Last Saturday, I watched ‘Mad City’ (1997). It’s about a guy (John Travolta) who held hostage at a museum (where he worked as a security guard) because the lady supervisor sacked him. Dustin Hoffman acted as a downhill news reporter who happened to be in the museum, saw the opportunity for him to revive his career. He manipulated the media to pity on Travolta’s character who is really a nice guy who got desperate. But the media world proved too much for him to handle and Travolta was driven to a wall, resulting in suicide. In the last scene, Hoffman recovered from the suicide blast from the museum, with hordes of reporters and camera crew surrounding him for ‘first-hand’ account. At the moment, he shouted, “You (the media) killed him! You all killed him!”

Nowadays, you don’t have to look good to be popular. Think William Hung in American Idol.

You do realise that there are more and more ‘normal’ people being featured on TV. This is the era of reality-TV, where anyone can be a star, where people love-and-hate your guts. On the other hand, haven’t you spotted some really good-looking people on the streets and wonder: what are they doing here? Shouldn’t they be in some beauty pageant or appearing on-screen? Well, you must understand that not every beautiful person can handle media, not every good-looking guy/gal wants to attract public attention (they only want to attract the parties they want to attract). So, as much as you respect these beautiful people for not wanting to hog the limelight, you must also respect the non-so-good-looking people for making it on media.

Just like the movie ‘Mad City’, it’s all a game of manipulating the media. You can either appear like a saint or a devil, at the mercy of the pen.

I was reading Fred’s Winterealm blog and found out that he has a god-sister, Madeleine (or Magdalene as he spelt it). A self-professed cam whore, she takes lots of photos with her camera and shares in her blog. She is also a part-time model who successfully appeared in local FHM and Maxim magazines, and has done numerous private photoshoots. In some shots, she looked good. Others, below average. Many of you thought that some people are popular due to their looks, and I agree that some gorgeous people out there look fabulous at any angle.

From what I see in her photo gallery, Madeleine is a normal girl on the streets. But she is where she is today because of her confidence in front of the camera, baring the essentials, and knowing what it takes to attract attention.

I’m sure you have come across celebrities or famous people and you wonder: what is so great about them that makes them so wanted on the media. Wendy (a.k.a. Xiaxue) is another example of a girl that doesn’t look at all babelicious. But does looks matter to what she is trying to achieve? Wendy is a blogger, not a beauty contestant. It helps to look above-average, but it doesn’t mean that you have to look extremely gorgeous to be famous.

Wendy got her own talk show, Girls Out Loud. Though she is not a polished TV host compared to co-host Rosalyn, they both make the show entertaining, and that’s more important than looking pretty or speaking clearly.

In today’s world, beauty has become stale and shallow. Media wants personality. Beauty is skin-deep; personality is larger-than-life. I applaud the people who dares to make a difference to entertain the rest of mankind through the powers of media.


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