Summer: Beginning



Summer is officially here. After winning a 3.86 GPA this semester, and beginning work full time next week, summer seems to hardly be staying with me at all, though!

I’ve been reading Nabokov, Heller, and taking lots of photographs downtown. Meghan left for D.C. yesterday, and Wednesday she and Jackson had a barbecue, complete with potato salad, chips, brownies, cookies, burgers and hot dogs. ¬†I drove down for the day to pick up parking permits and do nothing at all. We drank mimosas, lounged on chairs outdoors, fended off wasps and played various backyard games. The day was almost as perfect as one could hope for.

Bower, the skittish cat, made a few cameos. Mark performed card tricks that left everybody mind boggled. Shelby and Jake didn’t stay long, just long enough to eat food and lament their early departures. We all discussed nothing and everything, and when the sun started dipping low, I hopped back into the car and departed. The 1.5 hour drive yielded some of the most gorgeous clouds I have ever witnessed.

Lately I’ve been running in the evening with Kristin, which has been beyond magnificent. I missed running, and my body is getting back into the rhythm beautifully. It’s like it was just hibernating. I find running to be a total release from everything stressful or confusing, and it smooths out the wrinkles in my life better than most things.

Anyway, enjoy some photographs from my life recently!

Culture of Anxiety

The more I look at advertising for beauty products, skin products, make-up, etc., I find it’s all about:

Do you have _____? (Insert problem here, whether actual or imaginary)

Well, here is the solution: __________ (Insert “solution” here)

Really, guys?

A majority of the advertising that I see for women and beauty products (and also for men, too!) ¬†focuses on capitalizing on our fear that we aren’t enough: Our eyes aren’t big enough, our lips aren’t soft enough, our skin isn’t flawless enough, etc.- despite the fact that Perfection is impossible, these advertisements make it possible to have Perfection, but only with this equation:

Your Money + This Product

Perhaps I am being overly simplistic, and I am certainly not claiming that ALL advertising plays upon fear, or even that 100% of advertising for beauty products does this, but one must admit that A LOT of advertising plays upon the fear of lacking. That without the product advertised, you won’t get kissed by that gorgeous guy, or your friends won’t admire you, or you might even miss the chance to find your next lover – a few scenarios that have been shown in the media, among others.

Below is essentially a few forms of advertising:

Naturally, it’s been effective for almost a century. Listerine is a GREAT example: It actually had advertisements that suggested that mouth wash would help a woman’s chances of catching a mate because she’ll have fresh breath, and that without it she might be putting herself at risk for BEING ALONE FOREVER!!! (The ad shown is from 1923)

Seriously, though, this form of advertising is effective for making money, but what harm does it do to the psyche and self esteem of people? It would be nice to say that many Americans are media literate enough to realize when they are being tricked into feeling that they aren’t good enough, and that with “x” they could be, but that simply isn’t the case- the fact that these advertisements continue proves this.

My realization is not original, nor is it really anything shocking. I think we all know this. It just gets tiring to be told through multiple mediums that I am not enough, and this exhaustion is surely felt by others.