it was after dinner as i was waiting for the others outside a convenience store this evening that i came across shin min's front page on the newspaper rack. for a split second, i accidentally mentally placed myself in her shoes. it was just a split second. but for that split second, i felt suddenly overwhelmed by what i can only best describe as a combination of hurt and shame.
the front-page headline of the chinese tabloid reads "having spent $24 million to create (her music career), is she now famous/popular?" it sounds somewhat rhetorical; what it seems to suggest is that, clearly, she is not (that is, for the amount of money that has allegedly been poured in).
for a moment, imagine if you were like a fortune+popularity sim. imagine if your aspiration were to become a star - what some would call "发明星梦" (that is, "dreaming of becoming a celebrity", negative connotation). imagine if this were all very important, if not of utmost importance, to you. and then somehow, you get your shot at fame; for a while, you become somewhat famous, your name is on everyone's lips. so happy. so 威风. so shiok.
then one day, something happens, and you suddenly become somewhat infamous - you're the hot topic, yes, but for the wrong reasons; you become the person everyone loves to hate. the papers go to town declaring just how much has allegedly been poured into pushing you to stardom, shaping your so-called career. yes, they will use the word "so called". they say you have no talent, only money, and not even your own; that you are crass and gross and a disgrace to your family, your church, your country. and then they ask sarcastically (you can almost picture them sneering), after all that money spent, are you even famous at all?
imagine if fame were really that important to you (even though you know it ought not be, because as a christian, God should come first, but still), how would you feel? to have your pictures, your works of art (your face, your body, your music) - all your pride and joy - smeared all over the media and the internet, and having the majority of the people ridiculing you for them, looking at you all full of contempt.
for a moment, for just a moment, i imagined all that. and i felt bad for her.
i mean, i clearly don't think too well of her, her behaviour, her husband's behaviour, her music, almost everything about her. and i also don't feel that one can really blame others or the media for being cruel. i feel that this whole situation is just... very terrible, very bad witness, for christians and non-christians alike.
but for that split second, i thought i had a feel - just the minutest fraction of a feel - of what it might feel like to be in her shoes right now.