Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: Stop the Famous Person Quote Madness

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stop the Famous Person Quote Madness

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Whether it is from poets, novelists, politicians, movies or celebrities, we all have our favorite quotes - and we like to share them with our friends. 

Three things set me off about the seemingly endless stream of quotes on the social medias: 1) Overuse  2) Misquotes 3) Glorification of Tragedy  

Coco Chanel Young - Destiny Quote

I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny. Coco Chanel (sourced from Vogue)

I'll admit it, I'm guilty too! 
I don't like to think that I overuse quotes on my social profiles (I prefer to hear myself talk) maybe one or two, is that one too many? But I do love many of the same quotes shared by you all. The Coco Chanel quote above is one of my favorites, and since Coco truly knew how to seize an opportunity, I try to heed the advice.  

When it comes to misquotes, I am most certainly guilty. This past Valentine's Day, I saw a quote image floating out there on Instagram, I double tapped immediately. And then, without a second thought, I quickly stole it and reposted! Had I paused for just ONE moment, I would have realized that the quote was a half-baked, cockamamy invention by someone who is probably laughing at me still. 

Not Oscar Wilde

Can you guess what's wrong with this quote? I'll give you a hint, Wilde died in 1900. 

As soon as I was called out, my mind's eye flashed to the scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral when Gareth was mocking the Americans. American wedding goer asks: Do you actually know Oscar Wilde? Gareth replies: Not personally, no. But I know someone who can get you his fax number. Shall we dance? 

My favorite misquotes are attributed to Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe never said... Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. Now that you've been informed, please feel free to remove this stupid quote from you Twitter and Instagram bio now. See a list of famous quotes that are attributed to the wrong person here.

Every hero has a flaw.  
I have noticed that young women consistently glorify tragedy. They idolize women who were beautiful but deeply flawed. These women are almost always quoted about LOVE and leading a strong life - which is the opposite of what their lives were in actuality. 

Marilyn Monroe may be someone to admire for a number of different reasons but certainly not for her ability to carry on a relationship, or her life choices. The same goes for Coco Chanel, who spent most of her life as a mistress or courtesan, was addicted to morphine and died alone. Yet so many young women identify with these icons through their (supposed) quotes. 

In my opinion, the worst love / breakup / moving on quote ever is one that is attributed to Liz Taylor. Do the people who pin this on Pinterest or share on Instagram know anything about Elizabeth Taylor? 

Liz Taylor Pull Yourself Together

Elizabeth Taylor struggled her entire life and was never able to pull herself together. She was married 8 times starting with Nicky Hilton (Conrad Jr.) and ending with a man she met at the Betty Ford Clinic and married at Neverland. Yes, that Neverland - Michael Jackson's ranch. In addition to her very sad personal relationships, she was addicted to pain killers for more than 35 years, she was in rehab twice for alcohol and drug addiction, and was hospitalized more than 70 times in her lifetime. 

Liz Taylor was a gorgeous woman, she was a great actress, and she was a survivor. But she led a horribly tragic life and should not be the person that anyone looks to for advice about moving on. Instead, maybe lay off the booze, put away the lipstick and seek the advice of someone a tad more qualified. But mostly, it is important to understand that we are not created to always be happy - sadness isn't a bad thing, we are human and we are supposed to feel. 

As I was writing this post, I found a short article about Heros and their Flaws by Jeff Goins that's worth a read if you want more insight into this sort of thing. He talks about why heros with flaws resonate with us. And as for happiness, I really liked Hugh McKay's perspective  - whether he said it or not, I believe this theory. We should not be afraid of sadness, and we should not always be seeking happiness, but instead we should desire wholeness. That's what I strive for, I desire a life that is filled with experiences that make me whole - and that includes sadness, loss, death, anger, and happiness too. 

Ladies, here is my plea: find better women to idolize. 

More Books, Poems and Famous Quotes You Should Read: 

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