Imperfect use of the English language

Recently, Yahoo! posted an article titled “Stars who embrace their imperfections.” This article essentially selects a few Emmy nominees and tears them apart for looking, well, like the rest of us.
The article’s author, Jason Owens, states, “We all know the Hollywood look. Certain shapes, sizes and hair colors pop up more than others.”
Sure that’s true for the most part, but that doesn’t mean that people are imperfect just because they don’t want to change the way they look in order to look like everyone else.
After a slew of public backlash, Yahoo! changed the title of the article from “Stars who embrace their imperfections” to “Not your average Hollywood lookers.”
Nothing about the article content has changed, but the different title made all the difference.
In the Hollywood business, appearance is everything. Well, in the news world, appearance also matters a whole heck of a lot.
I try to be very careful about what titles I give articles, because in all honesty the readers look to the title and decide whether or not the title makes the article seem interesting enough to read.
It’s like the whole, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Well the title is essentially the cover in the book versus article world.
The title is the first impression and it better be a darn good one! There’s another reason why I try to be very careful.
The tone of the title can completely change the reader’s perspective of the article. If the tone of the title is pointed in one way or the other and doesn’t accurately represent the content of the article, the reader will be expecting one thing and receive something completely different.
Most often, the reader gets upset and thus, public backlash. The relationship between the writer and the reader can turn ugly really fast.
Now, if I return to the Yahoo! article, with the original use of “imperfections” in the title, the author changed the reader’s perspective of the content and jaded the reader into believing that the 8 Hollywood stars featured in the article have something wrong with them.
The use of imperfect in this context was wrong and the backlash from the public came as a result of the audience’s perspective of what is considered imperfect.
We see parts of ourselves in the “imperfect” actors and actresses and their imperfections are what make them real.
Sure, some of us want to see movies where the actors are all perfect and almost plastic, but sometimes you just want to see something where everything is real.
In fact, when actors and actresses emulate what feels the most realistic to the viewers, that experience tends to generate the strongest emotional response.
The article features 8 actors and actresses that are all just a little different than the ‘cookie-cutter’ depiction of Hollywood stars the public expects to see.
With the new title that the author gave the article, “Not your average Hollywood lookers,” the reader is able to conclude that these stars may be different, but they are still beautiful.
Each of these stars embrace their individuality in a positive way.
They don’t plan on changing themselves to fit a certain mold and in the positive tone the title gave, the reader is guided in the direction of believing these 8 unique stars are beautiful because of their differences, not in spite of them.
There used to be a lot of focus on the super skinny, bones sticking out, model figure.
I believe there has been a definitive shift away from that definition of what society views as beautiful. This is good.
Being super skinny to the point where someone looks emaciated or even like one of those starving African children they feature on those late night infomercials is not healthy by any means.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of people like Christina Hendricks, featured in the Yahoo! article.
“She has always embraced her sexy figure – ‘Sure, I’d be happier with 10 pounds off – wouldn’t every woman? But at the same time, when I looked at myself [at the Emmys], I thought I looked beautiful’” writes Owens.
Fully embracing who we are in the face of adversity is beautiful. Labels, however, are powerful.
They have the ability to completely uproot our foundations, no matter how strong, especially if they are negative — like imperfect.
Personally, my life has become a series of labels. Some labels are good, others not so much.
The word crazy has definitely taken on a different connotation; not necessarily bad, just different.
The funny thing about labels is that people can say all they want about us, give us labels, give us names, but we have the power to choose to accept or deny these labels.
Shakespeare was really onto something when Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, says, “What’s in a name?”

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