We all have that small collection of moments that we keep deeply hidden because they aren’t deemed ‘appropriate’ by society, ranging from those wild nights with the girls or embarrassing situations that you somehow always managed to end up in as a clueless teenager.
However, on a crisp summer evening, I was forced to question this perception.
I am proud to confess that I am privileged enough to live in the heart of a dynamic city where the weekends are lazy and relaxed, whilst the nightlife is constantly electric with a magnetic field so strong that one can’t help but get pulled into it. It was a lazy Friday evening when I decided to drop by this amazing coffee shop outside museum station for a cup of warm chai latte to help relax the nerves after a hectic week.
It was then that something caught my eye. Right there in the heart of the city in full preview was somebody’s laundry, battling it out vigorously with the summer breeze. I remember standing there with a blank look on my face because I couldn’t even begin to register who would do such a thing, but then again Sydney’s nightlife is known for its mysteriousness. So I grabbed my chai latte and walked closer to this absurd yet intriguing exhibition to try and comprehend what concept was at play over here when a high-pitched yelp caught my attention.
I turned to my right to find a middle-aged lady with wispy brown curls pointing a trembling finger at a tattered piece of lingerie hanging freely off the display. Her brown eyes widened into perfect circles, with her mouth mimicking the same expression of shock. I remember her muttering something along the lines “this generation is shameless..” before whispering the god’s name and running off in the opposite direction. Side-note I think Gen Y gets blamed for too many things, for all we know that undergarment could’ve belonged to some lonely housewife in her mid 40s!
It was then that it hit me; this exhibition of “dirty laundry” was merely a statement. A statement that a lot of us would never agree to make because we believe it is too embarrassing, absurd or plain ridiculous, simply because society says so. Let us take a moment and think how many of us would really hang our tattered old laundry in the balcony for everyone to see, and if we are honest most of us will say not me. How many of us would hang out those embarrassing undies with those weird frills at the edges and how many of us would hang out their holey socks in plain view for society to judge?
People like Hugh Hefner one of America’s richest businessmen did not attain his fame at a low cost. It took a lot of effort and self- confidence for him to portray his now famous adult magazine in a society where everyone plays the role of a critic. But he took that risk, and hung out that ‘dirty laundry’ for the world to see and judge. Now we may gossip all we want but the truth is he was a true definition of the American Dream as he too started with nothing and had to face multiple rejections before becoming the chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises. The truth is many of us are ashamed to expose our true ideals and values to the world because we are scared of rejection and criticism. But take a moment to realize that every person who is successful today whether it be Steve Jobs or Hugh Hefner, they all had one thing in common. And that was ambition. They were not afraid of any criticism or any judgment because to them the only judgment that mattered was their own. Unlike us they let their tattered shirts and old stripy socks wave freely in the air with not a care in the world. So ladies and gentlemen don’t be ashamed to hang out of your tattered old shirts or baggy granny panties because society will judge you anyway, only you get to decide to what extent.