Now that MM is a bit older, she is allowed to stay up later on Saturday nights as a treat. She curls up on the sofa with her mum to watch the X-Factor and has quickly become hooked on the music, the judges and the hype.
I think I’ve commented in a previous post that I’m not a fan of the show – success seems to be based more on popularity and less than actual talent. A hard luck story goes a long way too. Not a week goes by without someone hoping to win the competition for their grandmother’s-neighbour’s-uncle’s-dog’s-brother who died just a few days/weeks/months before.
At the start of the current series, on a night off from work, I caught a segment of the show focusing on a woman who I believe was in her late 40’s or early 50’s. She arrived at the auditions believing that she had the potential to have a singing career. Backstage the presenter, Dermot O’Leary was interviewing the teenage son and daughter of the women, both of whom were there to support their mum in her quest for stardom.
Unfortunately for the lady in question, she was eliminated from the competition…with good reason. Her singing was poor and her attempts at dancing were arguably even worse. Like many of the applicants to TV talent shows, she seemed to be in denial about her limitations. As the cameras scanned the audience in the auditorium, there was a mixture of sniggers, horrified faces and looks of pity.
Worse was to come. The cameras returned backstage where the female’s son and daughter seemed more than aware of the reality of the situation – their mother was humiliating herself, and in turn them, in front of millions of TV viewers. The embarrassed faces and the tears in the poor girl’s eyes said more than any words could.
My initial reaction would, I’m sure, have been the same as many others – how selfish of that women to do that to her children. She’s prepared to have them lined up for public ridicule in order for her to have her 15 minutes of fame.
It’s not that simple though, is it? We all, throughout our lives, have numerous hopes, ambitions and dreams. That doesn’t stop when we become parents. Of course, some of these aspirations change – instead of wanting to be professional athletes, actors or as in the example given, singers, many people instead want to achieve promotion, start a business or retire.
On becoming a parent many of these goals are no longer personal goals. Instead, many of our wishes are for our children in the short, medium and long-term. From my own experiences, I don’t think it’s exaggerating to suggest that I spend as much time thinking about my kids’ futures as I do about my own.
However, that doesn’t mean we give up on life. Yes, our free-time is no longer, well, free and at 36 I’m starting to think that I’m probably not going to become a footballer. That though, doesn’t stop me thinking that I can achieve a huge amount in the years ahead.
My biggest personal aims relate to my career, which you’ll probably know if you’ve read previous posts. It would be great to make a living from something I love doing, like writing for example. I am certainly going to have a go and if it doesn’t happen for me, then I at least will have the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve tried. I would also like to think that I will be able to try to achieve my dreams without having a negative impact on my family and their lives.
That’s perhaps where the wannabe singer on TV let herself down most – not with her poor singing voice but in not considering her two children who were there with her. She should have considered the potential impact on her kids, given the exposure that a show like the X-Factor brings.
However, in her defence, perhaps nobody ever had the heart to point out to her that her voice wasn’t the best. Even if they had done, it doesn’t make her a bad person, or parent, for wanting to achieve her dreams.