I am just totally digging the places the conversation is going in the last post and it’s got me thinking. If we’re taught from such a young age that we are inadequate and that there’s always something about us that could be fixed (always for our own good, of course), what can we do to counterbalance that?
Clearly, the obvious solution is to put folks like Exador, the Church Secretary, Plimco, and Queen Latifa (shut up! It’s my solution, I can put the Queen in it if I want) on the task of giving us all wicked, salacious looks, squeezing us, and then smooching us passionately, as if they find us irresistible. But folks start feeling bad about themselves in junior high, if not earlier, and we don’t want grown-ass folks giving twelve year old salacious looks.
So, the obvious solution is not the best.
But solutions do suggest themselves.
1. Do for yourself what Chris Wage does for others–see yourself as aesthetically pleasing. Get your hands on a digital camera and take three hundred photos of yourself (or more, if that’s what it takes). The first step is finding one you can live with–that you can look at and say, okay, fine, if that’s what I look like, if that’s how people see me, that’s fine. The second step is to find a photo of you that you love. Then take that photo and put it somewhere where you can see it.
2. Don’t dog other people about how they look. It’s not a contest and the cutest person in the room does not win (and come on, y’all, we already know that I’m the cutest person in any given room). And you certainly don’t win by undermining the “competition.”
3. Learn about how advertising works and be able to articulate it to yourself. They create a need in order to sell you a product to fill that need. If they have to make you feel like shit about yourself in order to create a need for their product, they have no qualms about that. I don’t think there’s any way to completely immunize yourself from that, but you can certainly build up something of a resistance.
4. Pretend you already are the person you imagine you’ll be once you’re thinner or richer or prettier or whatever.
5. Have compassion for yourself and others. We are all deeply, deeply fucked up and broken. And we are looking for easy, consumer solutions to soul difficult problems.
6. Masturbate more. Eh, why not? You went to the trouble to put in the five-speed hand-held showerhead, why not put it to use?