Do you know who this woman is?
I don’t. But apparently she’s ‘famous’ and her name is Kim Kardashian.
Wikipedia says she is a celebutante (huh?), socialite, model, actress and television personality who has a sex tape in circulation. Sounds like she’s making a real contribution to society, doesn’t she?
You may be wondering why I am picking on this defenceless media poser, and really I don’t mean to. I know nothing about this woman, so it’s quite possible she’s a lovely human being who just happens to to like having her photo taken and getting her kit off for amateur film makers.
What I do have a problem with is the notion that people like this and the Paris Hiltons of the world are held up in the media spotlight like they are important or more interesting than you and I, when in truth they have no discernable talent or achievements to speak of.
Is it just me, or has the developed world become a very shallow place where marketing is sold as news and we believe all that glitters is indeed gold?
In fact, unless it’s shiny and glittering we don’t want to know about it. Fame, wealth, perky breasts, unlined faces, and designer labels modeled by your favorite celebrity – apparently this is what matters.
The following articles I read recently left me feeling more than a bit depressed.
Women and Body Image: Ten Disturbing Facts – illustrates the widening gap between media images of women and the actual living, breathing kind.
A Community for Good Looking People – Vered at Momgrind takes aim at a ridiculous new website where you can upload your photo and have your appearance graded by perfect strangers. If you’re lucky you might be ticked as “stunning”, or your self esteem might take a beating if some idiot decides you’re actually “horrifying”.
Celebrity New Mothers Put Your Clothes back on Dammit! – Australian journalist, Mia Freedman vents her frustration at the media’s preoccupation with celebrity mothers and their post baby bodies. The unfortunate truth is if you’re reading a general news article about motherhood, there’s a good chance it’s the typical celebrity photo spread where an actress is paid an obscene amount of money to flash some skin and let us common folk in on the secret to how she shed that dreaded baby weight. Because everyone knows this is what new mothers should be thinking about in those first few months of their baby’s life.
N.Y Post Cartoon Picks on Jessica Simpson’s Weight – Ridiculing a woman’s body isn’t satire or funny. Shame on them.
What kind of fucked up world do we live in when learning how to be a mother comes second to having toned abs?
You can dismiss this as filler for mindless women’s magazines, but at what point does the filler become so prevalent that it actually distorts people’s perceptions of what’s important and newsworthy?
The Jessica Simpson ‘story’ came to my attention via news headlines. Yes, hard to believe, but media reaction to a young woman’s body shape was deemed general news. So much so that even the President of the United States was supposed to have an opinion on this breaking cover story. Are you kidding me?
We have become so sold on the notion that image and success are everything that we’ll buy overpriced undies just because David Beckham advertises them, it’s okay for magazines to deliver us photoshopped cartoon like images sold as real beauty, and teenage models who have barely finished developing are used to showcase clothes that only adult women can actually afford.
Image, fame and material success have become everything, while substance, virtue and courage are too often relegated to the back of the news stories.
The world watched Britney Spears’ meltdown with bated breath and salivates over self indulgent, drugged out actors like Lindsay Lohan, while around the world people die from starvation and genocide and you’ll be lucky if it makes page 12 of the paper.
I think all this media focus on the trivial is part of a much greater societal change. Real problems, real people, hell, even spending REAL MONEY that you earned, none of it is “cool” anymore.
We’re all being sold on a fantasy:
You can look like Heidi Klum if you just diet and exercise enough
You can look young forever
You have the right to endless credit
You need a bigger house and a better car than your neighbours
It’s all crap. Society is caught up in an hypnotic pull of so many lies it can’t see straight, and slowly but surely it’s destroying us.
Sorry if I sound negative, but I am feeling very disillusioned with where the world is heading these days. I think something has to change and fast. It’s like we have too much money and no sense.
Maybe this is the harsh lesson we have to learn from the global financial meltdown.
Forget about the BMW, the McMansion, the plastic surgery, the $200 miracle face creams and get back to basics.
Look inside yourself and see who you really are and forget about comparing yourself to others.
If you’re lucky the answer will be an average sized, healthy adult with a few cuddly bits and a lot of smile lines; plus a job, a loving family, a roof over your head and friends to share a meal with. If you’re really blessed, you might even have a satisfying career, an annual holiday and hobbies which make your weekends fly by.
If you have all these things, then my grandmother’s generation would have thought you were rich and most definitely successful. It’s a shame somewhere along the line that message got lost.
What do you think? Should I just settle back down and take a CHILL PILL, or is society really losing the plot?
Flickr Photo1 by BiggerPictureImages.com and
Flickr Photo2 by kampol likitkanjanakul, pop. FASHION