The things that are acceptable to the vast majority of Americans is just stunning. How appalling it is that “In contemporary U.S. society, despite varying standards, the permanence of some standard means that most of us grow up disliking our bodies or some parts of them” (Ch.5, p. 213). If people were made in all shapes and sizes and styles, then why does one shape and size dominate to the point of anorexia, drug use, liposuction, depression, push-up bras, diets, steroids, hairspray, penis enhancers, clothes, pills, time, effort, and suicide???
Oh right- BECAUSE IT’S A TRILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. They want us to feel fat, ugly, stupid, wrong, gross, needy, and simply not good enough; because in turn we will buy stuff to “make ourselves feel better” meanwhile contributing to their surplus of corrupt cash. It’s like they can just purchase a culture and proceed to inscribe it the brain of every American through media and advertising. For example, we have reality television. Take a minute and think about how many of these shows “take people (especially women) out of communities, isolate them, and then transform their bodies through surgery, cosmetics, and other technologies of body management, before reintroducing them into their communities as radically transformed people (implying that their lives will now be better, more successful, happier, etc.)” (Ch.5, p.225).
And we see these effects vividly across America in the form of pain and sorrow. What is even worse is that “Western ideas about bodies are exported worldwide and their commercialization supports imperialism and global capitalism alongside sexism and misogyny” (Ch.5, p. 215). Not only must they thrive upon our own self-loathing, but of that all over the world. This is truly an epidemic. The only cure is to love your body, and see the beauty of others’. We can fight them and we can win!! And it starts with realizing your own beauty, because you were made perfectly to be absolutely imperfect.
@shellyjeangreen, Love the discussion. Don’t have much to add, except to say I think it is a very important ramification of capitalism, the fetishizing of commodities, and how the market necessarily tries to exploit all possible market niches including fostering body dismorphia, drug addiction, and over all unhealthy lifestyles.
I like and agree with what you’ve said here- this consumerist self-hating style of materialism is just awful for everyone- the only people who benefit are the big corporations and those who control the cash flow! It’s another way of controlling the people through manipulation…
I’ve had an eating disorder myself and still often relapse, and although i do not think the cause of it is “society” exactly as it was a result of underlying mental health issues I do sometime’s wonder if the media/consumer culture contributed to it at all… who knows!
@angedoll, I feel like it’s a complicated mess of many different factors, so I just summed that up with “society” haha. It’s very complex and often the causes are indirect so it’s really difficult to determine what really causes anything.
@shellyjeangreen, EXCELLENT words! Ha, watch TV any hours from midnight to around 7 a.m. if you want the perfect body, cookware, your penis to work right, and such. Ever notice that the ones advertising the weight loss products are of a “perfect” size and shape? That the folks doing the exercises in the workout dvd ads all have awesome 6-packs? Truly sad, but many of us are a gullible lot, one might suppose. And, literally, not every”body” is the same. Someone who simply is not genetically inclined to visible six-packs can still be just as physically developed and in shape as the person who is such. And, hard to swallow or not, our 30-60 year old bodies will not revert to their 16-18 year old looking bodies. But, we’re not actually our bodies, are we?