I’m one of those irritating people. At least according to Conchita Wurst. That’s because, for months now, I’ve been insisting Conchita Wurst is brave, while the woman herself keeps insisting she’s not. But, after watching a short segment Conchita recorded for the ORF series ‘Was Ich Glaube‘ (‘What I Believe’), I hate to admit it, but she’s right and I’m wrong.
And it’s all because her definition of ‘brave’ is absolutely spot on (‘someone is brave who risks losing something by doing a certain act and is usually afraid when they do it’), and mine, well…….it has not been taking into account two very important things about Conchita Wurst.
She’s not afraid when she does what she does, and what she does makes her happy, so she’s never in any danger of ‘losing anything’ either.
As Conchita herself said on ‘Was Ich Glaube’ (see English translation here):
“I often get associated with bravery. That irritates me a lot, because I define bravery for myself in a way that one has to – maybe not force oneself, but at least it takes effort to achieve something. That one loses something for it, then one is courageous, or brave to me. When one really has to do something, one rather would not.”
She then goes on to say:
“Yes, I believe that fear and bravery are actually really close. And that’s probably also the thing that irritates me when it’s connected to my person because I am not courageous just because I do the stuff I love and what I have to do to be happy. And I am not afraid and probably that’s the crucial point because it takes no effort to do what I do.”
And this is where my insistence on Conchita Wurst being brave lay — the idea that, because of the enormous amounts of homophobic abuse she still gets on the internet and in various parts of the news media, she must be brave as it takes bravery to fight through that. After all, who wouldn’t feel like crumbling into a million pieces every time they saw the avalanche of filth coming their way?
In reality, however, because of who Conchita Wurst is, bravery doesn’t really come into it (and neither does filth really). Because she’s not fighting through the homophobic abuse. She’s too smart for that. Instead, she’s simply ignoring it.
And that, right there, makes her not afraid, and thus not brave. As how can you be afraid of something you don’t even think is worthy of your attention?
As for ‘risking something’, Conchita isn’t risking anything either by doing what she does. She loves it too much to ever be risking anything.
In fact, the reverse would be true. If she wasn’t doing what she does, she would be risking something — risking the loss of herself and of much of what makes her happy. She wouldn’t be brave then either. Just………lost.
So, Conchita, you are right and I am wrong. Enough said really.