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Even more of a freak

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Nov. 12th, 2001 | 02:24 am

So I just finished reading an interesting book can't buy my love about the large scale effects of all of the smaller manipulations created by advertisers.

I tend to agree with the author that being submerged in a culture of mass media has deleterious effects on those stuck in it.



I think the media messages about the narrow standard of beauty for women, the rampant sexuality, the rampant violence, the complete absence of healthy relationships, the use of addiction (to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and shoping) as a coping strategy, the idealization of the rugged individualist over a considerate member of society, the promise that if you buy it now all your problems will be gone.

Most of those themes are reflected in many movies, TV shows, and advertisements. Even in Monsters, Inc. the "love interest" still had something resembling a young emaciated human woman, while the other older woman character only received compliments as a way to get out of trouble.

I hold the belief that all of those themes are toxic to actually having a functional society, relationships, or self.

Although media literacy is a good technique for learning how to dissect the propaganda, it's hard to maintain the level of focus needed to properly protect oneself against the messages.

So as far as I'm concerned the best strategy is to minimize ones exposure as much as possible.

It surprising to me how many people find the above disturbing, and try to convince me that it's okay to watch some TV. Or that it's even necessary to watch to know how they're trying to manipulate people.

And yet I watch the people who are telling me this engage in compulsively buying stuff to sooth their emotional hurts.

I used to spend money to make me feel better, I've gotten much, much better at only buying stuff that I actually have a use for. (Okay, so the wireless networking thing probably doesn't count but I only spent $200 getting it working.)

I've had problems with thinking I was too fat, and yet, instead of turning to weight-loss products like some large fraction of the population of american women, I'm trying to teach myself to not to worry what my actual weight is but make sure that I get enough exercise and eat a nutritious diet, not fast, but far healthier for me.

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