Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No Room For Sublimation? or What Exactly Are We Sublimating & Why Is This An Acceptable Way of Doing It?

Please take the time to watch both parts. It's a 45 minute discussion by Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. about media literacy and how advertising targets our most intimate and vulnerable selves (our psyche). *My plea below.

It is imperative that we recognize subliminal and direct referents in marketing and how it affects us, our social norms, and the future world we are building for our children. I have to admit that I teared up a few times watching this as I recalled receiving the harsh message at 8 years old that I am not good enough and then at 14 that I am the sum of my body and nothing more. I also recognize that I am still receiving and believing that message nearly 30 years later but more disturbing to me is the fact that it takes someone else pointing it out to me before I am awakened from my complacency.

I am a well educated, emotionally supported, adult woman with a well developed ego and strong social consciousness yet, after watching this talk, I immediately recognized ways in which I personally comply with these messages every day. I have to admit that I have relatively little contact with television or magazines but as Dr. Kilbourne reminds us, these messages are everywhere we look, everywhere we go, including the sanctuary of our own homes. By accepting these images we are condoning dehumanization, sexualized violence, the sexualization of children, and sending a message to advertisers that this is appropriate and acceptable for our lives and our childrens' lives. Does anyone really want this to be the social norm for our kids or for ourselves?

I started my purge last night by taking a hard look at the images I've made over the years, what kind of language I am using in them and whether it is edifying or detrimental, I've eliminated about a third of my work. Today I am revisiting the products that I purchase and deciding if I plan to continue supporting the very institutions that are stripping me of my human liberties. This is something we DO have power over and CAN change and it starts with the most powerful thing in the US...the consumer {aka YOU}.

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