them captivating.
But every now and then the camera spots a celebrity picking his nose or a chubby moustache limo driver or the terrified eyes of someone wishing she wasn’t there. Every now and then a crack disrupts the cinematic aura. The festival of beauty and vanity is a TV production after all; that glamorous world does not exist. Everybody on the red carpet will still step home and remove their make-up wondering what they have to accomplish to fell valued and complete someday, or at least win an Oscar, or perhaps a second one.
A surprising example of that were the declarations of Megan Fox, maybe three or four Oscars ago. When the red carpet reporter asked her how she felt, with all the attention lavished on her prettiness, she described how ugly and insecure she felt, and how she felt like vomiting. In a recent interview, Megan disclosed: “in terms of how I look, I’m completely, hysterically insecure. I’m self-loathing, introverted and neurotic.” Megan may be unusually open, but I guess these feelings are not hers alone.
The human heart feels empty. It runs anxiously insecure, no matter the amount of fame showered on it, ever desperate for attention and embrace. Our hearts have fun with dresses and compliments and cameras, but they long for more still. They long for a peace not available around here; they tasted just enough of eternity to crave for it with all their might. No amount of red carpet splendour can ever heal them.