Maria tentatively spoke up.
“Mama, her voice sounds kind of funny,” she said nodding toward the stereo.
The voice she heard belongs to a pop singer without much range, a young woman who once melted down publicly and is attempting to come back. The voice on her latest single is most definitely not completely human.
I explained that some popular singers aren’t really great singers. They get some, or a lot, of help in the studio. They’re famous anyway because, well, maybe they’re good performers.
I didn’t tell her that we really don’t know why on earth some people get famous and rich with little, or no, talent. (Have you heard of this girl/woman? Horrifying!)
The conversation left me with a strange feeling. Like, I’ve cracked into her childhood a little bit and taken away from some of the truths we are teaching her. Like, do good work and you are rewarded. But, now she kind of knows: Hey, you can’t sing (or act) you can still get on the radio.
She now knows that what you see and hear isn’t always authentic, and I guess that is good.
Maybe I am bothered by her new awareness because it seems like some trust and innocence is lost.
Now she makes a habit of commenting on the singers’ voices.
“Mama, do you think her voice is real?”
“Mama, I think his voice was good and really his.”
“Mama, I think they put her voice through a machine.”
“When I grow up and become a singer, I won’t need auto-tune.”
Here’s to praying she’s always authentic.