Okay, that title is mine. The Guest Post to follow does come from GRACE S.
You know if you’ve seen resources like this one, just how profoundly shocking it is to see how commonly images are tweaked. The vanity surgeries and makeup and lighting aren’t enough, evidently. Nor is it enough to select uncommonly “perfect” looking candidates for being celebrities and models.
Retouch? Really so wonderful?
My opinion, Blog-Buddies, is that retouching is one more way to be out of touch.
- Out of touch with reality, where human beings look the way they do without having to plasticize themselves.
- Out of touch with inner life, which suffers with every stroke of the vanity surgeon’s knife, every tweak of an image accepted as normal.
- Out of touch with a person’s true gifts of the soul. Although photoshopping an image won’t affect that person’s soul, cosmetic surgery can. Not necessarily in a bad way. But often the shift takes the unfortunate client towards greater mediocrity.
Face reading, done for 10,000 years, reveals the recpirocal relationship between the soul (the inner person, in vivid and very human detail) and the sacred spiritual symbol of human life, the physical face.
We disrespect that value of the natural face… and we can slow down our spiritual evolution, limit our authenticity. A perfect valid choice to make with free will, and one that can win popularity points in today’s society! But is it worth the inner price?
A thread developed about responding to today’s vanity culture, especially if raising children. The words below come from GRACE S., the headlines and a bit of copy editing mine. You go, GRACE!
Wisdom from Grace S. about raising a kid who takes normal for granted
Since [my son JOE] was little we talked about how beautiful our bodies are to imprint him with that basic idea. (And my husband has struggled with weight gain, and we still would talk about what a beautiful man he was while coming out of the shower or changing).
We would also try to find something to appreciate in strangers who look different, like a gorgeous smile or playful disposition.
Personally, I grew up in America but secluded with immigrants who found my body to be repulsive (being rail thin) they valued a hearty, healthy farm stock. Anyway, I certainly dont take for granted that all of this beauty is culturally dictated and fad motivated.
Distinguishing how people look from the content of their character
This week in his a book someone is being called “Fatty Doodi,” and Ive been working on how its ok to talk about what someone did, e.g., He acted like a jerk. He made me mad.
But it not ok to make fun of how someone looks because youre mad at what he did.
It just doesnt make any sense.
Work on expressing what youre really feeling and experiencing. Get it out. Feel heard. Then work on asking for what you DO want and need from that person.
Bullying via Facebook and elsewhere
Weve also had to walk our talk with this with another example from recent local politics. Somehow our son got pinned with starting all this smack-talk about a politician. And all the other parents are deeply humored by this, especially on Facebook.
I can completely understand. But on the side I have brought up with them that its not my kid. In our family, we do not call people names. Not even when we dont agree with what they are doing!
Dignity and life skills are what I really believe in.
It bugs me that theres this double standard out there about what is bullying behavior.
Mockery is cruel and not ok under any circumstance.
We need to have deeper conversations, empowering conversations (politics for example, so you dont feel like a victim) about these basic, everyday issues, addressing difference.
Further parenting ideas
Im with JILL, we dont do TV & pop magazines at home. So Joe is not getting those imprinted into his subconscious so much.
Its not as much about sheltering him, its more about age-appropriate viewing. What he can understand at what age — JOE is now turning five.
For example, we do talk about how advertising works (which, LOL, is my husbands field). We discuss that you ARE getting tricked and manipulated and preyed upon.
Heres a funny example from last year. It was a rare stop at a fast food joint and JOE wanted one of those cheap toys.
He was so smitten by the image/ad that I knew enough to clearly let him know that the toy would be vastly different.
JOE still wanted it. Fair enough. No sooner than he opened it did he want to stomp on it out of resentment for it not living up to his expectations.
I couldnt blame him.
We talked about how let down he was, and how he got tricked. We discussed how its very normal (and easy) to try to trick someone into buying something. (Stealing your money is the name of the game).
Here Be Monsters
A great book we have read twice now is “Here Be Monsters.” Its long and chock full of detailed illustrations, a compelling read with characters one can easily identify with, action with no violence, btw.
But heres to the point. One of the main subplots is about advertising, creating insecurities in order to sell.
For us, this has been a good parenting tool to talk about these themes of manipulation in a non-threatening way.
Thanks for asking! [Blog-Buddies, the reference her follows how I had asked GRACE S. to write a comment on the topic of parenting related to this thread. So glad she did. :-)]
My son is not going to escape societal pressures, for goodness sake. But my goal is that hes not blind-sided, thus inordinately swayed by them.
Plus that JOE feels valued for something other than his beauty, e.g., Being a good climber, bike rider, friend, conversationalist and more.
The pressures are there for boys too, but dear Lord, Im never going to have to deal with These socks dont make me look pretty tantrums or You shouldnt wear layers, they make you look fat.
Both of these statements being quotes from three-year old girls that JOE learned from daycare.