Category Archives: Art

Advertisements’ Insidious Effects on Our Self-Worth, Notion of Normalcy, and Views about Relationships

After working for the past 24 hours, I needed a mental break, and I found this video worth 45 minutes of my time. I knew that advertising affected and affects the way I see myself, how I define sexuality, notions of empowerment, etc., but I had no idea that the underlying messages of ads had drilled so deeply into my psyche. I am grateful that people, like Jean Kilbourne, have taken the time to notice and to issue wake-up calls to our society and to individuals, to raise awareness and call for action.

I, like probably every other woman in America, have always struggled with self-esteem.  When I am healthy and in shape, I tend to feel much better physically and mentally and have a more positive self-image, which seems normal and natural.  However, it is the underlying reason for this increased sense of self-worth that concerns me.  When I am lean and fit, I approximate more closely what our society proclaims to be beautiful.  Clarification: I am no size 0 model, never will be, and don’t want to be.  However, the value I place on myself (and that others place on me) should not rest on the size of my waist or hips or any other feature.  The same needs to be said for every other woman, especially those in positions of political power and influence, in the business world, and in media.  I have never heard a male politician’s efficacy or merit correlated to what suits he wears or if he has gained five pounds, and yet our society seems to believe that these are fair criteria on which to judge a woman’s ability to perform her job.  While racism remains a problem, it is usually not publicly condoned, as sexism is.  It is time for us to declare sexism to be as repugnant as racism because the former is just as responsible for dehumanization and violence as the latter.

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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Art, Self-Reflection, Society


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Soulful Grace

Soulful Grace by Monica Stewart

A goddess on break?   Tired of the cares and worries of the world?

It struck me that perhaps this is a private moment of reflection, prayer, of gathering strength to face whatever may lie ahead.  She is obviously a strong woman, but I don’t get the sense that she is masculinized.  The graceful lines of her body and the drape of the cloth are very beautiful and feminine.  I like the seeming incongruities between posture and mood.  I can’t speak for men, but women feel so many emotions all at once, at least I do, and this picture captures much of my own conflicting thoughts and emotions lately, especially as I prepare for two more comprehensive exams.

How many women can relate to such a posture? – Hands in the hair, head bowed, trying to gather strength for whatever comes next…  So often, women pour so much of themselves into everyone else that they have little left for themselves.  It is difficult for us to demonstrate the same care, compassion, patience, and kindness that we offer others to ourselves. We are much harder on ourselves than everyone else. Speaking for myself, I rarely offer myself the time and space I need to struggle, grow, and learn.  I am so impatient with mistakes, confusion, and the sense that I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing, however I have begun my journey towards self-acceptance and peace.  With all of the adventures ahead of me, I think one of the greatest, most rewarding, and most difficult is the one that will take me into my own heart, to examine it, understand it, and work towards healing it.  I have already come so far along this road with the help of several wonderful people, but there is an unmeasured distance left to travel.

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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Art


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