When it comes to how people feel, the mainstream media can play a vital role. This is because so many people are plugged into the media and how their views of reality are defined by it.
However, it is not just someone’s perception of reality that will be created for them, how they view themselves is will also be created for them. So, how they feel about the world and themselves is then out of their hands and in the hands of the people who decide what is going to receive exposure and what isn’t.
While one can believe that their view of the world is the truth, it is often something that has been given to them. They may have played no part in this view and yet, it has just been accepted as the truth and how life is. How one feels about the world is then not being defined by their experience of it, it is being defined by the experiences that other people have had.
That’s if it does relate to their experiences and not to a hidden agenda. It would be naive to believe that the media doesn’t have an agenda and although this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re only interested in control, there are going to be times when there is more than meets the eye.
When it comes to the self image that one has, the media is likely to have been an influence. This is not to say that everyone is going to be influenced in the same way; as it can depend on how attached someone is to the media and to society in general.
For example: some people follow cultural trends and it is then going to be important for them to follow the media. Through doing this, one will be keep up to date and do what they need to do to in order to attain a certain look or style that is currently in vogue.
The Average Person
However, even if one is not focused on fashion and getting the latest look, they are not going to be immune to the effects of the mainstream media or today’s culture. One will need to have a strong sense of themselves in order to handle the pressure that is created by these two sources and by the people who are sucked in by it.
If one hasn’t got a strong sense of themselves, it is going to be a lot easier for the media to control them and for them to be swayed by the people around them. When one lacks a strong identity, it can cause them to follow others and for their value to be completely defined by how other people respond to them.
One of the common problems with fashion in the mainstream media and in today’s culture is that it doesn’t always relate to what someone wears or to their hair style for instance; it can go further than that and relate to someone’s physical appearance.
And while one can change what they wear or alter the style of their hair, they can’t always change their physical appearance. One might be able to gain or lose weight, add muscle or even have cosmetic surgery, but there is only so much that one can do.
So if one has a certain appearance, they can end up feeling as they are enough and if they don’t, one might be able to alter certain things or they could end up feeling as though they are not enough.
And just because ones appearance matches up at one point in time, it doesn’t meant that it will match up at another. So even if one does have a certain look, it doesn’t mean they are going to be in this position for very long. At one point in time, they can end up feeling good and at another; they can feel as though they are not enough.
But if one doesn’t have a certain look, this could be something they have become accustomed to. They could feel as though they are not enough and that there is nothing they can do about it.
As a result of this, one is not going to feel bad about themselves from time to time, it is going to be how they always feel. Through being exposed to the messages in the media and mainstream culture, one can come to believe that they are inherently flawed.
One is then no longer experiencing healthy shame, they are experiencing toxic shame. When this happens, one is going to feel as though they are not enough and that there is nothing they can do about it. This could cause one become obsessed with their appearance, or they could end up neglecting their appearance.
Now, it would be easy to say that the media and today’s culture are solely to blame for people who feel as though they’re not enough, but this would be an inaccurate assessment. These two factors can’t be dismissed; however, there is also what happens during ones childhood years.
What happens here can play a part in whether one is able to handle these social pressures or if they are defined by them. If one has already been shamed whilst they were growing up, they are going to be easy targets. If, on the other hand, one had a childhood that allowed them to realise they are enough, they’re less likely to be manipulated.
If one does carry toxic shame, it might be necessary for them to seek the assistance of a therapist or a healer. When one feels ashamed, they’re likely to feel ashamed of their shame and this can make it hard for them to reach out for support.
This is why the right support is vital and through this support, one will be able to realise that they are enough. Just because they don’t match up to a certain image, it doesn’t mean they are less than the people who do match up.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.