Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I love the Internets!

I thought I was becoming more aware and enlightened when I saw two viral videos recently. Both videos made statements about our messed up culture which I appreciated.

The first was the Dove Soap commercial - the one where women see drawings of themselves, one that is how they see themselves, and one that is how others see them.  Along with many others, I was moved and saddened to see how many women don't see their own beauty, how they carry negative ideas about themselves.

But then I read a blog responding to the Dove commercial. And it made me think about it in a whole other way. The blogger questioned the whole premise of the Dove commercial - that womens' value comes from their beauty. I couldn't agree more with the bloggers critique of our culture's obsession with image, especially women's. With my own girls I have tried to teach them that how they look is just one part of who they are. Their heart, mind and character,  how they treat others and how they respond to the world are so much more important! I do NOT want them growing up believing the message that society sends: girls are not valuable without beauty. 

The second video that made me think was the rebranding of A&F clothing stores by a guy who bought a bunch of A&F clothes at thrift stores and gave them to homeless people. I took the video as a severe critique of A&F's culture of elitism and exclusivity - especially how they won't make XL and XXL sizes for women (but they will for men). I appreciated the impulse to take something awful and try to make it into something good by giving clothes away to those in need. And I will never take my girls into that store for clothes.

Not so fast, say several rebuttals to the idea of giving douchey, date raper clothes to homeless folks. If the brand is so disgusting, so reprehensible - why are you giving these clothes to the homeless? Because they are disgusting and reprehensible too? Did you ask them if they wanted the clothes? Did you get their permission before putting them in your video? Your impulse might be good, but the strategy is offensive.

Hmmm.....I don't think I would have thought of all these angles without the blogs and online articles responding to the viral videos. And I wouldn't have thought about the issue much at all if I hadn't seen the videos in the first place!

I love the online world. There is so much freedom of expression - it's just busting out all over.