The fear of public speaking. The queasy feeling some of us get when we walk into a room full of people and are expected to perform. To be “someone”. I get it. I do. I have a full blown, diagnosed anxiety disorder. And it was, at one time, debilitating. So much so that I was hopping myself up on prescribed drugs every day. At the time, I was working full time in Strategic Business Planning and Public Relations. I was expected to speak to rooms full of people, and if it wasn’t me speaking, I was writing the words others would say, and that’s a whole other kind of pressure.
Nervousness and anxiety is no joke, and if HRH had legitimized his “fear” with a bit of meat, I’d likely applaud. But, how does nervousness and a fear of public speaking make you vulnerable and open to ridicule like those living with AIDS or HIV? Harry, how can you compare your shame to theirs? You can’t.
Here’s the thing, if Prince Harry had come forward with “I’ve had to speak to a therapist / need the support of medication / learn to use meditation and breath work to cope with it…” I’d probably give him a Hi5. There is a certain taboo related to those coping mechanisms. But is a fear of public speaking really all that taboo? Aside from being mildly charming, his secret does not demonstrate the aim of the campaign. In fact, it dilutes it. The headline is now about Harry’s fear of public speaking. The argument could be made that the purpose of the campaign would be diluted simply by virtue of his participation, but, and this is a significant but, had his secret had some serious shame associated with it, the headline may swing more toward Harry’s shame. And shame, is what the campaign is trying to address. The shame related to living with AIDS and HIV. It’s entry to the cause through a back door, but it’s an entry nonetheless. Fear of public speaking? No entry. Doors are locked. Barricades are up. In fact, someone find the Emergency Exit so this poor bloke can try to slip out without being egged.
I realize that revealing a devastating, deep, dark secret is not something that would ever be approved by The Firm and their PR team. However, pushing past the superficial would have gone a long way in demonstrating and cementing his passion for the purpose of the campaign and for the campaign, itself. The idea was, and IS, a great one. It’s unfortunate that the execution lacked foresight and appropriate message planning.
Harry will soon be en route to Oman and the United Arab Emirates. While the Oman invitation was extended His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, their Royal Highnesses will likely not have the opportunity to shoot the shit over cocktails. Unfortunately, due to ill health, The Sultan has had to cancel his engagements with Prince Harry. Both parties are still keen for Harry to follow through on the visit, which will now likely be equal parts personal and official duty. After spending time in Oman, the white pants will break free and take to the polo field in Abu Dhabi for the Sentebale Polo Cup.
Harry’s “official” schedule is as follows, below. Unofficial shenanigans will likely be reported in due course. Continue reading
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Author Megan Mulry is generously giving us copies of the novel If the Shoe Fits from her “Unruly Royals” series to share with HWW’s lovely followers.
We’re huge fans of Megan’s sexy, fun romances and this one in particular should appeal to you guys. Want to know more? Here’s the synopsis:
“The only thing worse than being in the spotlight is being kept in the dark…
With paparazzi nipping at his heels, Devon Heyworth, rakish brother of the Duke of Northrop, spends his whole life hiding his intelligence and flaunting his playboy persona. Fast cars and faster women give the tabloids plenty to talk about. Continue reading
I feel sad for Prince Harry.
Now before you unleash fury on me, hear me out. Yes, he’s set to inherit a boatload of dolla bills from his mother’s estate. He lives in a palace, gorgeous women fawn over him wherever he goes, and well, shit, he’s a Prince, so there’s that… But, in reality, is the life of The Spare, really all it’s cracked up to be? We’ve heard him say, numerous times, that it ain’t all rainbows and unicorns, he’s even expressed how crappy it is to be single and searching for someone, famously saying, “The job that it entails…look at me, I’m 27 years old and not so much searching for someone to fulfill the role, but obviously finding someone that would be willing to take it on.” While Hot Harry has never been one to stay on message, this particular left turn about finding love, may give us a bit of insight into the PR Machine that is The Firm.
I can’t afford to go down to Brazil for the World Cup this year, so I settled for the next best thing: a Saturday afternoon watching England vs. Italy at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Chicago Ridge Mall. There weren’t any Caipirinha’s on the menu and the speakers were blaring hip-hop instead of samba when we arrived at the bar, and the few England supporters on the premises were hiding in the shadows, shyly nursing their $3 Budweisers instead of pounding $8 glasses of Guinness or singing songs or smashing the place or fighting as everything the media has taught me about hooliganism has lead me to expect. I was disappointed by how tame it all was, by how calmly the two guys in the red-and-white St. George caps were swallowing the England defeat on Saturday afternoon, by how generally non-plussed they seemed by the whole affair. So I decided to liven them up by sidling over to their table near the end of the game, opening my fat-little-notebook, and asking them a few questions about Prince Harry.
I originally thought I was going to watch this show and do something like witty recaps, thoughtful treatises on modern pop culture and misogyny, memes of the contestants with cat faces. I did that for two episodes (not the cat faces) but then it just got too damn boring. But shows like this really aren’t my thing. Surely someone was enjoying it, I thought. I apparently thought wrong. Four episodes in and “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry'” got the gong. (Those of you born in the 70s got that.)
After the first episode – which gave us textbook foreshadowing with its horrible ratings – I approached the show’s PR about doing an email Q&A with “Not Really Prince Harry” Matt Hicks. While the two posts I had made on the show were snarky I was kind to Mr. Hicks. He was kind of growing on me and he surely had the most interesting experience in this whole charade. I had asked him via social media if I could use his personal Instagram photos and he was very happy to oblige. Surely he would be allowed to answer five questions by email?
I told the US and UK press peeps what I wanted and some of the TV appearances I had made as well as publications I had been quoted in – just a little self-horn blowing so they would know pimping an interview to my 10k+ followers might help their failing ratings. Instead I was told “unfortunately Matt’s (sic) has a busy schedule, therefore we are unable to accommodate your request.” Hmm, his Twitter and Instagram sure didn’t make him seem busy. (Btw, a PR friend told me I might have gotten a different response if I had removed my snarky recaps before asking. Whatevs.)
As a consolation prize I was sent a press pack and told I could use the “syndicated” interview it contained. Instead of rubbing this massive fail of a show’s face in the dirt by cut and pasting that interview and interjecting it with LOLZ, I’ll just put the whole press pack here. Enjoy.
(Oh, and all the eps are now on Fox’s website. If you bother to watch the finale, tell me who won. Or not. Whatever.)
[Spoiler: If you don’t want to know who gets kicked off on the second episode, stop reading. Or not. Doesn’t really matter.]
Click below to enter via email. You can then gain extra entries by tweeting, liking HWW on FB, and pinning on Pinterest.
The contest will run from Monday, June 2 through Sunday, June 15. The winner will be announced on twitter Monday June 16th. This contest is open to anyone in any country. (Thanks to Michael O’Mara Books.)
(Photo courtesy of Matt Hicks)
First ep op-ed
I can’t believe I’m defending a reality show, much less a dating one, but here goes. The amount of vitriol towards this show I’ve seen on Twitter and via reviews is ill-informed at best and down right mean at worst. First off, let’s review the facts.