My Consumerist Ego
Media tells us that the body is an object to be bought and sold through advertising. The consumer is promised that they will have a better relationship with their own body by possessing the product. The body can be objectified and even exploited by others who have a different relationship with our bodies. It is a consumerist battleground. I always feel like I am being told that my body is not the norm, that I should not be satisfied with it, even though I know that this is an illusion. It is through this work I reclaim it.
I am my body, however I feel like I am talking to someone else when I am listening to my inner dialogue. How do I become disconnected from myself? How do I reconnect? The disconnect may begin when we start to validate the inner dialogue. We may have been hearing a lot of abuse for a long time, so the willingness to consider not all of our thoughts are true is difficult. Through self-validation I begin to have a greater acceptance of my own internal experience, my thoughts and feelings. This doesn’t mean that I have to believe my thoughts or think my feelings are justified. There are many times that I have thoughts that surprise me or that don’t reflect my values or what I know is true. I have feelings that I know aren’t justified. If I fight the thoughts and feelings, or judge myself for having them, that just supports suffering. I miss out on important information about who I am as a person.
Validation gives permission to identify with one’s own body and to reject the objectified and exploitative images and claims the media makes on it. It is a life-long process though, to differentiate from my consumerist ego side. Sometimes the act of buying things makes me feel good. People are more than consumers, and identifying with any limited concept of myself depletes my spirit in the end. If what I value is something beyond my Self — consumer products, for instance — then I start to believe I am headed away from a Unique Self. I know what the producer values for me is something other than my Unique Self. How do I hold on to this Unique Self?
Here is an art directive that I challenge those who are reading this to explore. The purpose of this blog is to improve one’s body image through art making. I am assuming those who are reading this are seeking a means of healing by exploring creativity and emotion. The next time you find yourself needing to buy something that will effect your self-image, I want you to ask yourself these questions and follow the art directive.
1. What am I am feeling right now?
-Make an art piece that represents this. It can be a drawing, a painting, a small collage of images that you connect with.
2. How will I benefit from the results of the transaction or purchase?
-Make an art piece that represents this.
3. If the answer is that “I wont” to question 2, ask yourself can I achieve this in another way?
4. If you have found this blog on Facebook or Linkedin, post a picture of your art response