Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where is my eye candy?

I was so hopeful last night, and this afternoon my discouragement with our society has resurfaced in another way.
Last night I went to see Joel Salatin (he was in Food Inc. and is this extremely funny character in that movie, while still maintaining ideas about food, farming, and lifestyle that are logical and good. He could be anyone's quirky uncle, grandpa, or father. He seems like a genuinely good guy. (See him here ) He argues about farming and keeping small farms alive. He talks about big government control and how the FDA has so many freaking regulations on things; it's illegal to sell, as he gave his testimony, raw milk to a consenting adult (giving it as a gift is fine, but when money is involved NOOO) He made a hilarious point, that government hasn't made it illegal for two consenting adults to give each other "venereal disease" but selling an adult raw milk is punishable.
He was just so great and encouraging. But I have to think about how different it is to live a life like his. To do such a thing, one has to really research and know where ones food, products, and really, everything one buys comes from. I am far FAR from this. But it's something I want to work on. But behind knowing where things come from, a person needs to know why someone buys something. We need to be wary of what we buy because, there just isn't any ethics in most major corporations (i can't think of one). Salatin brought up that he likes philosophy more than science; he argued that scientists aren't concerned about the "pigness of a pig" they are concerned with making them bigger, fatter, faster. To make profit. Salatin knows and explores and respects creation as it is. (A pig has a shovel on its nose to dig in the mud not to be locked up in a concrete stall.) He tries to leave his world in better shape than he found it.
And that's what's so devastating about what I read today. At Arizona State University in the School of Business, a study ( has found (and you may wonder how I'm making such a large and maybe off topic leap) that plus sized models are "not working" and making viewers feel insecure.
I think this is bull crap. Clearly, if a viewer is used to seeing beautiful skinny girls in magazines, catalogs, and fashion shows (they used to show fashion shows in Express and I used to just feel so awesome shopping in that place) and now suddenly sees a plus sized "normal" looking person in a Dove advertisement, that viewer is not going to feel as good. People look at advertisements to escape. That's the purpose in all its gloss and fabrication. To make you buy into a fantasy. So, now, when you look at a realistic picture and you see that you are just the same--you have nothing to aspire to, nothing to buy into, nothing being fed to you to make you feel "inferior", and you feel completely unsatisfied and utterly insecure.
Where is my eye candy? If I wanted to look at real life I would walk to the park, or to walmart. and that's just depressing!
But what angers me, besides it being so blatantly obvious, is that the study ignores WHY there is bad self esteem. The study seems to shout that the tactic of showing plus sized models (that hasn't been working) hasn't been to eliminate the pressures to look "correct" but to appeal to the audience in a new way and to do the "right thing" by getting rid of the waif trend. If this advertising business was in any way ethical they would own up to the fact that as a business they have created the problem. They have made people obsessed with escapism, with fantasy, and unrealistic ideals, to the point that we will buy anything that will take us away. And to bring it back to Salatin, I feel that some businesses, corporations or what have you, arnt't concerned with the "personness of a person" but only with what will make a person a better consumer.
And this study is soooo convenient, so convenient that I fear it will be justifiable to use the skinnies since "they work" and they actually make the consumer feel better about themselves.

And may I just state that I do not at all disagree with their findings. I'm sure people feel better about seeing skinny models showing products off, I'm sure they increase something but what they call security is the most fragile and temporary sort of security; it's the security in consuming, it's in relying on products and images to guide and control life.

Back in November Reebok started advertising these stupid shoes that are supposed to create lift in a person's butt. They had these terrible commercials to sell them--completely objectifying the curves of a woman and I saw a group on facebook opposed to these commercials. I explored the site a little bit and found a guy who wrote "face it, sex sells." This is something that is completely maddening. So I had to reply to the guy. I just feel that so many have no idea what the problem is because it's soooo normal and accepted. This is what I said. And I think it kind of sums up what I think about most all advertising and consumerism.

sigh. Carl this is so sad. "face it? sex sells?" are you really suggesting that it's okay to "sell sex" just because it makes money. that we are "inevitably" doomed to live in a world that degrades and objectifies women? that this is just the way life is. you may think, it's just shoes. but clearly it is the marketing-- the system of consuming that America sells that masks a bad thing (women = boobs and ass) into looking normal flashy/sexy or funny.
Submitting to the "sex sells" mentality is a scary thing for anyone, since it throws ethics and morals out the window. It is a corrupt idea to think that "if I can make money off of this...let's sell it."
I mean, seriously, prostitution? "Face it, sex sells."

There's got to be something better. so so much better. "leaving the creation in better shape than we found it." God, I hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment