Anna Bradfield Writes

Discovering the extraordinary in everyday life

Why Jennifer Grey Should Have Kept Her Nose

I needed buttons. I had just finished the handwork of a little girl’s dress for my Etsy site…you know, the one I will probably never launch? Anyway, all I needed was four simple ¾” buttons that would “go” with the rest of my little masterpiece. I thought about traveling into Muskegon. But Meijer would have something here in town, right?

Wrong. The button selection was pitiful. But they did have cones of both black and white serging thread, at 50% off.  I also picked up some Fray Check and a pair of easy-action Fiskars scissors. (I know, I know – go in for one thing and come out with a bunch of other stuff – but can you relate?)

I was walking to the self-check line when the overhead speaker caught my attention: “You broke my heart ‘cause I couldn’t dance. You didn’t even want me around. And now I’m back, to let you know I can really shake ’em down.”

Oh, yeah. The Contours’ Do You Love Me? put a spring in my step and took me back 20+ years. Though the song became a hit 20 years before that, my mind went to Dirty Dancing.

You guessed it. I was a Patrick Swayze fan. Not because I thought he was cute but because I thought he wasn’t.

I have always been partial to the underdog – the short guy, the guy that isn’t pretty, the guy who doesn’t care what other people think.

The first glimpse I remember of Jennifer Grey was in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off the year before Dirty Dancing debuted. I liked her from the moment I saw her, probably for the same reasons I liked Swayze. She had this big nose, she was kind of dopey, and she didn’t seem to care whether people liked her or not.  She liked herself, and that was all that mattered.

Yep, the 80’s were Grey’s decade. She was running full-throttle, amassing 14 movie credits to her young name. The run slowed, almost crawling to a stop, when she underwent rhinoplasty surgery to correct what she saw as a flawed feature. Okay, she had a couple of movies after that (none of which I saw), but even Grey will tell you the surgery was the worst thing she could have done for her career.

“I went in the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous,” Grey said.

Do we blame Grey for wanting to improve herself? Not at all. But think about why we identified with her.

It wasn’t her beauty. It was her flaws.

We liked her because we either identified with her or could see ourselves hanging out with her. We liked that she didn’t care what other people thought.

Or so we thought.

I think there’s a lesson here for all of us. We waste so much effort trying to be “on,” trying to impress colleagues or neighbors or people in the next pew. The reality is, the more we show our vulnerabilities, the more people align with us.

Your Inspiration Prompt: Until next time, think about how you might show your vulnerability this week.

Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

About Anna Bradfield

Anna Bradfield has been spinning tales, exaggerating the truth, and flat-out lying almost as long as she could talk. Nowadays, though, she calls it fiction. Buy her ebooks, Hey Grampa! or Barnyard Babies today. Join the online community and receive a free copy of her ebook, Boy Crazy.

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