August 12, 2008, Category: Rants

Chinese for ‘Milli Vanilli’

art_girl_cctvThis little girl has a beautiful voice but, apparently, is not pretty enough to represent the Chinese people. They want her voice, not her face. So they plugged in a more “attractive” nine year old girl to stand in front of the cameras for the Olympic opening ceremonies. I saw the performance and was touched. I hate when I’m manipulated like this. It leaves me feeling like a dimestore hooker. And I didn’t even get a dime out of it.

I liked Milli Vanilli too, back in the day. Now before you rag on me for admitting it, I’d like to point out that their albums sold millions and they won a Grammy, so I wasn’t alone. I didn’t like them because of the dancing puppets we thought were making the music…I liked the music. I was sad there weren’t more albums. But were the dancing puppets necessary to get the music out? The sad truth is that I probably wouldn’t have ever heard Milli Vanilli otherwise…because it’s not just about the music.

This rubs home the fact that as a society we value all the wrong things. We want superficial appearance over content. We want a level of perfection that doesn’t exist in reality. We need air brushes, video editing, and surgery to create people worthy enough of our attention. We piece together the best parts of individuals to make someone beautiful enough for us. And we pay millions of dollars to people who are, essentially, hollow shells of humanity. No matter how creepy they may be in person, we only see the superhuman appearance and swath them in gold and lace. We want a reality that doesn’t exist and deny the truth. Even though so many of us feel outraged at this little seven year old girl’s talents being hidden from the world, we are the ones who drive it.

The media presents something attractive and gets our attention…and our money. The next time, they have to up it a notch. In the process our minds change and our thinking is altered. We start expecting a fantasy level of perfection in ourselves, our friends, our spouses. Before long, we become prejudice and judgmental against those don’t measure up to these ridicules standards. We push the media to do it to us and become brainwashed even more in the process.

Maybe someday we will value people because of their strong character. Maybe someday we won’t reward a narcissistic personality because of a pretty smile, shrewd tongue, or athletic prowess. Maybe, but it’s a long ways off. In the meantime we each need to notice when we have been duped. We need to try and give our admiration and attention to the people who deserve it. Like little seven year old Yang Peiyi. We need to let the media know that we care about genuine beauty and talent and we aren’t going to be superficial drones anymore.

And no matter how beautiful and athletic a person might be…if they are assholes, stop rewarding them. Stop reading about them, buying their products, watching their performances, and giving them our attention. And I readily admit I am part of the problem, Yes, I’m a hypocrite. It’s just too easy, sometimes, to get sucked into the nonsense.

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2 thoughts on “Chinese for ‘Milli Vanilli’

  • By Grandma Henke - Reply

    That is really sad. She will grow up thinking she isn’t pretty and pretty isn’t what it’s all about … although I think she is adorable.

  • By Stacey [Henke] Silva - Reply

    She is such a cute girl, I was annoyed when I heard that too!!

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