Fan­tasy and lies the re­al­ity of a mod­ern day ro­mance

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - OPINION - JOELLA DRURY, SURFERS PAR­ADISE

I RE­CENTLY read that there are over 30 mil­lion fake pro­files on the in­ter­net and many of these on in­ter­net dat­ing and so­cial me­dia sites.

Cat­fish is the term used by the MTV show of the same name to de­scribe peo­ple who en­tice oth­ers into a re­la­tion­ship by adopt­ing fic­tional pro­files.

They pre­tend to be some­one and some­thing they are not. They achieve this with (stolen) im­ages of vis­ually stun­ning, jaw-drop­ping gor­geous men and women, who are de­scribed as mod­els, body­builders, mu­sic pro­duc­ers etc.

The Cat­fish has a plethora of ex­cuses never to meet or show their real faces to their vic­tims; phone not work­ing, can­not Skype of Snapchat, can­cer or car ac­ci­dent be­ing the most pop­u­lar on the show.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the vic­tim is of­ten shocked, dis­tressed and an­gry when, on meet­ing, their dream lover is not con­gru­ent with the re­al­ity faced.

The Cat­fish will then nar­rate a story of be­ing bul­lied, re­venge on a past lover, lonely, bored, body/ gen­der is­sues, or just be­cause it was fun (for them).

They ex­pect em­pa­thy and un­der­stand­ing from their vic­tim without show­ing any to­wards the per­son they have lied to (some­times for up to 10 years). There are hardly ever happy end­ings in this sce­nario.

So is this ro­mance in the 21st cen­tury? Are we are so yearn­ing to be loved, told we are beau­ti­ful and de­sired and seek pas­sion, that we don’t ques­tion the va­lid­ity of the pro­file that we are at­tracted to?

Do vic­tims pre­fer to live in their fan­tasy world where this daz­zling spec­i­men of hu­man­ity is madly in love with them rather than face re­al­ity?

Over­ar­ch­ing the phe­nom­e­non of Cat­fish is our ob­ses­sion with beauty and im­age. Tens of mil­lions of peo­ple do not be­lieve that some as­pect of them­selves is good enough, hence the de­cep­tions.

Why pre­tend to be a prince or princess and weave a web of lies fit for a fairy tale when we all just want to live hap­pily ever af­ter?

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