Just a few thoughts I’ve had while going through my Sunday morning routine.
1. I was at Starbucks and noticed two girls in heavy makeup and those big sunglasses that cover half of the face. First, wearing too much makeup conceals the actual facial aspects of the person. Wash all that junk off and it might actually be a dude type of heavy make up. Secondly, those glasses conceal half the face! Wouldn’t it save time and money if they just wore a full Muslim veil? In either case we don’t know what the person actually looks like.
2. Italy, Spain fight anorexia in fashion models by signing new regulations.
– I have never understood why being ultra thin is considered beautiful. For me, a full shapely body is beautiful and defines a woman. I did hear an interesting reason though recently as to why fashion models are so thin. The reason given is that most fashion designers are gay and prefer thin models because they are actually trying to capture the look of a teenage boy. Makes sense to me.
3. In the San Francisco Chronicle today the front page had an article about a new doll taking market share away from Barbie called “Bratz.” It’s basically a very slutty looking doll and sociologists are concerned about the message this sends to our young girls.
In our society which is based on Christian virtues, sex is considered bad, dirty and taboo. Yet, the marketers are creating dolls which look like prostitutes for the young to play with? Could the obsession with sex be because it is something that we are not supposed to be doing but gains an audience in movies, music and now dolls because it is taboo in society? In my opinion, many adults have a kind of sick complex about the whole thing because it has been repressed for so long.
If we look at Europe, nude beaches are not uncommon. In Africa, females going topless is nothing special. But in America we get all excited about such things precisely because it is something we have repressed, made to seem dirty and so on. I’m very much in favor of the whole womens liberation movement and that the body is beautiful, but perhaps we as a society are too immature to face this reality and it continues to be oppressed by the Religious Right which believes the body is a bad dirty thing. What a complex to have to be ashamed of one’s own body! It is as though they are self hating!
In S.E. Asia they are much more open about this sort of thing and thus do not have these complexes and sickness in society. In Japan, bathing is part of the culture and one must enter the hot spring “onsen” (natural volcanic water) naked. Yet, it would seem the westerners are very uncomfortable with this sort of thing. Sometimes I have to explain the onsen rules to travel agents here and when I say that a bathing suit, or any cloth what-so-ever is not allowed in the onsen they are completely shocked.
We have such a sick distortion of our own body in this country that it has created undesirable consequences such as slutty dolls which I believe would lose it’s appeal if we were much more open about our bodies and sexuality. However, religion has caused us to be so self hating that we seem mired in this complex with no way out.
These are the kind of things that run through ones mind when returning back home and thus could be categorized as reverse culture shock I suppose.