Its interesting how much we cater to the societal expectations of beauty. Even in rebellion. Welcome to Gravity, My Enemy. This week I wanted to talk about Valentine’s Day (Like literally every other year.)
We have this one day set aside to get gifts and romantics from people, everything turns red or pink and condom sales boost by a marginal percent in the days leading up to it.
We as a society are extremely focused on how things look, something I’ve spoken of before especially in correlation with Valentine’s Day is that we want our lives to be some sort of spectacle. My conservative adult friends tell me it is social media’s fault and my liberal younger friends tell me that people do it for themselves and to escape societal norms, which, if that were the case, wouldn’t we be relatively silent about it?
By this I mean no disrespect to the people who want to make their lives seem glamorous or more fun than they really are, unless you’re intentionally misleading others. That’s not cool.
Still, I see a lot of posts now a days of men or women who put themselves out on social media in a strange outfit or some kind of sensational imagery posted alongside them with the expressed purpose of standing out. I’m a fan of uniqueness, in many of its forms but can’t uniqueness be derived from humble and silent means instead of boisterous ones?
Wearing baggy clothing as a girl doesn’t have to mean that you are rebellious or tomboyish, it literally means you like baggy clothes and dude pockets because Valentine’s Day just passed by and you still have thirty seven condoms you didn’t use lying around in your bedroom, might as well take them and go make condom art.
(Don’t make condom art. Or do. .The choice is yours, just… consider placing condoms on public property extremely carefully. If you get caught vandalizing a stature of General Patton, well. I’m not going to be here to help assist you.)
Still, men in tight fitting clothing doesn’t have to be some grand break away from societal norms either, I like slim pants, a kid I know loves pleather. There is nothing to be gained or lost by how we dress and we as a society like to emphasize the shit out of it.
“Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”
Well, ideally, I’d like to be a full time writer but I’m not going to stroll into a 90 degree kitchen in a cardigan, robe and no pants. Get out of here with that. I’m going to be comfortable and wear what I enjoy.
This concept goes a step further I think with cosmetic enhancements. I saw someone on my Twitter TL the other day talking about wanting a boob reduction, not because she had large and cumbersome boobs but because “No one gets breast reductions + I want to show the patriarchy that I am in control of my own body.”
Call me crazy, but perhaps being in control of your own body might have less to do with the size of your boobs, and more to do with the control of your body.
This comes off as patriarchal to some, I’m sure. To those of you who are assuming I am part of the He-Man Woman Hater Club, allow me to reassure you. You can do whatever you want.
With whoever you want.
Whenever you want.
Hopefully that will have cleared up some of the smoke from the hollow gunshots I did not mean to fire into the crowd, yet somehow there are people who will still assume as such.
The point to all of this is that working so hard to fight something with actions like this, i.e. doing the opposite of the norm, quickly goes from a powerful statement to useless expense or banter in no time flat.
Have you ever used a word so much that it lost its meaning to you? I’ve laid centuries worth of vulgarities and the words themselves have lost the initial punch they had when I first heard them, these powerful statements are a lot like that.
Wearing extremely thin clothing in the winter is not a symbol of your oppression. It is a stupid decision, are you trying to get hypothermia? I don’t’ understand.
Similarly, men, those of us who steer into the skid of being “girly” by acting and overcompensating, trying to make the world believe you chop down redwoods with your hand, just be cool. It is okay to have feminine qualities and it is okay to have masculine qualities. I promise you it is not going to kill you. It will actually make you see things in a different light. Much like, for instance…
See, we spend so much time trying to make ourselves stand out that we lose sight of the actual uniqueness within us. Clothing and physique are massive signals to others that lead to clues about our personalities. Men in suits, probably are either Mormon or have office/business jobs, men in overalls are likely mechanics. Etc. This applies to all people. I dress in flannel and tye dye exclusively. If you assume I’m either a hippy server who smokes a lot of weed or a gay hipster who will tell you why every album released in 2005 is only good for nostalgia sake, you would be half right.
(Not gay, I haven’t taken any of the electric lettuce in many months and bands that wee big in 2005 are still in HEAVY rotation on my Spotify playlist, I promise you. Fall Out Boy is A1 shit. Classics.)
Regardless, we use these symbols of ourselves to try to subvert the mainstream ideology of those around us, but all of these signal flares eventually evolve into a cluster of nonsense and no one understands what the purpose of all the showy idealism is anymore. These clothes mean this thing.
These Botox injections mean this thing.
So on and so forth, which leads us to less and less genuine interactions with one another, being less genuine means that you are less real, losing the things that make you one of a kind is a terrible fate to behold and I hope it upon none of you.
Besides, being less genuine means it’ll be harder for you to meet and befriend new people honestly, which in turn makes it especially hard for you to actually do anything with the $431 you spent on chocolates and prophylactic supplies for Valentine’s Day.
In summary, we were all created to be unique, divine in our own way, gifts given to others on this planet. Don’t squander that and force yourself to become a statement. Instead, consider the alternative…
Live in a way that makes you a statement unto yourself. You are wonderfully made. Your face, in all of its own glory was meant to be a beacon of light to others. Be a greater, better, more compassionate human being. Don’t be generic, generic things will be left behind one day.
(Except for Kroger brand cheese I am ABOUT that stuff. 15 slices for a dollar? Count me in.)