I’ve been following Celeste Barber on Instagram for a while now. She’s become a global icon. Celeste made a name for herself via her #celestechallengeaccepted social media series, which began in 2015 as ‘a fun experiment’ to see what it would look like for an average person to photograph herself doing ‘rich-people things’. Celeste’s re-enactments of celebrity and model photos complete with weird poses and outfits are LOL-worthy. She takes the mickey out of these people and exaggerates her own flaws for humour.
My favourite re-enactment was one she did of Gwyneth Paltrow. In Gwyneth’s shot we see her lying on her back, half naked, looking super-sexy and covered in a smooth, light brown mud with her hair back and a ‘natural’ face of make-up. She looks radiant. Celeste’s version features the comedian lying in the same pose with half-dried, black lumpy mud on her body, curves and bumps on show, complete with a moustache of black mud.
I think the reason we love Celeste so much (aside from the LOLs she inspires) is that she is real. She is not hiding her body; she is saying,‘This is me, I am flawsome’. And she’s made a living from it. With 9 million social media followers and counting, a flourishing comedy career and a book deal, she is doing just fine. Because of her strong following she was able to raise a staggering $51 million for the Australian bushfire appeal. People know she’s authentic; we tend to trust others who are real. There is no pretence about who Celeste Barber is, or what she stands for.
Think about it. We are drawn to people not for their perfection, but for their acceptance of their imperfections. We might admire people who seem flawless, but they are hard to connect with and understand, and very hard to be like. It’s our pursuit of perfection that’s the problem.
Is this a trap you fall into?
If you love this you’ll love my new book Flawsome; The Journey to Being Whole is Learning to be Holey. Get your hands on it here.