Have you heard about Dr. Oz’s amazing “detox water”? If you drink four glasses of this “naturally flavored water” every day, it will “clean” your cells and increase your body’s fat-burning by 77 percent.
And there’s something you can add to your coffee or tea which causes you to lose 59 percent more of your cellulite. (More than what? I don’t know.) And there’s something else you can mix with your coffee to turn your ugly, thin hair into thick, beautiful hair.
Do you believe any of this? You would probably say no. You would probably laugh at all of it, just as I do. You might even be educated enough to know that there’s really no such thing as a “detox,” unless what you’re talking about what a normally functioning liver does every day.
But people keep buying these sorts of publications, such as this one I saw in a grocery store tonight. They keep buying products from fraudulent vendors who con them. Why?
It’s because everything about modern culture tells you that your body is ugly — and your only salvation is in buying products which will finally allow you to be good enough.
And it’s all a lie.
Why do you believe your body should have virtually no fat on it? It’s because your culture has taught you this lie. Someone decided that skinny people who look almost emaciated are the new standards for our bodies. (That wasn’t even close to true until after modern media came along.)
Then that image was projected to you in movies and fashion and everywhere else. It’s what people came to praise and believe was attractive. And if your body is naturally something outside of that — which is true for about 95 percent of people — you feel the shame of believing you are flawed.
Why do you believe “cellulite” is ugly? Who told you that? Who decided it was ugly? It’s completely arbitrary. It makes just as much sense — or as little sense — as declaring that a face with dimples is ugly. But people have been taught this, so women feel shame if their natural bodies store fat in this perfectly natural way.
I constantly hear women today complain about their breasts. Some believe they’re too big. Some believe they’re too small. Some are humiliated because one of their breasts — or nipples or areloas — is sized differently than the other. Many complain about “saggy” breasts. From what I’ve been able to pick up, they believe this because the breasts they see in porn are pointy — a bit like metal cones poking forward.
Who taught you that your breasts were “wrong”? Who taught you they were supposed to be identical? Who taught you how they must be shaped? Why do you believe these things?
I didn’t realize for many years — believe it or not — that many men are paranoid about their penis size. When I first heard that, I thought it was a joke. Why would anyone possibly care? Who told you that one size or shape or whatever is “wrong”? Why do you believe this?
I discovered last year that a large penis was a point of shame for many ancient people. Some ancient texts make fun of men with large penises. Why did they believe that? Why do people today believe what they do? I have no idea and don’t care.
A lot of what we believe is flawed about our looks is because the media are constantly showing us specimens of humanity which are not typical. Those atypical people populate the media we consume and we somehow get the idea that’s what we ought to look like.
Then there are the charlatans who want to make money from our insecurities. Doctors or fake doctors are willing to rip you off by selling you things which you don’t need — to solve problems which are essentially non-existent.
Of course, some of us do have things we need to change about our bodies — for health reasons. But the frauds who offer these shortcuts know that you and I can be easy marks for them for one simple reason.
We like shortcuts. We don’t like doing the difficult things that are necessary to making the changes we really need. So we have charlatans selling “cures” that don’t work to people who suspend their critical thinking skills in order to hope to cure problems which mostly don’t exist.
If you lived before the days of media, you wouldn’t know what the world’s “pretty people” looked like. The odds would be exceedingly rare that you would have ever seen such a person. You and the people around you would be pretty normal — some more attractive than others, but few who were exceptional.
I enjoy beauty. I have a strong appreciation for a beautiful woman, although my standards are sometimes strikingly different about some things than the standards of our culture. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating beauty. But there is something very wrong with paying so much attention to the lies of the culture that you believe you are flawed and constantly need fixing.
You are more attractive than you fear. There are things about you which aren’t perfect. The same is true for me. But if we didn’t have people around to tell us how ugly our flaws are, would we really think this?
Wouldn’t we be better to change our thinking — to quit listening to the fraudsters who just want to make a buck by selling us things? Shouldn’t we find other ways to eliminate our shame about “flaws” which aren’t really there?