ADvertising™, Media & Commercialism

Ah, yes… Commercialism and media – the number one place we like to point our fingers when looking for someone to blame for the hyper-sexualization of young girls who are already fat-phobic by the age of 10. And how about the alarming increase in eating disorders around the world? Can we blame that on ye old mass media, too?

Before we proceed, it’s important to point out that everyone’s sense of self was not exclusively developed by the media surrounding them, but by their home, school and social environments. Children witnessing a parent consistently putting him or herself down are (likely) on a fast track to developing a distorted sense of self. We look to our families for guidance. We look to our friends for acceptance, fun and trust. When a person we hold to high standards inadvertently tells us that ‘fat’ or ‘wrinkles’ are things to be feared, it’s filed away somewhere in our brains for years to come, if not for a lifetime.

That being said, media undoubtedly has a huge impact on who and what we become. We are surrounded by advertising and commercialism more now than at any other time in history. In the same way that we’ve seen major cities build up higher and higher in order to utilize what limited space they have, we’ve seen advertising spill over onto every clear, unused surface imaginable. Would you have thought to put a huge mural on the outside of your local card shop? Probably not, but the storeowner knew that by essentially renting out that ‘space,’ he or she could bring in some extra income every month.

We’re exposed to advertising via billboards, internet, social media, television, magazines, movies, sports, music, bus stops, newspapers, cereal boxes, cell phones, the car we just followed over the last 5 miles in bumper to bumper traffic and even the pens with which we sign our dinner checks. Advertising is everywhere. Just when I think all the bases have been covered and ads have been put on everything imaginable, I walk down the street just to see yet another new, innovative use of blank space.

And you thought the ads on your shopping cart were annoying… ;)

One of the most integral stances of REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN™ is that we must choose our battles wisely and use what resources we have. As much as so many people would like to hope, advertising and mass media are not going away. In the same way that architecture and real estate will always find new ways to expand up and out, so will media. Rather than trying to fight these behemoth entities, why not try to be a part of what forms them? Why not try to reform and reshape the media we’re exposed to rather than fight the inevitable? I’ve worked in the music industry as a businesswoman and an artist, acted and dabbled in modeling. I got sick and tired of hearing that this was just the way it was going to be. Women being exploited in ads towering over our city streets? Little girls dressing sexier at younger and younger ages? We can’t make media go away, but we can try to positively influence it. Why not use this to our advantage to spread the kind of media and messages we WANT to see?


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