If you’re Australian, you’ll be aware that some of us, if not all of us, suffer, in varying degree’s, from ‘tall poppy syndrome’. If you’re not Australian and reading this, here’s the definition of ‘tall poppy syndrome’, courtesy of this site:
In 1931 J.T. Lang, Premier of New South Wales gave the term tall poppy to all those on government salaries above £10 per week (a princely sum in those days).
Today the tall poppy is usually someone who is very successful in their field.
Unfortunately, Australia has developed what we call the Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS). This is the action of eagerly pulling down the more successful people in our society should they show the slightest imperfection.
Is this done to everyone who is successful? Actually no. It tends to be aimed at those people the public perceives as being arrogant or not deserving the amount of success they’ve achieved.
While I’m not sure I actively eagerly pull people down, I do have my own passive aggressive version going on. I simply refuse to watch or listen or read those things that are deemed popular.
Here’s a list of things I have not watched or read or worn, without having to think too much:
the Harry Potter series
Dances with Wolves
Breaking Bad series
Fifty Shades of Grey (if I ever do read this, please, someone lock me up)
Any of the Batman movies
Game of Thrones – series or books
I dislike just about every famous person except Jennifer Lawrence and Jamie Oliver and Sting
I’ve never bought a ‘label’ piece of clothing. I think I do have some but they were either given to me or bought at op shops
If I thought about it a bit harder, I could bore you even further, but luckily for you, I need to write this fast so I can finish cooking tea.
I’m not sure why I’m like this, except that I have always had a strong aversion to doing what everyone else is doing, watching, reading. I remember even waaaaaay back in school, I never bothered with the soapies that everyone else was watching (I never watch Twin Peaks, for example), or cared what the latest trend of fashion was, or was enamoured with that new ‘cool’ boy. I have just always preferred to cut my own path.
Sometimes, that comes back to bite me. For instance, I’m a terrible person to have on your trivia team, I won’t be able to talk to you about the latest TV show, I’m not much fun to take clothes shopping unless it’s to the op shops, and I certainly won’t be able to swap celebrity gossip stories with you. I may also stare blankly at you if you quote a ‘popular’ movie or book.
And, I have just realised, as I tap away every day at my keyboard adding words to the book I’m trying to write – what if one day I’m popular and sell millions and millions of books and JK Rowling asks me to tea and Oprah wants to re-launch her talk show just so she can interview me? What then???
I’ll have to not like myself! I’ll have to not read my own books and not go see all three movies from my own trilogy!
Luckily, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen. And if it did, I would most certainly have to change my tune and wouldn’t I have an awful lot of ‘popular’ movies and books to catch up on!