Sketching

Why Do We Give in?

Starlight Cupcakes 017

We live in the world of mass production where a rare thing is created as unique one. Houses and T-shirts, big and small objects often look alike as if they were cupcakes from one lot. But strangely enough, I don’t really care. Things are things. If they are comfortable and not utterly ugly I can live within them and don’t cry about the fact that the tablecloth of mine is not a piece of handmade lace from the nineteenth century. But I don’t like dealing with predictable patterns of mind, ready-made ideas and molded lives.

Many years ago I saw a documentary footage from the 1950s. A woman’s body silhouette was cut out in a big piece of cardboard, and young girls in swimming suits stepped into it one after another to check if their bodies were close in shape to the prescribed standard of beauty.

While standing in line all the girls looked slim and perfectly shaped, but the moment they entered the stencil form the only thing you could see was that they didn’t fit. Some had smaller breasts, some had bigger buttocks, and some were shorter or taller than the cut-out ideal profile. It made you feel sorry for very beautiful girls.

Today the ‘ideal’ patterns are not cut out of cardboard; they are spread much more aggressively by mass media and become part of our mind not only in the area of physical beauty. They touch everything. They dictate all of us what to like, what to dream about, what to believe in and how to live as if we were cupcakes from one lot. Personality doesn’t count because it doesn’t fit.

I keep questioning myself why do we give in. Why do we allow someone or something affect our vision, our choices, our lives? Why do we try to fit even when we know that the ideal is false? Are we that insecure or is it just easier this way? I know there are people strong enough to stand up for themselves, those who stay who they are no matter what. I want to learn their secret, I want to be one of a kind. Don’t you? Perhaps you’re already there.

 

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16 thoughts on “Why Do We Give in?”

  1. Excellent points. I worry my grandchildren will fall prey to this mentality as they grow up. Most of the time I can’t understand what people see in a certain “fad”. Take Coach for example – everywhere I look I see people with a Coach something-or-other. I’m not spending the equivalent of a car payment on a purse that isn’t all that functional! Sorry, rant finished. I really enjoyed your post!

  2. It’s not easy establishing our own sense of identify in today’s world. Like you said, some very smart people purposely exploit our insecurities for profit. Telling us to be someone or something which is often in achievable. I think you may already know part of the answer. Place your time and effort in you, and less on physical objects. Because “things” can be brought, sold, replicated and replaced, but u as an individual are timeless. The best investment u’ll ever make is in yourself, and the more time u invest, the easier it will be to stand up against the propaganda, because your sense of self-identify will be so strong. Good luck, and great life question. Makes me think…..

    1. Thank you. Sorry, I don’t remember the name, it was so long ago when I watched it, but this black and white picture of women trying to fill in the stencil shape is vivid in my mind.

  3. You bring up an excellent point and a concern we all should have for kids these days. I don’t know how I did it but I raised three very unique kids who don’t try to be a cupcake. I’m proud of them and I have a feeling they will do their best to raise their children the same way when the time comes.

    I’m not sure why some people have a stronger sense of self than others. My best friend and I talk about this a lot. We don’t know the answer either.

    1. Maybe part of the answer lies in the education and each family’s values so you if you raised your children the right way they will help their kids to develop the sense of self-identity. And the other way around.

  4. Very interesting and insightful. I’m seriously turned off by stereotypical thinking and the idea that everybody should fit a certain mold. And yet I have trouble accepting my no longer young body shape. I rail at the clothing industry which has changed sizes and patterns to fit the current ideal feminine shape.

  5. How boring the world would become if we all looked alike, talked alike, ate alike, dressed alike and so on.
    To each his own.
    Freedom to think, talk, write, say, speak, wonder and wander, eat, grow- freedom in everything is what is needed.

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