Hey there, if you are reading this you are clearly the kind of person who reads things on the internet and good for you. If you are, in fact, the kind of person who reads things on the internet I’m sure in the last few days you saw Caitlyn Jenner somewhere in your news feed. Or maybe in the last few weeks you saw a story about the world’s first size 22 supermodel.
Obviously, there has been plenty of negative reaction to both of these. I’m not really here to comment on those people other than they are probably pretty misguided and need to get with the times.
And, before I go any further I just want to say, Caitlyn Jenner, World’s first size 22 super model, good for you. And anyone who saw those two and felt good about yourselves because you finally felt like society has started to accept you, good for you too.
And even you vanilla ass white people who have lived such boring safe lives that you have to co-opt other peoples struggles so that you feel like you matter, good for you too. I don’t want anyone to not feel good about themselves (maybe vanilla ass white people). That is not what this article is about. If seeing dude (or lady who use to be a dude, or who still is a dude, God this is confusing…) in a dress makes you feel better here you go.
I understand the value in representing groups of people in culture that have traditionally have not been represented. I know there are people out there who feel like society doesn’t value them and now they might feel a little better about themselves. Here’s what I think people are missing: Why is mass media marketing the way we show people that society values them? I, like many people, feel our society and culture is broken. But we seem to not really want to fix the underlying problems and instead just try to give things a shiny new label and call it a day.
What I’m trying to get at is it shouldn’t matter who is on the cover of magazines. Mass media is the culmination of one of the most evil, insidious entities to ever walk the earth, the advertising industry.
How did we get to a point where we decide how much value we have as a person based on how much the advertising industry markets towards us? (Strong words coming from a white male between the ages of 18 and 35.)
I’ll explain further. The problem with the world is that it has been run by a small group of rich old white guys for pretty much forever. They have remained in power for generations by exploiting people less fortunate and keeping people divided and ignorant. Mass media and advertising is just their propaganda machine. I know I’m over simplifying it to the point of sounding like a conspiracy theorist but stay with me.
Advertisers don’t see us as people, they see us as consumers, a resource they can exploit. I for one, feel I’m more than a dollar sign in some ad man’s ledger. Just another face in the faceless masses that he needs to convince to buy some slacks. Now maybe for the first time you feel like society cares about you, but its only seeing you as a new dollar sign, a new crop to harvest, a new rube to force into some over priced slacks. Everything about big business is awful. Just because you now see someone who looks like you on the cover of some magazine or plastered all over the internet doesn’t mean it isn’t just a cynical cash grab. A cash grab by the very rich old white men who have kept you down.
Sure, maybe you can look past that fact. We can all say, ‘Hey, we’re changing the world. We demanded that it change and they gave us a new person to look at.’
But that person is just the new face of the same old horror show of the culture that has always been there. Just because a trans person is selling us our slacks now doesn’t mean those slack still aren’t stitched together by tiny hands of a south east Asian child. A child that gets paid basically nothing so that we as consumers can line the pockets of rich old white men like we always have.
Maybe I feel this way because despite being born a straight white male in America I never felt included even though I clearly was. I never saw the value of being included in a broken system. I always wanted to be on the outside. The outside looks like fine when you don’t have to deal with years and years of subjugation.
Now, I realize that there are a lot of bad parts to being on the outside, but that doesn’t change my mind that the outside is where we should be. The outside is limitless and can be anything. We should be trying to bring everyone outside and stop propping up the house the old white men have built. Let that house fall down and they can start over with the rest of us.
What will that new world look like? Who knows, but lets hope its not one where we let the advertising industry tell us how much value a person has.
And if not…well hey, The Advertising Industry… see how thoughtful and persuasive my writing can be? Think there is career for me in making cynical cash grabs by exploiting peoples emotions?
I hope so because if the revolution doesn’t come then one day, white Christian God willing, I will be an old man and I’d like to be a rich old white man, or lady or whatever. Here’s another picture of me in a dress.