The Image-Construct exists for everyone — from the apex of social echelons down to the very dregs of the populace. Sometimes it is manipulated explicitly on the macro level through PR, socio-political affiliations and speechifying, most often by celebrities, politicians and media figures. More commonly, the rest of society controls the Image-Construct implicitly on the micro level: Personal fashion, social circles and status markers.
Either way, the Image-Construct is too often lazily accepted as the True Self when it is actually a projection of the Public Self. This is regardless of Social Distance — the person could be lover, friend acquaintance, celebrity or world leader.
And then... inevitably some variation of the Kinsley Gaffe is caught when the mic slips, shredding the delicately devised mien:
• “People I don’t know are mean and must’ve cheated their way to where they are,” coming from one who has coat-tailed their way to power, never having had a day job, castigating those with merit and effort.Unconsidered words shrivel and rot the Image-Construct, whether coming from friends stretching to force-fit disintegrating puzzle pieces, or from Famous People distantly chiming in on subjects unrelated to their fame.
• High-IQ shut-ins who verbalise their Magical Thinking betray their delusions when using words like “empowerment” and “stripping” in the same sentence.
• “Sensitive” artsy souls clumsily blurt advice to high-IQ shut-ins: "Maybe you can get a job at that place that hires retards.”
Honest words can be edifying in both a positive and negative manner, though no amount of charm or beauty can erase inner ugliness, once revealed.
The hero, demigoddess and stranger alike are equally susceptible to Image Taint without prudent elocution.