Archive for October 26, 2008

More on the body – does my pikacho stink?

Posted in Musings with tags , , , , on October 26, 2008 by xxxicana

As Oniontears and Adriana have remarked, social norms have eased up over the past few decades. I’m sure this has much to do with feminism and the Women’s Movement(s) — specifically Title IX which mandated that schools provide equal access to sports and athletics to girls/women. When I was a child, I wasn’t allowed on the soccer team cuz I was a girl. Now, it seems like some type of sport is considered healthy and normal for girls (which I think is good). Of course women DO sweat. And we need products!

Oniontears went through so many brands of deodorant looking for one that smelled right. Personally, I have not used deodorant since I was in Jr. High school. I use perfume on occasion (when I remember, my favorite is Shalimar — very old school). I prefer that men NOT use deodorant or cologne, but can put up with it. I like the way people smell (and there’s evidence that smell is an important factor in mate selection). I bathe nearly everyday (abstaining only when staying at home all day) so I don’t feel a need to cover up my body’s odor. Mr. Man REALLY abstains from bathing (like any good hippie) — he sees it as his part in reducing his impact on the earth (actually, he just doesn’t like to bathe). Fortunately for me, it takes quite a while for him to become so rank that I have to insist that he shower. His favorite cologne is Old Spice! This is so retro it is cool!

So where is this going? I guess back to the point where consumerism, gender difference, and the body intersect. Marketing campaigns have convinced us that we stink. There are products to mask the natural odors of our skin, hair, breath, arm pits, and even our “pikachos” (to quote Chelsea Handler). We are are constantly encouraged to turn our gaze to our bodies to ensure that we are projecting the right message to the right people. I do like to shop, but I also realize that I am being manipulated into DESIRING. Advertisers not only want us to buy specific products, but they want to create in us a strong sense of desire. This directed desire is illusory much like that created by pornography (just for the record, I’m not against erotic material). Through the barrage of media, we form desires and we come to believe that these desires can be met by consuming. We have been transformed from people into consumers. As consumers we become data points in demographic studies to be used to cater to and shape our desires. But these desires and the products aimed towards fulfilling those desires are not meant to make our lives “better.” Rather, the point is to purchase stuff to satiate our marketer created desires. Am I wearing the season’s new hot color (purple for fall 08)? Am I driving the right car (for my demographic, it’s the Cadillac SRS)? Am I using the right skin product (Botox or Rejuviderm)? The products themselves, of course, will not actually fill the voids I feel. Will I attract friends and lovers? Will my status be promoted and displayed? Will I be able to put my “best face” forward? Products cannot fulfill us. The big web of lies contained within advertising, however, keeps us perpetually trapped. I LOVE TO SHOP. I have, however, cut way back on the amount of advertising I was consuming before. I have only one magazine script, Mother Earth News (but don’t believe that it’s not filled with ads also. I nearly plunked out $300 for a compostor until I realized I could make one with hog wire sitting in the back yard). My biggest fear is becoming a grotesque imitation of Edwina (AbFab) — the boozy, dumpy, muffin topped, and superficial consumer of every new fad (including Zen Buddhism).

Yikes! I fit some of the descriptors!!! (I once even threatened my daughter that I was going to adopt a Romanian orphan! LOL). [For the record, I stopped smoking almost 2 years ago].

These are just my musings for the day as I sip my coffee. Hope your day is AbFab!

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Antique Show

Posted in Musings with tags , , on October 26, 2008 by xxxicana

Went to an Antique Show today with Patti – lots of cool stuff! I bought vintage pyrex refrigerator dishes which I have been desiring as of late. Here’s my find:

This set is in pristine condition, I really lucked out. These were standard household items before the proliferation of plastic. I would like to eliminate plastic from my life as much as possible/feasible. I’m not entirely a nutty Luddite — but it is important to me to reduce my consumption of non-renewable resources. It is SO hard to cut out plastic. Every week I assiduously sort our trash, compost our kitchen waste (unless Mr. Man makes coffee. I just can’t get him to put the coffee grounds in the compost container) and equivocate during purchases to buy products with the least amount of packaging. Still, we end up with plastic trash each week. I bought tilapia fillets recently from the frozen food section. Big mistake. The fillets were in individual plastic pouches inside a larger plastic pouch. It seems that plastic is wrapped around almost everything! Anyway, I just love my new pyrex dishes. They feel so retro and now I want to redo the kitchen into a retro 40s look (the Tuscan orange clashes with my red mixer anyway). Don’t tell Mr. Man . . . I’m still working on repainting the bathroom!

I had lots of fun at the antique show with Patti. Darn, I forgot to take pictures. I was just enthralled by all the cool stuff.