Whilst reading Portia de Rossi's book, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, something, in a way, resonated with me. She wrote about her profound fear of being considered an "average" person in any part of her life. Her words exactly were: “Average. It was the worst, most disgusting word in the English language. Nothing meaningful or worthwhile ever came from that word.” Some may argue that her deeply rooted fear of being an unremarkable person was a contributing factor to her very complex and devastating eating disorder. This got me wondering if perhaps we all have a bit of Portia in us and if this sometimes unconscious fear is what drives us to do the things that we do.
For a lot of us, accomplishment is one of our biggest goals in life. Nobody wants to feel as if they have come and gone without having ever having left a trace. Perhaps this is purely our species' nature but it got me wondering if some if the world's most creative minds are actually people who simply wanted to have an above average life. This does is not at all to say that Portia de Rossi is a phoney; she is a beautiful and brilliant actress as well as a wonderful person (not that I know her personally). However, what if people simply do what they feel will render them successful? What if Warhol painted soup cans because he knew it would make him famous? What if Aretha sang because she knew that she could belt out notes that no one else could? Although this thought comes to me with great chagrin, I cannot help but to wonder if passion plays any part at all in the creative process.
Like most things in the world, the concept of creativity being linked to success is bound to trickle into fashion. What if great designers like Valentino only design because they know how to make a beautiful woman look her best? Even more importantly, do we wear what we wear simply because we are constantly trying to project a certain image of ourselves? Do the clothing and accessories, make up and hair that we obtain represent what we like or what we wish to look like?
After having pondered these questions for what seemed like a very long time, I came to the conclusion that in my eyes, it would have been impossible for the most amazing artists and creative people in the world to do what they did without having incredible passion pushing them forward. Personally, being genuine is one of my most important values and I believe that others probably feel the same way. Although it does not personally represent what I consider to me true in most cases, it is possible that we as humans, pursue the ideas that will leave others more impressed with you then you are with yourself. I feel it is important to consider the motives behind the actions we take and to fearlessly chase after our passions. After all, Portia de Rossi would never be where she is today without that driving force.