“Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?”

Thanks to the all-pervasive media, we all have more of a tendency than ever to confuse reality with fantasy, genuine events with our own inner monologues. Most of us have no idea this is happening, which often leads to, well, how about if we just say “appalling results?”

Some people, like TV writer Ethlie Ann Vare, know better. And that knowledge leads to wonderful experiences like reading her very insightful blogging. Case in point:

fredby Ethlie Ann Vare

My day job is writing for television, mostly action-adventure and cop shows. I make heroes heroic. Our stars are the kind of men who run into a burning building, not away from it. Their muscles come from carrying women into the bedroom and children on their shoulders. They can dish out punishment and take a punch with equal grace. They are smart, funny, agile, brave – they are Men with a capital M… or, at least, that’s how we want the viewers to see them.

In real life, of course, they are guys who wear make-up. Costume ladies dress them up like oversized dolls. They get manicures and pedicures, and if they’re over 40 they tint their hair. Their muscle comes from the ministrations of a personal trainer, and they spend a lot of energy on blemish control. They know their way around a day spa, and God forbid they take a real punch in the face because they have $40,000 invested in those veneers.

This isn’t meant as an insult. Hair and make-up are simply part of the job description. But the fact is that the actual life of an action hero – gay, straight or indifferent – is hyper-feminine. The machismo your boyfriend aspires to is a façade. The handsome he-man you desire doesn’t exist, and never has.

And yet even people who should know better continue to fall in love with the character, and wind up stuck with the actor. The list of producers who have married their leading ladies would take up the rest of this post, and if there were more women in positions of power in Hollywood, there would be more actors married to them.

Which brings me to online dating, scammers and catfish. I don’t know if it’s my demographic – we’re supposed to be desperate, us poor women over 50, and own cats – but I get so annoyed with the number of fakes who contact me online. Those effusive, romantic, flattering, fakes. I used to be a copy editor; I can spot a non-native English speaker a mile off. And those great pics you posted? Google Image Search, dude. You can’t fool me….

Read it all at Affection Deficit Disorder