Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Not One Hair Out of Place

Trey Smith

It seems strange to me that we live in an era in which Reality TV is so ubiquitous and yet most things that appear on television and in films are anything but realistic. I'm not talking about science fiction or other fantasy-based genres. No, I am referring to those things which present themselves as ripped from real life, but it is from no life that I know of!

Take, for example, restaurant commercials. In almost every one that features wait staff, their outfits are pressed and clean. The women's make-up is always spot on and not one hair is out of place. How many waiters, waitresses and food servers do you regularly see who look this perfect?

Food service often is a tiring job. It's almost impossible not to make it through a shift without a good amount of food and dirt soiling your outfit. If a waitress spent a good chunk of her time constantly redoing her make-up, chances are she would be fired because she wouldn't get much of her mandatory side work done and she wouldn't be providing her customers with the requisite amount of attention.

The ads in which we see clean, smiling and enthusiastic people in a well-lit, well-ventilated and uncrowded room waiting to take our call is another example of non-reality. In truth, most people who do this kind of job are crowded into tiny ill-lit cubicles. While some may wear their Sunday Best to work, this is by far the exception, not the rule. The pay comes in around minimum wage, so enthusiasm often is lacking.

Moving away from commercials, I remember a lot of John Wayne-style movies in which the men in the cavalry or the trusty foot soldiers always seemed to be wearing well-fitted and spotless uniforms. If you look at historical photographs, this was rarely the case. The enlisted men sometimes were lucky to have uniforms at all and those who did often were provided with uniforms that were too big or way too small! If your post was out in the hinterlands, it was next too impossible to stay clean!

Just once I would like to see an ad, TV program or movie that showed people as we actually work and live. You know, somebody picking their nose or wiping their butt!

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