Thursday 9 July 2009

Beauty Parlance

Today's advertisements besiege the most isolated of spectators. It is practically impossible to ponder upon any thought without the inclusion of some kind of fragment of symbolic content which has not been projected through TV, Radio, magazines, billboards and or street propaganda. The messages that are being conveyed are clear. It is a manufactured conception of beauty - what it represents - and most importantly, how to achieve it. The justification for this profusion of ideas is clear. The media is just acting as a mouth-piece for a humankind that is immersed in a Darwinian struggle for a kind of capital that is much valued in capitalistic societies. The dogmatic mantra employed is, "people treat you according to how you look", hence looking "good" becomes a crucial priority. So the commodification of what is beautiful takes place with the aid of a massive and pervasive propaganda similar to the one utilized in the commodification of hatred which was reproduced by Goebbels and the Nazi ideology during World War II.

The devil of this conception of beauty is in the details. Youth and Health are elevated to stratospheric heights, and in order to obtain them, one must refrain from a most natural process of aging. Whatever is old is inexorably useless for this account of the beautiful. Hence the victims of this symbolic onslaught are people approximately over 30 years of age who as a result become sidelined in this project for which they serve no purpose.

But if we posit as very feasible that it is consumption, and to a large extent, consumerism as the main objectives of this ideology, it could surely be argued that the mass media is fundamentally responsible of instilling the fear of aging that is so common among our fellow post-modern city dwellers. This reality not only depicts the workplace, it also invades other social spheres like the family, daily communal relations and our myriad entertainment options.

So the schizophrenia plays along a monotonous tune once we realize that this idea of beauty is honestly detached and effaced from from our real existence. We come to understand that this little cream or pill which is being peddled on to us is a mere placebo that is meant to soothe our sorrowful lives. Could this really be just someone exploiting our fears and cashing in on them?

At any rate, it is cut-throat competition that cheerfully ensues and it comes in all sizes and colors. But wait a second... Isn't competition the basis of our Darwinian struggle for recognition and capitalist endeavor the sole remedy for it? If we answer YES we side with the projectors of this reality and that would mean that we acknowledge that we as rational animals maximize our possible scenarios from which we could obtain maximum utility. And following this same route, it would mean that our genetic conformation dictates that we compete, just like any animal does naturally. But if we answer NO we can simultaneously hold diverging opinions. One one hand, we can accept that genetically it could be and feel normal to be attracted to what we naturally feel as being more attractive - just like peacocks seek each other partly because of their colorful and catchy tails. But on the other hand, we could be opinionated in terms of the cultural infiltration of conceptions of what is beautiful or what is right or "perfect"; both discourses brought forth by a handful of hungry-pocketed gold digging individuals.

So if you feel bad today because you do not subscribe to to a particularly construed and fabricated conception of how you should look in order to be and feel OK, I tell you to let go, to flow, and to consider how much energy is invested and perenially wasted by a tumultuous flock of glossy and aspirational beauty seekers. Looking, undersatanding and being beautiful does not mean having to buy an expensive prism to realize it.

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