Why is it so Hard To Live and Let Live?

Last night I was having a conversation with a friend about Kate Moss and Playboy. We both agreed that Kate Moss is gorgeous, and we both thought her recent photoshoot for Playboy is stunning.

What started the conversation was a random post on a social media site by someone who is a friend of my friend. Apparently this person, a lady of a certain age, had one of those moments ladies, who might be having a bit of a problem with the effects the natural laws of ageing are having on their own body, get when faced with an image of a woman who seems to defy ageing and age-ist ideas of ageing.

Kate Moss has always been defiant, it’s one of her charms and adds depth to her beauty, so of course she would defy ageing and the more traditional way of doing it. And I think that’s inspiring, especially during a time when being old begins at 39. And plastic surgery is how we’re encouraged to not deal with it. Avoid ageing rather than embrace it.

Basically this lady posted one of the new images of Kate Moss posing for Playboy which are now doing the rounds of the internet and bitched about how rough Kate Moss looked now that she is old. The bitch was disguised with a veneer of intellectual feminism. But it was still bitchy.

Fair enough, we’re all entitled to a bitch. Life can be stressful, bitching is a stress release. But being bitchy is not always accepted, so people like to disguise it and justify it. Fair enough, we’re always under the impression that spontaneously expressing ourselves is going to get us killed by popular opinion which often gangs up on anyone who expresses a personal opinion, even if they do it in a personal forum. It doesn’t matter how private your private circle of friends is… if you’re doing it on social media… and even if you’re not, people gossip and talk and communicate…

So we either censor ourselves into oblivion, or express ourselves then wait for the backlash. There does not seem to be an in between the two.

Anyway, my friend and I did a bit of the gossip thing, but it was not really about the lady who took a pop at Kate Moss. She’s a human being who was just expressing herself, and had a bitch. This lady recently rescued her neighbour from a frightening situation.

Sometimes we’re in a not so lovely mood, we rant, bitch and lash out, express the pain. And sometimes we are in a lovely mood, we encourage, support, help and do what we can to ease the pain of others. That’s that. We all do it.

My friend and I were intrigued by how much we all are fascinated by the lives of others, those we know and those we don’t know, how much others seem to be a part of our own identity, and how much we seem to find it irresistible to compare and judge and have opinions. And how difficult it is to just live and let live.

Just because Kate Moss looks stunning at her age, does not mean that her photos are telling you that you have to look that way too. If you do, kudos. And if you don’t, they aren’t reminding you that you don’t, they aren’t telling you that you have to either, they are not telling you that how you look isn’t right, unless that is how you choose to see them. You probably never looked like Kate Moss. Does that sting? Why? As beautiful as she is, she probably doesn’t think she looks like we think she looks. I bet she has those ladies of a certain age moments, and this photoshoot is her way of saying to herself rather than to anyone else, screw you ageing, I’m awesome. As a rallying rebel cry, rather than as a mocking laugh to others.

We tend to see and hear what we want to, more often than not what we see and hear is negative. Why? So we can fight it. That fighting exercises muscles which we like to exercise. The ability to turn something negative into a positive, even if we first have to turn something neutral into a negative to then turn it into a positive.

The conversation we had was really quite short, it only lasted about ten minutes at most. Then I forgot about it.

Until this morning while I was browsing a news site and saw an article about the uproar one woman has caused by posting a sexy selfie on her blog of her stunning body four days after giving birth. I can’t even begin to tackle or explain the insanity so here’s the link, read the comments that go with the article, there are many voices of reason, there is also much human loopiness – Internet Gives Woman Shit for Looking Like This After Giving Birth via Gawker.

So many strong opinions about a stranger and their life. A stranger who may have a blog, who also has quite a public private life, and we may feel we know them, but they are still unknown to us. There is much about her that we do not know. So why judge her so harshly? Because she did something which set off our triggers of rant and opinion and judgement? Which in some way rubbed our identity up the wrong way, so that she  and what we think of her and her actions and life has now become a part of our identity and what we think of ourselves, our actions, our life?

Even those whom we know quite well have much about themselves and their lives which we don’t know. Sometimes those things can only be discovered in very specific circumstances. Like the lady of a certain age whom I mentioned. She, like you and me, lives her life from day to day, makes end meet,  looks after her family, and does this and that, and tries her best to be a good person, which includes occasionally struggling with the not so good person whom we all have inside and who has good qualities too but we’re very harsh, harsher than we are on others, when we judge ourselves. She does share a lot about herself on social media, she has a blog, but there are things she keeps private, she doesn’t tend to post photos of her family or reveal that much about them. She respects their privacy. She probably knew, and others did too, that she was capable of a bit of a bitch. She usually keeps her posts upbeat and fun. What she may not have known, and others may not have known about her, was that she had it in her to help someone the way she helped her neighbour until the situation presented itself. She put herself at risk to help someone else. But if all you see of her (or hear of her such as in a post like this) is her bitchy pop at Kate Moss, you might judge her for it, and decide who she is based on that alone.

Well, you probably wouldn’t, but… life moves at an alarming pace so we make up our minds at an equally rapid rate. And those momentary judgements congeal into opinions until something stops us and melts them.

Life is strange, humans are stranger.