Saturday, June 05, 2004

So who isn’t a bloody misfit? (revisited)
Last week a friend at work was telling us at great length about the hard-luck story of an apparently well-known Israeli model and former beauty queen, as it had appeared in an interview in the paper. (Don’t you just hate it when people do that? If I’d really wanted to know the story of that TV movie on Hallmark last night, I would have watched it myself. You really don’t have to tell it all to me! Nu, but I have to be polite).

Anyway, this poor gorgeous model (I forget the name) had had an awful life. Grown up in a well-to do family, beauty queen, followed by successful modeling career, got married to a handsome Italian millionaire who had fallen in love with her image in a magazine and flown straight to Israel to woo her… Now I’m just being mean. The sad truth was that the Italian millionaire treated her like a piece of jewelry to put on his arm and they eventually divorced leaving her with three kids, I think.

Now she’s a bright girl, even though she’s a model, so she studies medicine, not because she has a burning need to heal the world’s sick, but to prove that she’s not just some dumb model. Then she starts writing, and quite well, according to her. But no one will publish her, because she’s just this dumb model, see? Even when she sends her stuff in incognito, and the publishers show an interest, they back off when they hear that it was a dumb model celeb person who wrote it. Okay, so this is how my friend told it, okay?

I’m getting there; I’m getting there…

Now, I’m a pretty self-absorbed person myself, but I try to keep quiet about it, because I know I’ve been very lucky in life. I have absolutely no call to feel sorry for myself, even if I do every once in a while (Don’t worry, Bish refuses to allow me to wallow in self-pity for more than two seconds in a row).

This model person is rich (I suppose she did get something from the Italian millionaire), beautiful, and she has three lovely kids. What else? Oh yes, she’s clever and accomplished. But that’s not enough! No, she wants the whole world to bow down before her in recognition and say ‘We know you’re not only beautiful, we admire you also because you are clever and accomplished’. A bit of humility is in place. Some people are hungry, you know. Count your blessings before whining.

But then again, if everyone were happy and satisfied with their lot in life, who would write the books?

Sayed Kashua’s first book made a strong impression on me. I haven’t read his second one (Hebrew link) yet. Maybe I’ll buy it during the upcoming Book Week.

You can’t help liking Kashua. He’s so painfully truthful, about everything, but he’s never vicious.

By the way, my friend from Tiberias, the one I mentioned yesterday, besides being brilliant, was also an incredibly well-adjusted person. She wasn't at all one of the gifted-but-confused I also discussed in the same post.

Update: Oh dear, I hope I haven't awoken the dormant Feminist beast(-ess) in my female readers with this, who sympathise with our long-suffering beauty-queen/model/doctor/writer in her quest to be taken seriously. Confess! Aren't you secretly delighted to hear that a model's life can be horrible and that beauty is a terrible crutch to have to live with?