I saw this meme recently, and now just about everything ticks me off.
The reason for my ire is that it really DID make me think of all the businesses that would go under. Look at the contents of our closets. The money I’ve spent over the years, trying to accentuate my positives and hide my negatives. Madness. And God forbid I go out of style! Unacceptable. The clothing industry would disintegrate if we didn’t care what we wore.
And can you imagine if we stopped buying cosmetics and dark spot removers and fancy shampoo and astringents and moisturizers and creams and lotions and dyes and waxes? What if we stopped taking vitamins? How about if we only bothered to own one pair of comfortable shoes?
The number of agencies that prey on our insecurities is astounding when you really think about it. Gym memberships. Weight loss plans. Advertising, and by association the entire television and magazine industry. Designer EVERYTHING, cosmetics, skin care, health food, hair salons, spas, exercise equipment, diet cookbooks, self help books and gurus, a lot of therapists, models, cosmetic surgeons. Even cell phone companies like to imply that you can’t look cool without owning their product.
Just like the remoras that latch onto sharks and feed off their leftovers, these body image industries could not survive without actively maintaining our negative self-images. Now when I walk through a mall or a department store, I see signs of this everywhere. It’s like being pelted with dead fish that have “you’re not good enough” written on their stinky scales. They NEED us to feel insecure. They NEED us to think that if we just buy that “one more thing” we will be popular, feel better, be more loved, be accepted and attractive.
From now on, with every single purchase, I’m going to ask myself, “Do I really need this?” “What do I really think I’m getting?” “Am I really going to get what I want to get from this product, or am I about to buy an illusion?”
Once you start looking at the world through that particular lens, you really can see how used all of us are. We carry much of the economy upon our stooped shoulders, and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired.
And that makes me mad as hell.