Does Art Imitate Life? or Life Art?
Copyright © 2000 B. "Collie" Collier
I do not think for a moment that pop culture alone creates and defines us, whether we will it or not. We are, if anything, reflections of each other... we create and are created by our society, just as it creates our identities, and is created by us. As the old saying goes, 'art imitates life imitates art.'
However, that also means we are responsible for our culture to some degree. I print the following article below not because it's chic or sounds "cutting edge" and "in your face" -- which is what Wired is aiming for, as a net publication. I print it because I think it's high time we started saying an emphatic NO! to the peculiar notions of 'normality' and 'beauty' that pop culture is now trying to bottle-feed us.
These strained, carefully artificial images aren't really human any longer... they're two-dimensional, cardboard cut-outs that only fake living, that glorify a mindless, almost insect-like obsession with petty materialism. I believe it is extremely unhealthy for us to stifle our humanity in order to satisfy someone else's pop culture wet dreams.
Turn off your TV or your computer sometimes. Go outside and look around, talk with friends... you'll find beauty on your own terms there. Define yourself -- don't let someone else do it for you. Especially don't let someone who wants to make money off you tell you who you are!
"Fiji was an island paradise until 1995. That's when the South Pacific nation was introduced to television, and it's been downhill ever since. According to ABC.com, it used to be a compliment when a friend in Suva noticed you'd put on weight. Now -- with the advent of TV and all those skinny blonde models and imported American beauty values -- Fijians are fretting about their fat. While ABC's report said that no studies are conclusive, there is this stark reality: Before TV got there, Fijians had a good self-image. Now they think they're fat. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out, does it?"
[original Wired article here]
Last Updated: Fri Feb 02 2001