Monday, 14 January 2013

Day 161: Become an Image and be Treated as an Image

This blog is a continuation to:
Day 155: Introduction – Starving Myself

Day 156: Wanting Passion and Purpose in Life

Day 157: Generating an Eating Disorder – The Power of Thought - Part 1
Day 158: Generating an Eating Disorder - The Power of Images - Part 2
Day 159: Generating an Eating Disorder – The Power of Writing – Part 3
Day 160: Eating Disorders and Contradictions

An interesting dimension within eating disorders, is that of trying to become / attain a particular image. Every day you weigh yourself, everyday you look into the mirror and check: Am I there yet?

‘Be careful what you wish for’ is a point that I faced within ‘experimenting’ with eating disorders.

I believed that if I would look a certain way, that I’d be happy. That people would be nicer to me, that everything would just go ‘easy’ in my life. Was I in for disappointment…

The thing with trying to become a picture, is that the closer you get to being that picture – the more people start treating like you a picture. I was getting ‘negative’ attention more and more in town, would get harassed more easily when I would go out – even in my own hometown. I had always seen my hometown as a ‘safe’ place, nothing ever happens. But now the streets I had walked through pretty much every day of my life where nothing ever happened – suddenly became full of incidents and I was not as comfortable walking through them every day, especially when it was dark (when you can’t see people’s faces in the dark, that sense of ‘anonymity’ really gets people to say things I’m pretty sure they would not have said in daylight).

So I never really considered this point when I embarked in this project. I thought getting skinnier and prettier was going to be a ‘good thing’ – but now I was just being harassed and if did meet new people that were nice to me, their genuineness was questionable and these relationships would be very superficial and not last very long.

I mean, where are ‘skinny pretty girls’ portrayed? It’s in the magazines, it’s on tv, it’s on ads – and it all comes down to using sex to sell. They trust that the particular image is going to prompt a particular experience within the consumer (which is in essence a sexual one), which the consumer then hopefully, misguidedly, connects to the product/service – so that they go and buy it.

So obviously, if you live in a society that uses pictures to stimulate particular mind experiences and behaviour – if you’re then going to go and try and be that picture – those type of behaviours become part of the ‘package deal’. You want to become a picture? Fine – go for it, but then know you are going to have to deal with the repercussions as some very nasty behaviour coming your way because you’ve just given yourself and everyone else they okay to diminish you and reduce to a mere object, an image.

This is now also not very cool for those people who happen to look like the people in pictures – as they now get a lot of the same negative attention and not being taken seriously simply because of that one point. I mean, it’s gotten to a point where ‘pretty people’ go and get plastic surgery, not because they want to get prettier, but because they’re begging the surgeon to please make them uglier – so they can finally be rid of all the nastiness and be taken seriously as a person rather than only being considered for their looks (and where in some cases the surgeon then doesn’t want to do it because apparently it’s “wrong”).

So this is another one of the little realisations/insights I got while going through my experiment. How getting what you want is not always what you wanted because you didn’t take all dimensions/variables into consideration, how people are completely picture driven and that people can be very nasty. I’ve always had a general belief that people are ‘good’ – and this was one of the first times that random people, strangers acted really strange and almost demonic around me, which you know, is not cool, but in a way it was cool to go there and see what actually goes on within people’s minds and realise that hmmm, this world is not such a cool place to live in.
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