If you ask Conchita Wurst who is her favorite fashion icon, she will always say Victoria Beckham. In fact, she idolizes Victoria Beckham to such an extent, if she was ever to meet her, she would probably die.
After all, as Conchita says in this ‘Answers‘ video, what would happen if she had coffee with Victoria Beckham, and Victoria didn’t like her? How ridiculously disappointed would she be then?
The interesting thing about this, however, is I don’t think Conchita Wurst ever has to worry about Victoria Beckham not liking her. After all, she is far more like Posh Spice than I think she might even realize.
Not just in the way she has the same amazing fashion sense Victoria does (well, Conchita does say if she and her stylist aren’t sure about an outfit, they’ll always ask the question “What would Victoria wear?”, and then she’ll wear that). But, in the way both Victoria Beckham and Conchita Wurst are incredibly shy.
Now before you start exclaiming “What, Victoria Beckham, she of the dagger glare and the ice cool demeanor, shy?” or “What, Conchita Wurst, she of the dazzling smile, flashing eyes, quick jokes and flamboyant character, shy?”, I’ll already answer for you.
Yep. Shy. Both of them. Impossibly shy. But a deep-seated shyness that, instead of allowing it to turn in upon itself and be destructive, they have both used to create a persona or a character who isn’t shy. A character that allows them to function in the intense spotlight of the world they always wanted to live in.
Victoria Beckham and shy
In Victoria’s case, it’s the dazzlingly beautiful pouty creature that appears in 99.9 percent of photographs. A stern, unsmiling, often prickly looking girl with a demeanor that screams “Don’t talk to me”. A demeanor that has caused Victoria, aka Posh Spice, to get far more than her fair share of hate.
But if you look closely at Victoria’s eyes in any photograph or any red carpet event, that persona is an act put on to shield her from the hundreds of camera flashes aimed in her direction, and the thousands of people who want a piece of her.
Because no matter how much Victoria Beckham tries to appear worldly, in perfect control and, to some extent, hard, I don’t think she is. At all.
In fact, I’ve always liked Victoria Beckham. A lot. Because underneath that diamond coated glossy shell, I’m guessing she’s nothing more than an absolute sweetheart with a heart of gold, and someone who just manages in the limelight as best she can.
Conchita Wurst and shy
Now, as far as I know, Victoria Beckham has only ever mentioned a couple of times that she’s shy. Conchita Wurst, on the other hand, says it all the time. The problem with that is few people believe her.
Because Conchita comes off as outgoing, outrageously friendly, completely in control, absolutely one thousand percent sure of herself, and so calm, cool and collected that to me, someone who watches her body language more than anything else, I’ve been convinced of how shy she is since just about the first day I heard of her.
A good indication of that shyness is in this 11-minute video taken of Conchita on the day of the Eurovision 2015 final, when she, her manager, a couple of members of her team and a slew of bodyguards took the metro in Vienna to the ESC venue.
And as I watched Conchita as she walks, and as crowds of people realize who she is and descend upon her for a photograph, I could feel that shyness coming off her in waves.
It’s in the way she agrees to be photographed with people but, if you watch her closely, any interaction with them is fleeting and over in a flash, and then back she goes to her phone. Because that phone is her security blanket. It makes her look busy, so she doesn’t have to talk.
And it’s in the way, when she does talk to people, it’s friendly and with a smile, but short. Because, I think, when she doesn’t know people, or isn’t in a situation like an interview where she’s already prepared, she doesn’t always know what to say. (Which reminds me of what an Austrian friend of mine told me about what he learnt in America. “The art of small talk”. Because, according to him, Austrians aren’t very good at it).
And if you watch ultra closely when she’s given a compliment, she says “Thank you”, but the way she says it is slightly disconnected, because she’s not opening up that armor she wears to really let it in.
Look closer still, and you will see her only real interactions are with the people on her team, and the other people with her. The people she trusts. Those are the people she can let her guard down with.
Because that girl, she armors herself up with that persona she’s created for herself before she walks out the door every morning. And that armor stays on her all day.
It allows her to function in the exclusive world she now mixes in, and in the media frenzy always surrounding her.
That armor allows her to keep her true self intact, and only show what she wants to show. It allows her to stay grounded and happy, to truly enjoy everything she is experiencing, and to be able to meet the hundreds of people she meets in a typical day, and always be comfortable enough to talk to them.
Both Conchita Wurst and Victoria Beckham have chosen a way to deal with shyness when it comes to fame. And both have done it admirably well. As admirably as Lady Gaga, someone who wears a similarly forged suit of armor, has also done.
After all, you have to admire all three women immensely.
Because just imagine how much courage it has taken all of them (quit complaining about that word, Conchita, it’s here to stay) to not only get over that shyness, but to put it to work to create amazing lives for themselves. Lives only a few people on earth will ever experience.
Me? All I can say is it makes me love them even more.
Oh, and Conchita, when you eventually meet Victoria Beckham, which you obviously will, I wouldn’t worry at all if I was you. Not only will I guarantee she will like you, but I’ll also tell you this. I know for a fact, she’s even more shy than you are.
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