Dec 21, 2014

A Bitchy Perspective on Audience and Sin

Some perspectives are hard to write from.  Take for example, that of being a beautiful woman with problems.  Let's say that you wanted to write about a problem that, in your experience, seems to stem from being a pretty female.

First, you commit the sin of calling yourself beautiful.  Not just pretty, but mind-blowingly beautiful.  This is a cardinal sin, one of the Seven.  It goes by the name vanity.  All of us have sinned, but usually in some empathy building way, like gluttony or sloth.  These are sins that we can all work on being better at, together.  Vanity is a consensus destroying sin -- it's the sin that we'd all be committing if we weren't all gluttonous and lazy.  Since we are all not able to be vain, the sin of vanity engenders the sin of envy.

What a terrible sin vanity is.

Second, you have enough self-confidence to see that others, particularly those with no stake in your personal well-being, see you as beautiful.  Most people can find at least one person who finds them beautiful, how do you know that you are not falling into a pit of lack of perspective?  In the process of discovering if you are suffering from impostor's syndrome, suddenly you find your physical attributes questioned, and in the process see your original self-confidence destroyed.  What a fugly bitch, the internet will say.  If you're so pretty, come on then, show us your tits, someone else will comment.  I've never seen a face that looks more like a horse, will be a common, and, if you're as beautiful as you say you are, erroneous response.  In science, they call erroneous test results such as these "true negatives".[1]

To summarize, if you come out as a beautiful woman writing about issues in your life, you may as well chalk up "having your self-identity questioned" as the next issue on the list of grievances to write about.

Third, you must commit the sin of complaining about a thing that others pay hideous amounts of money, submit themselves to torture and starvation in order to obtain.  This is not as cardinal of a Sin as Vanity, but it is whining.  Whining is a cardinal sin of the modern world[2].  To that audience that you're relying on to tell your story to, you've just revealed to them what a whining bitch they're spending their time reading the words of.

All this sin and self-questioning can detract from the story you're attempting to tell.

These problems in creating a relatable character or persona undermine your reason for writing about your problems in the first place.  These reasons normally fit into two categories: A) make yourself feel less bad about your problems by opening them up to a public forum, usually accomplished through B) engendering a modicum of either sympathy or empathy from you readers.  Connecting with an audience that probably cannot relate (are they a beautiful woman? If not, what are the chances that they've encountered the problems that you're ascribing to this position?  If they are A) not a beautiful woman and B) have encountered the problems that you're experiencing, then god what an asshole you are for even assuming that only beautiful woman have that problem in the first place).

All of those sins committed, and for what?  The lost goodwill of a once eager, but now disinterested and slightly disgusted audience.


[1] A "true negative" is the inverse of a "false positive".
[2] See #firstworldproblems.

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