As the world of technology and consumer products expands, as the presence of media, commercials and advertising influences grows, we are challenged to remain cognizant of what is smoke and mirrors, and what is real. Too often the line between reality and truth gets blurred with perceptions, attitudes, and “should be’s.” There have been media scandals, financial scandals and a host of other scandals centered on what was real, what was created and what someone thinks happened.


Media bias has given way to alteration of pictures, images and documents to support a theory or political position. Investment portfolios have turned out to be ponzi schemes. Political and spiritual leaders have held themselves up as protectors and defenders of life, liberty and happiness on Sunday Monday the scandal break.


In a world of artificial enhancements – physical and visual – living a normal life and instilling confidence, integrity, perception and perspective in our children, grandchildren, organizations, and self has become difficult at best. Where climate change becomes a Sunday school lesson and if it feels good or is fun do it has become the mantra, finding straightforward, honest, and open leaders is akin to identifying subatomic particles with the naked eye.


True leaders are scarce. Ethical leaders are more scarce. The age of disintegration of core principles and personal integrity seems to be upon us and progressing with ever increasing rapidity.


Step and Speak Out – Show the Blemishes, Scars and Reality


In recent weeks, there has been a drive to return to the basics, to focusing on the important and not the superficial. After decades of media touting the seemingly flawless, to putting beauty on a narrowly defined pedestal, and placing inordinate examination on appearance…driving a craze of spending and growth in plastic surgery, weight loss products, and photo alteration and yes blue screen production that enables reality to be altered beyond recognition and distinction, leaders are emerging from unexpected places to challenge the accepted norms.


Stars who have taken extraordinary means to not be caught uncoifed and without makeup are stepping into spotlights, stage lights and studio lights sans make up, without their SPANX (control garments), and with (gasp) their natural hair color, without artificial nails, and prohibiting airbrushing to say. Enough. This is who I am. About time? Or about a new way to fake it? Undoubtedly there will be a way somehow and soon that marketers, advertisers, and producers of cosmetics and other “aids” to appearance will begin to package products to get you back to natural.


The next products to hit the market will be “uncolor” your hair and unmakeup…Or even better themes like – It’s Okay to be Natural (as long as no one knows for sure). Or Flawed and Fabulous – For the Beautiful People who are “too beautiful to be believed”.


If you’ve detected a note (or an entire song) of skepticism about the back to natural beauty campaign. Well you are right. You can be a natural beauty…I’m sure someone, somewhere is working on products, procedures and campaigns to sell you the secret to being a natural beauty…Just add…advertising and a nip, tuck, or chemical enhancement. The next addiction and guilty “pleasure” will no doubt be how to become a natural beauty when it didn’t come in your DNA.


Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC

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