When you are a comfortably off denizen of the middle classes guilt is a constant in the back drop of your life. You are ever conscious of not being part of the “solution” and hence being part of the “problem”. Everything from global warming, to national debt through to third world slavery is your fault personally because of your overconsumption. You bastard! Mind you the mildly irritating sense of self reproach doesn’t motivate you to change your behaviour. It just causes you to wince inwardly during occasional moments of reflection. Issues dont have to be “big” to trigger moral unease. Sometimes the smaller the transgression the greater the feelings of shame. So in the interests of cleansing my mortal soul I’m going to confess some minor things that I’m feeling really lousy about right now. Please tell me that I’m not the only one.
Everybody’s got at least one friend or acquaintance who shows off fabulousity of their freakin’ fabulous existence on social media. You know the type who are continually posting magazine quality photos of their glamorous tropical holiday, their perfectly photogenic children and their Vogue Living standard home renovations. Most irksome are those who post photos of themselves looking super hawt in a bikini (at my age!!!). I hate those bastards! Don’t you just hate them too!
Then I come over all ashamed of myself for being envious. Its not the fault of the said posters that they are better looking, more inherently stylish and more popular than myself. I should just accept my inferiority graciously. Or fight back with aspirational shots of my own.
Showing off may be the most popular purpose of social media but stalking exes is surely a close second. C’mon – If you have an ex, you’ve done it. I’ll admit that I’ve become a middle aged Nelson Muntz on discovering that someone who spurned my affections in the 1990s has (there’s no delicate way to express this) really porked up. The schadenfeude is glorious until the guilt kicks in. What a petty person I must be to think this way…. but I cant possibly be alone in this. Can I? Then there’s that sinking feeling when you encounter an ex on social media who is still smokin’ hawt.
The Body Image Movement
I’m hesitant to admit it but I’m not completely onboard with the Body Image movement that’s been clogging my interwebs lately. I want to embrace the whole Embrace thing (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/embrace/embrace-the-documentary-that-will-create-global-ch) but I’m not quite there yet. Its not that I am opposed to it. On the contrary I believe its motivated by the best of intentions. Of course we should be spreading the message that woman (and men too) should love and accept their physical selves. My problem is that once again its focusing on a woman’s appearance rather than her contribution to society. On top of that there doesn’t seem to be a male equivalent. We’re not seeing non-buffed men posing nude in order to “empower” themselves. To me that in itself indicates that feminism still has a ways to go. However in having these misgivings I feel like I’m letting down the sisterhood in some way. Please feel free to hurl rotten tomatoes at me sisterhood!
I cried misogyny with the best of them when folks based their criticisms of Julia Gillard on her appearance (and I was astounded when Germaine Greer had a go had her dress sense). Nevertheless I confess to getting a perverse pleasure from lampooning Tony Abbott’s penchant for budgie smugglers and lycra. I’m such a hypocrite. Please feel free to throw rotten tomatoes at me political purists.
How about you? Are you guilty as charged?