I know I’m not alone. It seems obvious that the subtle, yet in-your-face advertising is having an impact on all of us. It is insidious in its subliminal message methods.
The message? We have to look young …..not old, it’s apparently best to look younger than we are and we have to be thin – not even average, thin is where it is at with advertisers. They seem to be fixated on it and as a result, we start to focus on it too.
You can notice how we have been impacted…..by comments such as “Oh – you don’t look like you are 60…..you look 50!!” (50 is the new 60 you know! ) It implies that there is something wrong with getting older.
It is a continuation of the obsession with youth.
For proof, just look at the popularity of plastic surgeons, medical estheticians and even dentists who have jumped on board with botox injections, face fillers, etc. ka-ching!
Here come the boomers who are being bombarded with it-is-not-okay-to-look-your-age messages by advertisers and subsequently are having a difficult time with aging.
The other current trend is to exclaim “Oh – have you lost weight?” (you can become thinner from chemo treatments) Thin people are dieting to become thinner. The current one is called ‘the paleo diet’ which, like cavemen before us, encourages people to eat meat, fish, nuts, leafy greens, veggies and seeds. Hmmmm…….sound familiar?
The impact is that it encourages us to focus on the wrong things with the spin-off being low self worth, breeding a lot of unhappiness in a quest to achieve what is unattainable.
Personally speaking, I consider becoming older to be infinitely better than the alternative.
However, if one more person refers to me as “dear”, dearie”, or (OMG) “sweet-pea” – that was a new one the other day – I might act like the child I am being spoken to as, and throw a temper tantrum. Think about the last time you were called “dear, dearie, sweety, or (double cringe) sweet pea” – I’ll bet it was when you were a child.
Mature men and women who have survived what life has tossed at them are most definitely not your ‘dearie’ or any other term of endearment. They are life survivors who deserve respect.
Why is it that people think that speaking to anyone as though they are children is respectful or kind. It isn’t. (I understand regional terminology – like the east coast, or the English “love”), etc. That’s different, much like your friend or parent calling you ‘dear’.
Nobody likes to be patronized or condescended to.
I read James Seaton’s letter to the editor (Sunday, June 29th) with his reference to being referred to as the royal “we”. (great letter James – “we” agree!)
So, the moral of this column is, be mindful of the unrealistic air-brushed images the advertisers want you believe are true; speak to everyone with respect, dropping the terms of endearment, find the humour in all situations in your life and remember sweet pea, there’s more to you than what you look like.
PS: Remember what I said in the last column, aging is a gift!
Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist and freelance writer. www.amindfulconnection.com