On the toxic nature of capitalism…
‘Loving Yourself Shouldn’t Be A ‘Radical’ Thing To DoLisa Fouweather
Unfortunately, In A Society That Capitalises On Our Self Hate, To Love Ourselves Is THE Most Radical Thing We Can Do…’
Capitalism thrives off our insecurities, and, we live in a capitalist society, which means that society thrives off our insecurities.
For society to continue in the way that it is currently operating, for consumerism to remain at the core of life essentially, society must keep us in a state of, what can only be described as, perpetual fear–
fear of not being enough,
fear of being too much-
contradiction lying at the heart of it all because, with a constantly changing narrative of who we are, and who/what we should be, we remain trapped in the cycle of capitalism/consumerism, whereby we’re led to believe that we can ‘buy’ our happiness*
*(Disclaimer: we can’t).
It’s no coincidence that trends in fashion, makeup, heck, even our bodies– we are even sold body types- are constantly changing…
Big bum, small waist.
Small bum, curvy waist,
the ‘in’ thing is constantly shifting form.
How wrong this is. How wrong that our bodies are commodified, the one thing guaranteed to never be wrong, and yet, the very thing that most of us feel the most insecure about, believing that our bodies are responsible for our feelings of ‘wrongness’/that they lie at the source of it all…
It is for this very reason- this deep-rooted inner feeling of ‘wrongness’ we experience, that explains why so many people turn to surgery, to manufacture the ‘perfect’ body, taking fat from their bums and putting it in their cheeks because, only fat in certain areas is ‘acceptable.’
Now, I have nothing against cosmetic surgery, in and of itself, just as I have nothing against makeup. I very much believe that people should have the choice to do whatever they want with their bodies and, if that means going ‘under the knife’, then so be it. But, what I am against, however, is a society that makes us feel like we must have surgery, or like we must wear makeup, or like we must lose weight, whatever it is that we feel like we ‘must’ do, changing our bodies in some way, in order for us to be worthy of even just living, it sometimes feels like. Because, God Forbid a woman who has lines on her forehead, or who has anything that exists outside of the socially constructed, (by a capitalist society, surprise surprise), beauty standards.
In such a sorrowful situation as this, whereby we are told that we ourselves are inherently ‘wrong’, it really is no wonder then that eating disorders continue to wreak havoc on so many lives, food being labelled and sold to us as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ as much as our bodies are. And, unfortunately, whilever we’re continuing to buy into capitalism, things are only going to get worse, as statistics highlight…
Boys are being diagnosed with eating disorders at an unprecedented rate. Whereas once upon a time it was only women who had the pleasure, (note the sarcasm here), of having every element of their bodies microanalysed and deemed to be either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ (insecure women were seen as an ‘easy target’, easy to manipulate), now society is getting greedy- it wants to sell more, and so, boys and men are now also fed the extremely harmful narrative of there being a ‘right’ body and a ‘wrong’ body…’
As something you literally have to live inside of, every single day, for all of your days (your body), it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to ignore the offer of a solution to feeling ‘wrong’, at whatever cost. It is for this reason, this desperation that people feel to be accepted, that explains why any industry concerning changing our bodies in some way- The diet industry, cosmetics/makeup, surgery, clothes, fitness– are so profitable.
These industries are so profitable because our supposed ‘shortcomings’ are impossible to ignore when they’re not just something that we acquire, like a phone, for example… If you were told that your phone was too outdated and no longer ‘in’, you’d just go out and buy a new one. We’re told that our biggest shortcomings, though, are ourselves, our bodies, something that we are…
We cannot go out and just ‘buy’ another body, but we can, and do, buy into any and all supposed ‘solutions’ that offer us a sense of relief from all the parts of ourselves that we’re told, for whatever (solely monetary) reason, are ‘wrong.’
The problem with this, however, is that; no sooner are we sold an ideal/no sooner have we handed over our money in return for the supposed ‘solution’ to all our problems, than we’re being sold something else, the latest ‘must have.’ Like a carrot being dangled in front of us, constantly, we’re forever chasing the, wholly unattainable, temptation that we’re offered- the magic formula that will ‘cure’ us of all our insecurities, despite none of it, not even society itself, being real…*
*(When I talk about ‘society’ here, I’m referring to the structure of society, all of which is, and, I hate to be so repetitive but it has to be said, rooted in capitalism).
Such a deep rooted structure as capitalism will, inevitably, take time to break down, I’m not naïve in thinking otherwise, but, we can revolt. We made society- it is very much a ‘human construct’- so we can change it. But, to do so, we must be willing to accept that so too must we change (a difficult one)…
‘Difficult’ because, human beings are profit driven. The sum of our parts, we are materialistic, and we buy into capitalism. This doesn’t make us ‘bad’ people, we’re simply living our lives in the way that our current society is structured… But, in order for capitalism to become a ‘thing of the past’, us human beings must, as a collective, open our eyes to what is really happening. We must open our eyes to the fact that;
Society doesn’t love us.
If it did, we wouldn’t be made to suffer like we are. We wouldn’t be constantly made to feel ‘wrong.’ We wouldn’t be treated like puppets on a string, controlled by, and at the mercy of, capitalism.
While it’s not so overt these days due to shifting trends reflecting an increase in self-care/body positivity/general inclusivity driven marketing- (toxic)- the underlying message behind the supposedly ‘positive’ marketing is the same. It’s all still driven by the same old narrative that it’s always been driven by; ‘you’re not good enough as you are, but with our product, you can be’, consumerism being offered up as a solution to our insecurities when it is, in fact, the very source of them…
This ^ is the reality.
And so, I’ll say it again: Society doesn’t love us.
We are still made to suffer.
We are still made to feel ‘wrong.’
We are still, as I said in this post, ‘puppets on a string.’
(We are the puppets, capitalism the puppeteer).
And so, the most radical thing we can do in the face of all this, in the face of a society that thrives off our insecurities/that relies on us feeling ‘wrong’, so endowed in self-hate, perfectly primed to buy into ridiculous ‘solutions’, is to make love, the opposite of hate, our default.
To love ourselves deeply-
as much as we love others deeply.
To be free of capitalism-
this is the most radical thing we can do, so, let’s bloody do it!!