Since 2000, Australian women have been buying a brand of phony diamonds for themselves in an effort to look impressive. An Australian company called “Secrets Shhh” which does not pretend to be anything but pretentious began to ply its bling trade in the town of Noosa. It decided to cater to the whims of women who wanted diamonds but either couldn’t afford the real thing or had no man to buy a genuine bauble for them. The popularity of such phony purchases has always intrigued me.
In my opinion, the value of jewellery is mostly based on its high cost which is due to its exclusiveness. Yes, diamonds sparkle but so does a mirror in sunlight. Diamonds are pretty but how pretty would they be if they were a dime a dozen? Wouldn’t they lose their appeal if they were included in a packet of Kellog’s Cornflakes as a give away?
I think they would. To be brutally honest, what attracts us about a diamond is its price. So if you can buy a simulated ring for two hundred dollars, you may very well impress other people but how can you impress yourself unless you are totally superficial? You know that you are wearing rubbish. You know it’s worthless and so how can you have any self-respect?
Surely, you must squirm when someone admires your piece of dross. But perhaps not because I think that the world can be divided into two kinds of people. There are those who have to be true to themselves and so cannot flaunt a phony diamond and there are others who see nothing wrong with pretending to be something they are not.
I suspect that life is easier for those who can wear the simulants. They are probably much more relaxed about everything else. What do they care if something is real or not as long as it looks ok? It’s hard to argue with such an approach to life.
But I do see something wrong with the whole idea of wearing phony baubles, because I can’t help but reflect on Polonius’ speech in Hamlet:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man (I, iii)
We recited those three lines at the beginning of each school day and they have remained with me forever.
When you think about it, however, it’s very possible that those women who buy the phony diamonds are being true to themselves. They are evidently keen to impress others with their “wealth” and that’s a real need for them. Consequently, presenting a false image to the world doesn’t bother them at all.
Maybe it’s ok to kid yourself. But I couldn’t do it.
I confess to having tried a few years ago. I love watches, or I used to, to be truthful. A friend of mine had the opportunity to buy a couple, of let us say, pretend “Rolexes” and so I decided to be adventurous and fake it. After a couple of months I chucked it out since it had become a burden to my very soul. Polonius’ advice had been drummed into me and I could not ignore his words.
You do have to be true to yourself. Some of us can enjoy the items sold at Secrets Shhh while others simply can’t. I know it would be cheaper if I could, but I can’t live with the cost.