Drowning Barbie

January 10, 2011

I love dark humor. Especially, if it involves putting a sick twist on a cultural icon. So when I saw this video on Ms. Magazine’s blog, I immediately loved the idea of drowning Barbie. But then I read all the comments being made under the posting, and it killed it for me. (no pun intended)

The comments were filled with people who take themselves waaay too seriously, including the artist. People who were concerned that this art might encourage violence against women. People who suggested that Barbie was a symbol of how a male-dominated society is imposing their ideals on women. I read these comments, and all I could think is- What happened to these women? What made them feel oppressed?

It’s just a doll, people. To blame Barbie for an entire generation’s low self-esteem is absurd. Have we become so privileged, that we are desperately looking for things to whine about? If you have a pool in your backyard, then you are way too privileged to complain about how the Patriarchy is oppressing you. If you have a college education, then you have what many people in the world do not have access to. So what are you bitching about?

If you don’t feel good about your body, that’s because you have low self-esteem. It is YOUR responsibility to make yourself feel good about your body. Not the Patriarchy. Not some toy manufacturer. YOU. I grew up reading comic books that were filled with impossible images of muscle-bound super heroes. Did it make me feel inadequate? Probably. So I hit the gym and now I have a body that I’m happy with. Is that so terrible?

The world is full of images that don’t represent the masses. Look at Michelangelo’s David. How many guys do you know who fit that ideal? Not many. Should they crawl up into a fetal position and cry foul? What’s wrong with having ideals? Even if they are out of reach for most. Look at how many guys wanna be like Mike or Tiger. Is that a sign of oppression? Or are they just someone to look up to?

If you hate Barbie that much, then create your own doll. Make it in your own image. If you’re upset because Time magazine hasn’t put Nancy Pelosi on its cover, then start your own magazine. Oprah did it. She can put whoever she wants on the cover. In my mind, she is a true feminist. As one of the world’s wealthiest women and most powerful people, she is another impossible ideal. But that’s why people look up to her. Shoot for the stars and you’ll hit the moon. Or something like that.

Isn’t it time for men and women to take control of their own self-worth? And stop concocting conspiracy theories on how the world is out to get them. Feminism should be about empowerment. But what Ms. Magazine is doing (again and again) is keeping women in a state of blame. That’s self-victimization, not empowerment. It’s time for feminists to re-examine themselves. I think they have lost their way.

I suppose the sexploitation spoofy thing has been done to death, but I still can’t get enough of the cheesy goodness. That’s Ali Larter of Heroes fame giving Uma a run for her money. Too bad they couldn’t get Tarantino to direct.

You Are Not Alone

August 3, 2010

For those who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder simple emotions can be overwhelming and debilitating. The fear of being alone is no exception. This is why you’ll find BPs rebounding from one relationship to another. When they are alone, they feel worthless and invisible. This is why a BP will rush into intimacy, sex, relationships and even marriage. This is why they are so quick to find “soulmates” or “the one”. They are so desperate to fill the void, they will even fool themselves into believing they are in love.

One reason for this sense of loneliness is the feeling that no one else knows what it’s like to be them. To compensate, most BPs create a false sense of themselves, so they can fit in with the rest of society. Most of us do this, but BPs tend to take things to its extremes.  Some will concoct an uber-glamorous image to cover up feelings of  inadequacy. They neglect their true self so much they become empty shells. This can lead to unattended feelings of self-hate, and sometimes, self-harm. Which is why it so important for people to let BPs know they are not alone.

To make matters worst, well-meaning family members and friends will try to cover up for the BP for fear the knowledge of a mental disorder will damage the loved one’s reputation. Perhaps they even fear they will lose the BP’s affection, if they push too hard. But in a way, these loved ones are inadvertently reinforcing the shame and guilt that comes with BPD. They are making the BP feel more alone and fueling fears of abandonment.

With that said, there is a solution -internet forums. BPD forums allow the BP to anonymously seek out answers. But more importantly, lets them know they are not alone. This is not a substitute for treatment, but a first step to recovery. The following is a quote from a woman who suspects she may have BPD:

I must be borderline. I’ve never talked to a professional but I’ve taken several tests online… This is how I act.
– I fall in love with people I don’t even know but if they truly like/love me I hurt them. I totally lose interest and hurt them. This is usually after a few months of building up their hopes and making them like me. Then it’s like there is a point where I just know I don’t want to be in the relationship anymore and just leave. But if the person I’m with is not really that into me but kind of just along for the ride for a little while I pick up on it and I get obsessed on why they don’t really want me. I hate being like this but I’m scared to tell people that I’m not normal.

If you have BPD, then you will probably relate to this frustration. There are millions of people out there with the same affliction, you just have to look for them. Instead of running away or covering up your frustrations, wouldn’t it be better to seek answers for all those unanswered questions?

Here’s more info. Good luck.