Monday, September 15, 2014

Little insecurities



I'm not generally a jealous person.

I don't hate people because they're prettier than me. I don't stop my boyfriend from talking about all of his exes. I've never made a habit of belittling my friends' accomplishments because their successes threaten me.

But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't profoundly jealous of rich people. 

And I don't mean rich as in a nice house in suburbia with a couple of cars, but money. Families who can trace generations of wealth. Those people the writers at Vogue adoringly profile.

My jealousy tends to manifests itself in bitter ways. I consciously hate-read pieces written from and about socialites. I mock publications like Vogue any chance I get. Or I gladly think to myself, "oh well that explains it," when I find out a particularly successful person comes from an old family. 

It's not that I think a person is suddenly less talented with the knowledge that they're wealthy, it's just that it makes their successes easier to stomach. Which is unfair. It suggests they didn't have to work hard to get where they are and the reality is, I don't know their lives. 

But it makes me feel better to think that their successes were greatly supported by their wealth, because I can tell myself if only. If only I had those connections. If only I could pursue exactly what I want to because paying the bills isn't a concern.

It's complacency at its best. 

But the thing is, I'm sick of being asked to admire the great style of a rich girl. I'm sick of being asked to think the eccentricities of a socialite are so charming and hilarious. I'm not going to list Olivia fucking Palermo as a style influence or marvel at the amazing taste shown by Lauren Santo Domingo in her 8,000-square-foot townhouse. 

I don't think it's cute if a socialite wears a $5,000 Balenciaga jacket with a $15 v-neck from Target. Or if they can't remember the last time they did their own hair. 

I don't want to marvel at the career of someone who came from multi-millions, if not more.

When I was fresh out of high school, I moved to New York to attend FIT. I wanted to be in the fashion world and become one of those glamorous ladies you see in the magazines. And then the insecurities of it all, at 18, crushed me. 

I was intimidated by the girls who dressed better than me at the same time that I began to believe fashion was a frivolous pursuit all thanks to my insecurities that I wasn't going to NYU or Columbia. 

So I left. 

Now, of course, I wonder what it would be like if I'd stayed. I wonder where my life would be. What I'd be doing, who'd I know. 

When I read articles about socialites and their fabulous lives in the city, I feel a pang in my heart like it's something I gave up on. Maybe that adds to the bitterness. The rational part of me knows that kind of lifestyle was never in the cards for me, but just being in New York made it seem like it was a possibility. 

But then I left and that possibility is gone. It's hard to reconcile sometimes. When your ambition outweighs your drive. Which I guess is what this all comes down to--that I didn't try harder. So when I read about people that I perceive didn't have to try as hard, it's all compounded. 

It's silly. I shouldn't care about whatever rich lady Vogue is trying to make happen. I shouldn't roll my eyes at a rich blogger who's always dressed impossibly well or the 22-year-old from an old family who already has a book deal. But I do. 

I'm not particularly proud of it, but, the thing is, I also don't feel especially bad about it either. Maybe I can determine to make a New Year's resolution or something. People always stick to those, right?

7 comments:

  1. I feel a parallel jealousy of famous people who get book deals just because they're famous. And those books are probably ghost-written, and then I feel sorry for the ghost writer. As a copywriter, I see my beautiful, well-written, articulate but understandable copy on websites, and I'm so proud of it, but I have no proof that I wrote it.

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  2. I'm with Brita - I get so jealous of the famous people with book deals, or the people (Stephenie Meyer, etc.) who get famous when their writing is straight up BAD. Like, come on people! And it's so easy to torture yourself with "what-if" scenarios because you always imagine them as better than they objectively would have been - sometimes I get vaguely bitter about not trying harder in my young adult life, but meh. I definitely get jealous of rich people who don't have to worry about survival/basic bill paying concerns and happily scoff at designer-wearing fashion bloggers when they cross my path, and don't feel bad at all :)

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  3. Yes, definitely. Or famous people who get into Ivy League schools. And I feel you on the ghostwriting. It's very odd to write for another person. When they want to make changes, I automatically get a bit defensive but then I have to remind myself, well I guess it is THEIR name.

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  4. God, doesn't Stephenie Meyers just make you want to forget it all and come up with some insipid love story about two people who don't have personalities and aren't particularly likable? (The bitterness, it flows).

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  5. Stop trying to make Olivia Palermo happen, she's not going to happen!

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  6. I love this comment so much. I tried to hate-watch The City but I couldn't get past the part where Olivia's preening about her first pair of Louboutins to Christian Louboutin himself. Too much secondhand embarrassment.

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  7. I have the book bitterness big time. Shouldn't that motivate me to write more? It doesn't. It does, however, motivate me to eat my feelings.

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