A Shot at Reality with Tila Tequila

October 18, 2009
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Obviously, in the mind of Tila Tequila, a consensus has been reached. All her stripper friends, all her ex-boyfriends, they all want the same thing. And what they want is another Shot at Love. These thirty two straight men and lesbian women, in all the sparkly rhinestone pink plush bisexual glory of MTV, want to be handed that fateful key and enter back into the hearts of Tila and her thousands of loyal viewers. Spanning from assless chap fashion shows to late night jacuzzi parties, a Tila Tequila daily itinerary is enough to sweep anyone off their feet, right? And who wouldn’t want to meet the love of their life in front of America’s viewing public?

Looking at the scenario at large, it’s easy to assume that this “love” is fake, superficial, and staged. That it’s all cooked up in the minds of television producers, going home to sit on their fat salaries and white boy bling after a long hard day of deciding who should get in a fist fight first. And who could blame them? In a conservative culture that preaches love before sex (or no sex at all), Tila is not only just a sexual figure, but a complete icon. She has built an empire on her sexuality with her MySpace page, music career, two successful seasons of Shot At Love on MTV, and her first published work, “Hooking Up With Tila Tequila.” However, it seems that no matter how far she goes, her work is still classified as a joke. This isn’t real love, this isn’t real life. It’s just real sex appeal. It’s selling her to pay the bills. She has become society’s definition of anti-real anti-love. Or at least that’s what you think.

The story goes that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So then the close examination of Tila poses a question: for everything we define as fake, must there also be something real? But how can one define reality, or love? The whole basis of love is fear, and pretending to be something else. Even the truest definitions of loving somebody require a certain degree of falsity. Pretending to like their music, their movies, their new haircut. It’s faking your way to love. It’s buying a watch and changing the faceplates. It’s logging onto Facebook and clicking “edit profile.” We tell ourselves it’s not lying, it’s changing. It’s improving, stretching farther, because real love is the ultimate reward, right? In our minds, this is real. This is who we choose to be, and therefore who we really are...or at least who we think we are. Our reality is almost always defined by uncertainty. We are, by nature, unsure. In fact, being unsure is the only thing that can be depended on. We are unsure about how other people view us, we are unsure if we are trying too hard, talking too much, not working enough. We have no idea.

Therefore, this idea may come as quite a shock: Tila Tequila is sure. Tila Tequila knows exactly who she is. She is that girl who every sensible young woman should despise, who every mother should want to keep her daughter far away from. She’s the girl who owns a thousand velour tracksuits and wears leather mini-shorts. But she’s sure. She’s sure she’s fabulous, famous, and adored by every red-blooded man (or woman, for that matter) she can get her fishnet gloves on. She defines her own reality, and she has built an industry around being exactly who she is. We might not agree with one word that comes out of her bubblegum lip-glossed mouth, but every toxic syllable is laced with a certainty that women would die for. Some might play the physical card, saying, “well, it’s easy to be confident with a body like that.” But it’s not her body that lends her a free-wheeling personality. We see Tila’s reality being defined by her figure, but upon deeper analysis, it’s her mindset that comes first. After all, anyone can be thin, but not anyone can enjoy being called a w***e on public television. She doesn’t let those words define her, instead she defines herself. And that makes her real.

So is the romance on her show a formula? Possibly. But the factors are real; just people who are just as crazily self-assured as Tila herself. And after all, is the default definition of romance so much better? Are the moments we consider “heartwarming” and “pulse-racing” any less staged? They aren’t. It’s all a sell. Love can’t be defined “because nothing is as good as you can imagine it.” If television is only what someone else defines as their fantasy, then maybe Tila’s formulated love can then be defined as real. And, similarly, if Tila is built around fantasy, then she herself may be defined as real. Defining reality is all about creating one for yourself, and maybe defining love follows. And a real shot at love? We all want the same thing.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

inspiredpassion08 said...
Jun. 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm
Unique perspective on the concept of love, lust, feigning, and reality. I never thought about it until now.
penguins_r_cool said...
Nov. 10, 2009 at 5:59 pm
this is so true!
CaseyLeigh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm
I absolutely love this article. It has an original viewpoint and is well written; amazing job!
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