Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day -53 Homelessrob on Tyra Banks

I didn't know what it was about this picture that bothered me. I found it a few weeks ago while I was looking for some other pictures. It caught my attention because something just didn't look right to me. It looked staged. It stuck out because every other picture I saw under google "images" for "homelessness" looked real.

Then I read the cardboard. It says "will pose for change". Then I looked closer and saw that it was Tyra Banks in the picture. I was mad! Furious, even! I said to myself "here it is, some more marketing of the homeless". "Tyra Banks has got to get in on it too". I thought "how much more popular does she need to be?"

"Will pose for change." I read that line about 20 times. I swear my face turned red. To me the picture doesn't even look realistic. It not dirty enough. Where is the trash? Where is the spray paint on the walls? Those cloths look pretty clean to me! Where is she? In some sort of up-scale corner on the cleanest street in the country? This is what I thought!

I understood the message. "Will pose for change." This is Tyra Banks' way of asking people to look at homelessness in a different way. For her to do this - sure, it makes sense. She is doing her part in her own way. That's all we can ask for and even though I think this picture looks a little silly, I got the message. She did her work well enough for that.

So, why did I get so mad? Kind of a silly thing to get mad about isn't it? Well, I thought about that too. Finally (last night) it occurred to me. I wasn't mad at Tyra Banks for making a silly picture about homelessness. I was mad at me for understanding it in the first place. I was mad because it took one of the most gorgeous women in the world  to get my attention about homelessness. It was even worst for me because I am homeless! I deal with it every day.

You see, when I saw this picture I got mad. Why? Because I DID noticed it! Because I DID responded to it. Because I felt others would respond to it. Why the response? Because it is Tyra Banks and it is a bit of an unrealistic picture. Its fake! I have never in my life seen a woman who looked anything like Tyra Banks in the streets. I'm sure there are super model gorgeous women out there, I just haven't seen them. That might sound harsh. I'm not trying to say that the women in the streets are ugly, either. But look, even in the picture Tyra doesn't look bad. I think you know what I mean. Super model gorgeous women in the streets are a hard find! I'll leave it like that (before I offend someone). And that's why I got mad! Because it took a super model celebrity in a fake picture to get my mind thinking about homelessness.

So, why is it when I see this picture above, I feel nothing? This is a realistic picture. Heck, this is something I see all the time. I know its real. This is homelessness. Yet, I have no response. Maybe because to me its an everyday thing and I'm used to it. Maybe because she has no sign up. Maybe because there is no direct message here. 

If I was walking down the street and saw this woman in an alleyway I would honestly keep walking and be about my business. But if the next alleyway I passed a super model asking people to change the way we view homelessness I would probably stop and consider it. This is the truth about me!

Homelessness is still something that needs to whack me in the face, head on, before I change my views on it. That's why I got mad. Because it wrong! Its bad thinking! To you, I say the truth about me. Because if you came to this blog and are taking the time to read what I write you deserve no less than the truth. I'm filled with shame sometimes that I think this way. Tyra Banks sends me more of a message with a done up pose and witty sign than the woman in the second picture. When the real truth is that the woman in the second picture is telling me the exact same thing. She is saying "homelessness is real". She is saying "homelessness is in your face". She is saying "Rob, you have got to change". She is saying "America needs change". Even though she doesn't have a witty sign, I know her message is real. She doesn't have to pose. The near sight of her should speak volumes to me! But it doesn't and that's my fault, because I haven't listened!

Now, I'm speaking for myself here. How do you feel about it? When you see something on T.V about homelessness does it strike you harder in the heart than while driving down the street and you see the real deal? Does it take a beauiful woman, or any other celebrity, to get you to think about it?

I hope you (the readers) understands what I'm saying here. I know I'm confusing at times. I'm not a writer after all.  And as for Tyra Banks (I hope she doesn't sue me for using that picture) I'll say this: Thank You! Tyra plays her part. That picture did change me in a way. It opened my eyes to the problems of homelessness in a round about way.

 I always feel that any help counts. I also feel that its in the anger I felt that the change was made. I tell people all the time: if we don't stir the "pot of homelessness" nothing will change. If I didnt' get upset about the topic then what will change? Also, to Tyra's credit, before I did this post I had to find that picture of her - I had to download it onto my computer. In the process of doing so I found another picture of Tyra posing homeless (below). I think this is a much more realistic picture! Its almost safe to say that if I saw her while walking down the street I might just keep walking.

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