If I could put any message on the Times Square billboard it would be:
"You are enough."
Because you are.
But that's not the message you hear on a daily basis.
If fact, the messages you receive on a daily basis say the opposite.
Our culture produces messages that tell you you're broken.
Why? Because if you're convinced you're broken, then you're likely to seek a product or solution to "fix you."
Wanting to feel whole, lovable, and good enough are universal human desires. Everyone wants to feel loved, accepted, and like we matter.
And whenever EVERYONE wants something, marketers' ears perk up.
What's sneaky about this, however, is that there isn't a real problem with you or your body.
You aren't actually broken.
Your cellulite isn't actually bad.
Your wrinkles aren't actually bad news.
Your extra weight isn't a sign that you've failed.
That's right. There's a marketing system at play right now that's FLOURISHING and is grounded in lies.
If you stopped believing the lies, businesses would have to change their marketing. Or even their entire product line.
Aerie has taken the world by storm using models of all shapes and sizes and vowing to not edit away blemishes on their website. This revolution has forced other lingerie companies to make changes in their marketing.
As soon as a company tells us we're good enough as we are right now, all the marketing ploys that try to get us fitting into an XS lace thong when what we really want is an oversized soft t-shirt suddenly fall flat.
The minute you start recognizing your inherent worth is the minute advertisements will lose their grip on you.
And the more this happens, the more mass media and marketing will respond accordingly.
Companies are all trying to make a profit. And for a while now, they've made a profit by convincing us that aging needs to be prevented, that fat is bad (hello Spanx), and that blemishes on our face need to be covered up.
When our beliefs about our worth, our inherent GOOD, and our beauty shift, then marketing will shift too.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
I know you don't hear that regularly. But if you spend time searching for this message, you will find it.
Spiritual texts teach us that our bodies are a temple for our soul, to not be attached to material things (our appearances) because nothing is permanent and that we are born perfect in the eyes of God.
Historically, weight gain has not been problematic. Wrinkles were not banned and cellulite was not shunned. If you look at old movies or watch older TV shows, you'll see how recent a phenomenon our new standard of beauty is.
Someone, somewhere realized that pathologizing the human experience was profitable and came up with products and tactics to "solve" our problems. To take away our pain. To make us whole again. To keep us healthy. To help us live longer.
These promises are tempting. Because that's what we want: To be free of pain, to feel whole, healthy, and to have a long rewarding life.
But the way to do this is not via diet pills and wrinkle-removing cream.
The path to feeling lovable and feeling good enough is via acceptance.
How are you right now?
What about your current life makes you worthy?
What about your current body warrants praise and celebration?
There's nothing wrong with you, your body, the size of your boobs, the number on the scale, or the amount of body hair you have.
If you start living your life KNOWING this, rather than CHASING after something else… you'll have successfully defeated diet culture. 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉💪💪💪
If this topic intrigues you, check out my interview on The Goalink Show Podcast. I talk with host, Ben Harris, about shame, marketing, the media, and how I went without a mirror for 40 days.