Self Image Consultants Perpetuate the Myth
The writer at fifteen - much image making yet to be done
Building self esteem is fine so long as we realize it's only our own mental construct.
Most Self image Consultants have honorable intentions when they go about their business of building up the esteem of a client. It's their profession and they often pride themselves in it. It is difficult indeed to get by unless we have an image of self that we find acceptable. Many people do not, and the world has rallied in an effort to make things right. Whole professions have sprung up to correct this so-called wrong. So this essay is not to disparage those who seek to make others feel better about their selves. It is to bring home to the reader what we are, and what we are not, and the price we pay for identifying with the latter.
Animals don't seem to suffer from esteem issues
Presenting an ‘image’ of ourselves rather than presenting our real selves to the world probably started around the time homo-sapiens became ‘self-conscious.’ I’m talking way, way back when we decided that we needed to wear clothes, not to keep warm, but to cover our ‘private parts.’ From there it probably grew to what was worn to cover those private parts. Note the Papua-New Guinean men for example, and their elongated phallus covers to denote manhood. Women would have done the same sort of thing I expect so that it was not apparent when they were menstruating. Our exposed sexual organs can be a dead giveaway as to our amorous feelings, and this was possibly another reason for covering up.
The writer's face just prior to turning twenty-four
We parade like peacocks but with the bird it is instinct - no consultants needed
Now, it is only common sense that we cover ourselves with clothes to keep warm. So what is mentioned in the paragraph above is simply hypothesis on my part. But how silly we have become in our sophistication as far as apparel is concerned. To be sexually attractive both men and women – but particularly women – have gone to extremes of ridiculousness. For example, on a freezing cold day you are likely to see a young woman wearing a warm parka top and a mini-skirt, whilst her lower legs and feet are muffled in sheepskin Ug boots. Young men can seen with bare arms protruding from warm shirts with the sleeves removed to show their muscles. Both of these instances are simply to portray a desirable image to the opposite sex.
Nature gave us hair - we spend much of our lives trying to get rid of it. Shaving is considered to be essential for social acceptance
Nature gave us hair. Normally it grows all over the body but is particularly dense on the head, under the arms and at the crotch. So what happens here? Hair on the head is nurtured, fussed over, all sort of elaborate inventions, concoctions and, even, mysticism and folklore surrounds the hair on the head. The man who is balding actually suffers mentally for his self image is detracted from once that hair starts to thin. But on the other hand, women shave off hair all over their bodies as if it were blight on their being. Years ago it was the armpits. A few decades ago it spread downwards – that, with the advent of the high-cut bikini. Then it got to the height of silliness as even leg-hair had to be removed. The smooth, hairless leg was in.
Late forties and the bloom of youth has gone
Ego, an artificial concept of what we are, rules most of us
So today we have vast industries thriving all over the world bolstering and promoting the mystique of the self-image. We are more or less guided by common acceptance and a herd instinct into what and what is not attractive. Fashion, facial make up, and even possessions not directly related to our physicality comes into it. The alcohol we drink. The car we drive. The place we live. The school and education we had. All of these add or detract to our self image.
Oh, how fragile our self image is
Oh, how fragile that self-image is! It is fragile simply because it is an image. It can melt away as things around us and within us change. Well, what seems to be within us? Our mindset tells us that some changes are good, others the reverse. The body-builder who puts on bulk smiles as his self-image (what he is seeing and imagining other people are seeing) changes for the positive. He’s reaching towards his goal and achieving it. But he loses bulk, or puts on too much fat…oh, no!
It could be said that at sixty we've reached our peak, but this is a very subjective statement.
Deliberate disatisfaction is manufactured to make us buy
There are those who know and take advantage of the fears that accompany our image of what and who we think we are. You see evidence of this every time you switch on the television and view the advertisements. Cars that accelerate rapidly and can be driven around corners fast, infer that if you buy one you’ll be more ‘macho,’ more the man. Hair shampoos and dyes that will turn you into a glamorous and desirable sex object abound. The same applies to lipsticks, false eye-lasses and, of course clothes.
At seventy-five. Age does weary us (our energy level) and the years contemn
This Observer is the real you!
Yet it is all image. And an image is not you. You are that which interprets what your eyes see. You are that which hears and interprets. You are that which tastes, touches and smells the world outside. But you’re not out there. This Observer you is the real you, and this you never changes.
Okay, go along with your self-image. We all need one we can live with. But remember how fragile it is. Do not identify with it. It is only your projection of a conglomerate of ideas in your mind. So to reiterate: enjoy the self-image game; invest in it as much as you care to. But do not for one moment believe it is you. Knowing this, and knowing it in your heart, will make you are far happier, contented, and self-fulfilled person.
I hope you got something useful about yoursef in Self Image Consultants Perpetuate the Myth.
Keep happy. You're an immortal being,a god, no matter what or how you think about yourself and no self-image is greater than that.
More on the writer
- Tom Ware - YouTube
Tom Ware is a Master Storyteller. Known as 'The Prince of Storytellers, Tom has been entertaining audiences with stories for thirty years. Tom joined his fir...
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