As with so much else in our society, one’s sense of worth is derived from without, rather than from within. We often find ourselves defined by what we do and what we have, not who we are at the core of our being.
I suspect this is a source of much pain for so many of us and I, for one, have spent most of my life disentangling from this monumental system of memes that serves no one well, except perhaps those who make their fame and their fortunes from our inner turmoil. What used to be known as “keeping up with the Joneses” has grown to epic proportions as everything escalates to a grand crescendo of materialism, exponentially widening the gap between those perceived to be haves and have-nots.
For all intents and purposes, it looks like we are a society gone mad. The obsession with catcalls during a ten-hour stroll through New York City two weeks ago yielded to Kim Kardashian’s literal exposure this week, first in print media. This inevitably leeched into social media and leapfrogged back into mainstream media as daytime and evening talk shows all picked up the feed, reaching ridiculous proportions by week’s end. It was difficult to not see or hear about Kardiasian’s latest stunt, even if you don’t participate in regularly scheduled programming or FaceBook. Whether the images are a result of Photo Shop or plastic surgery is besides the point. Alteration of the physical body to be more attractive is a sad commentary on who we are.
I realize my commentary here contributes to the cacophony of nonsense, and I’m sure there are many women and perhaps not a few men, who are saddened by what this says about our society’s view of women and of our society in general.
Primarily it’s about ‘bread and circuses’ as a distraction from all of the issues needing our attention and intelligent discourse.
Or is it?
Distraction from ‘important’ issues? What could be more important that stopping us dead in our tracks — to look in the mirror and compare ourselves to those of perceived fame and fortune, only to find we fall short? If we don’t feel good about ourselves, about what we do, where we live, what we own, and how we look, it’s highly unlikely we will be prepared to open our mouths to offer our opinion — whether it’s frustration or solution — to what we are facing collectively. Many of us go to extremes to avoid attracting this kind of attention. Better to talk about Kim Kardasian, or even better still to remain silent and unseen. Let someone else do battle for us. On the sidelines we are safe.
But are we really?
I can’t help but wonder why this particular pot is being stirred lately. Why is feminism all of a sudden a hot topic? Why get women and again, men, so riled up? Long-term plans in play here for could point to agitating the general populace into championing a woman candidate in the next Presidential election. And it puts into play those who seek to maintain the status quo, perhaps even ‘turn back the clock, to keep women in their place’ by maintaining control of our bodies and our minds on so many levels. This is a classic example of divide and conquer… but conquer whom, and at what cost? And what is the prize being sought?
Knowing the iron fist in the velvet glove, be it male or female, does not rule our self worth unless we allow it to is a good place to start in this process of truly freeing ourselves from the tyranny of those who would have us cower in the shadows of low self esteem.
We are so much more than we are told from the day we are born. It’s time to look in the mirror and see ourselves as if for the first time, and know ourselves to be the incredible, beautiful, creative beings that we were born to be, to know that we’ve had the power within us all along.
It’s time to show up.
(This post was inspired by many deep, thoughtful conversations with Cesca, whom I am privileged to call my daughter and my friend.)
Copyright 2014 by Donna Cerame. All rights reserved.