It’s easy to become down on yourself when you’re bombarded by messaging that tells you that you’re not fit enough, thin enough, good enough. It becomes common place to feel like you’re not doing enough. That you should do more, be more, have more and desire more. But if we step back and recognize that the messaging we’re hearing is preying on our deepest insecurities with the intent to sell us something you’ll start to see things through a different lens.
What if you were perfect – right now – exactly as you are?
Would the skin care line be able to sell you wrinkle cream?
Would the weight loss gimmick be able to get you to sign up?
Would the fashion brand be able to get you in the store?
Perhaps not. This is a tricky one, because one of the key foundations of marketing is to find a person’s challenge (aka “point of pain”), and show how you their solution helps solve it. Which is great, if the company you’re dealing with has your best interests in mind. But that’s not always the case.
I could get in trouble saying this, but it seems as though most companies care more about their bottom line than they do about YOU (their consumer). And so their clever marketing isn’t about giving you the best solution for YOU – it’s about giving them the best return on their advertising dollar.
So a lot of advertising is targeted to prey on people’s insecurities & self-esteem. Especially women. Seems pretty underhanded and awful, doesn’t it? But if we don’t do anything about it, they will continue to market in this way, and mass media will continue to make people feel like they aren’t enough. This just doesn’t sit right with me, and if you’re still reading, I suspect it also doesn’t sit right with you. So how do we drive change?
Start by just becoming aware of what messages you are being presented with – not just in imagery, but also in copy (text). How do the images make you feel? What does the text say? And what do they REALLY say when put together? Does the copy match the imagery? I see this all the time, especially in health & fitness. Businesses jumping on the body positivity bandwagon, telling you to embrace your “perfectly imperfect” body, but continuing to use imagery that is pretty much the definition of “perfect” by traditional fitness standards. It’s incongruent. And it doesn’t make sense (at least not to me).
Start by just viewing the images you see and the copy you read through a different lens. Ask yourself “what is this trying to sell me?” Does what is being sold (an idea, a product, a service) fit with your beliefs, values & morals?
Vote with your attention & dollars.
What if you didn’t support these business & brands? What if you didn’t buy their products, wear their logo, and support their business. You get to vote, not only with your money, but also with your attention (read: likes & shares on facebook). What if you took a stand and said NO (thanks)? Unfollow & unlike. Don’t share it. And don’t buy it.
Warning: once you SEE things through this lens, you can’t un-see it. And it’s easy to start to be a bit bitter about how marketing preys on people’s insecurities. So I have a balancing activity for you:
Find companies you DO like, promoting messages that do fit your beliefs, values & morals. And become their RAVING fans. Share their information, buy their products and services, support their efforts.
We (consumers) are in control of the market. Not the marketers. We vote with our attention & dollars. Choose your vote. If we vote differently marketers, businesses and corporations will be forced to approach things differently. To inspire people, to lift them up & to encourage them. There is another way, but as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke….let’s tell them this is broke. And get to the work fixing it.
#bebodypositive #bodypositive #besuperyou