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The Power Of Cheese…Er…The Power Of Fantasy

October 11, 2013

I find the power of fantasy very empowering for me as it says I can dream up whatever crazy stuff I want in my head despite what everyone else is thinking. I’ve had whole novels play out in my head and I’ve never lost sight of my own reality. Consequently I think this has also enabled me not to feel insecure about ads telling me how I should be or friends who’ve told me ‘what real men do’. I’ve accepted that, but it also makes me question the people that do get up on their high horse about Barbie or about video games or body image.

I’ve never experienced any negative body image problems from the media and what they tell us is attractive because I know they’re selling a fantasy to other people–the negative consequences are when people compare themselves to this fantasy they’ve constructed for them and woe is them for buying into it and then anger comes when their reality doesn’t match the fantasy. It’s all a pretty screwed up process that goes from the allure of fantasy to the anger of disappointment for not measuring up. Again: that’s confusing for me because I never had any of that. I never experienced the insecurity.

No, my insecurity has always come from people in my life–specifically women, who date douche bags, treat me like their gay best friend, and then go back out and date another douche bag while I’m sitting there in quiet desperation hoping to be noticed, but I never am. See, people seem to lose perspective in blaming ‘society is evil for promoting thinness over curves. Boo the thin women!’ Or, ‘This game made my child violent. Who’s gonna pay? Oh? You! Millions of dollars.’ When in actuality a person feels bad because they themselves likely succumbed to the fantasy and when they didn’t measure up to it they were angry.

Take for example…buying a shirt. Sure, it looks great in the store, but you hate it when you get home. That’s because the lighting, the clothes, the sights, the smells, they all create a fantasy in the brain that says, ‘I look good.’ I even read somewhere that the mirrors in clothing stores are specifically shaped to make you look your best in the mirror, but I haven’t seen that confirmed. Also the size swtiching. That’s all part of the fantasy. And people hate it when the fantasy wears off because they feel suckered.

That’s where I think all of this moral panic about body image, violence, music, etc. comes from, because people bought into their own fantasy about what these things are about. ‘Oh, ads are supposed to sell me something in a realistic way,’ or, ‘Video games are for children. So let’s buy GTAV. What? It’s rated M? Surely little Tommy’s mature enough,’ and so on and so on ad infinium.

There was a point in my therapy sessions where my therapist (probably more correct than I was) pointed out that as much as I go on about how I don’t have any self-esteem that I’m bullshitting myself. Why? Because I don’t buy into this stuff. I don’t buy into what someone tells me is popular and that I should like. I don’t like what most people like. I hate Metallica and Nirvana and Alice In Chains, the supposed holy trinity of ‘If you like real music’ but I find their shit tedious and annoying. Ditto for Pearl Jam, but to a lesser extent.

But even I fell into this fantasy about myself–about who I am at a base level, that I feel worthless and that I have no confidence in myself when in reality I actually have a lot of confidence in who I am and I just trick myself into feeling otherwiseI follow my own tune and I always have–mostly. I’ll admit I have been bullied into doing things like smoking pot and liking certain types of music. No, this is not a call to forgive advertisers for lying to you and if you feel like crap because of an advert then feel angry that it made you feel that way, but realize that they’re in the job of making fantasies so that they can sell you a product.

You’re supposed to feel one way or another–that’s effective advertising! But in no way let it ruin your world and make you feel inadequate over a lie. Put it in its respective place and realize they’re blowing smoke up your ass and just turn it off, rip it up, or throw it away and get on with your day and feel good about yourself, because honestly…no one’s going to hand you those things no matter how much you complain about it.

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