Individual mystery is getting scarcer by the day. Our lives are an open book because it is no longer fashionable to keep mum on one’s activities. The virtual community continues to prompt us to share— and we succumb— letting friends and foes alike into everything that defines our essence. Gone are the days when circumspection was an unwritten rule. The times when one made moves in silence are long forgotten, and though some people still hold onto the holy grail of a life void of incessant displays, these lots are a negligible percentage.
What’s far more acceptable is to gather witnesses as one goes about doing even the most mundane things. The result—unsolicited opinions—snide remarks from acquaintances and total strangers. And the concomitant effect of verbal brawls with people one should ordinarily have no business engaging. But we seem to love it!
We get frustrated that average John and Jane Doe’s have the impetus to weigh in on our personal business, but fail to acknowledge the role we play in helping them develop this cojones.
There’s a reason celebrities like Beyonce and Genevieve are adored.
Think about it: they are not necessarily the best singer and actor respectively. Rather, what they have mastered is the art of preserving their mystery in spite of their status. At a time when the norm is to embrace the trappings of show business including the display of material possessions, responding to every negative fan comment, and even going on a little rant to debunk malicious rumours, the Beyonces and Genevieves of this world have chosen to be different.
They can’t be bothered if some random human claims they are phoney or have dated married men in the past. They are unperturbed when trolls accuse them of staging a fake pregnancy or lip-syncing the national anthem. They ignore the ruckus caused by unsavoury news surrounding them and never give in to the pressure to respond. As long as it’s not an offence against the law, these megastars seem to have made a personal vow to shove it aside.
It infuriates the curious cat in many of us because we aren’t used to being ignored. What’s familiar to us is famous people who deign to respond to every real or perceived slight. Personalities who slam trolls with the nastiest retort they can muster are what we live for. The thrill of getting someone whom they have poked to respond is fuel for trolls and that’s why smart people simply ignore or block them rather than engage them in a war of words that demystifies them.
Sensible people understand this and that’s why they never allow themselves to be demystified.
Your mystery is your power. When people don’t know so much about you, they are powerless to ruin anything. You are like a Rubik’s cube; hard to piece together.
Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, Beyonce is as adored as she is because she hasn’t traded her mystery for fame. The Beyhive may know all the lyrics to every single track she has ever recorded, but they are clueless as to whether she simulated her pregnancy or not.
She is one of the biggest celebrities in the world, yet has managed to keep her personal life as private as anyone with such a huge and loyal following possibly can. Her twins remained anonymous until she was ready to reveal their faces. Her relationship with her equally famous husband continues to be the subject of speculation, but ‘Queen B’ only lets us in on what she will, when she feels like. In other words, she controls her own narrative.
Our own Genevieve has replicated this model. Deftly staying away from trending topics and crass jokes her ilk are quick to jump on. Never confirming or denying all the marriage and breakup rumours that make the rounds from time-to-time. Not bothered to even share what she’s working on until it’s almost finished job
The adulation and respect she commands are a by-product of her mysterious persona.
People who mind their business intrigue the crowd because it’s an uncommon trait in our “ultra-modern” era. We are fascinated by them because we recognise how difficult it is to go against the popular culture.
Mystery keeps you interesting. Leaving some of your narratives under wraps means that there’s always something fresh to discover about you— a new layer to unfold— as opposed to a blatant existence that exposes you unnecessary battles.
Mystery may not be fashionable, but it definitely wields power. One that never wanes.