Saturday, December 14, 2013

Images and neurosis

-Every form of social media has its own neurosis, it seems. First Facebook, now Instagram. I don't use Instagram (not out of some principle, just never got around to it), but having looked at it, I could see how this would make sense. It's the photos that inspire the greatest neurosis on Facebook, so a site that's just pictures is bound to do the trick. And boy do neuroses vary! I can't imagine caring that a friend had constructed a "bar" out of mashed potatoes. I've cared (in that fleeting-but-neurotic way) about other, no less ridiculous things, but, like, what's stopping any of us from buying some potatoes and putting them in cocktail glasses? For me, it's photos of people's trips to Japan, especially but not limited to meals consumed. Planning a Japanese-home-cooking extravaganza this evening, but I suspect it's not the same.

-Nothing new to say at the moment about Lulu and her well-squeezed lemons, but I wondered about Heidi Moore's observation here: "Insecurity is a big money-maker," she begins, and thus far, agreed. That's why models are so much younger and thinner than they'd seemingly need to be - it taps into the two classic insecurities, and allows even young or thin women to feel inadequate. "Happy people don't buy things," Moore continues, adding, "Unhappy people engage in 'retail therapy', and buy clothes, jewelry, electronics or even food that makes them feel as if they have higher status." This is where I'm not so sure. What about when depression (clinical or colloquial-use) manifests itself as an indifference to stuff? I know that my own interest in the-shiny tends to be greater if I'm feeling generally positive about things, lower if crankier.

-Elle Fanning stars in a short film about body image. I saw this and my first thought was, that seems about right. Fanning is a pretty 15-year-old actress, and we're living in a society that asks grown women to hate themselves for not looking 15, and 15-year-olds for not looking like actresses. Anyway, that's not it at all - Fanning is playing a teen girl who thinks she looks horrible. While there's no reason someone with body dysmorphia or the less-extreme variant (aka being a teenage girl) wouldn't be that conventionally attractive (the idea being, you don't have an accurate sense of what you look like), I'm not sure what I think about the casting. Because the best response is rarely going to be, 'Don't worry what you look like, you're movie-star gorgeous just the way you are.' Not sure how one would go about telling young girls, 'You're probably within normal limits, and that's just fine,' but ultimately that's the answer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think seeing a skinny woman in real life has a much greater effect than seeing them in digital images.