The same but (not) different

 I loved when USA Network came out with the slogan, “Characters Welcome.” It was refreshing in a time when everything was so very much the same. Cookie cutter houses, standardized tests, one size fits all, and matching duck face selfies abound in our culture. So, when I started seeing articles about celebrity doppelgangers and actors who were mistaken for other actors, I was not surprised. But apparently Hollywood and the media are. Gasp! Could it be that these people, who by today’s standards are perfectly beautiful, are not as unique as they think they are?

The truth is…they aren’t. The problem lies not with their facial features but with the Hollywood definition of beauty. In recent years, it has become so narrow that celebrities were bound to start looking alike. Throw in a little plastic surgery and you have a recipe for the mundane. If you look back at shows from the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, the actors and actresses came in all different shapes and sizes. Even foreign shows have more variety. It’s as if Hollywood has forgotten that “variety is the spice of life” and makes the shows more realistic and more interesting. I mean, isn’t it annoying when you can’t tell the characters apart?

I was recently watching reruns of “Rosemary and Thyme“ and loved that all of the actors looked unique and each one has, at some point in the series, inspired devotion. But of course, it was a British show. It’s like some insidious disease has infected our minds in the US where it’s not enough to aspire to be your best, but the goal has somehow changed to include someone else’s best. It’s a disease that muddles our brains into thinking that unless we look like celebrities, we are less than perfect and therefore undesirable.

This is completely contrary to the truth which is that variety really is the spice of life. I love chocolate but if I ate it all day, every day, I’d be disgusted by it. Maple trees are my favorites but if they were the only trees we had, the view from my porch would not be as magnificent. Uniformity is mundane and what is beautiful has become commonplace.

I think it’s time for homogeneous Hollywood to wake up and smell the coffee. There is such thing as too much of a good thing.

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