The conversation last night made me start to really think more about who we are and how people behave. I wanted to delve more into this topic since I mentioned earlier about being natural, and why people are so concerned about fitting in, not being stereotyped, and the like, but I said it all in one sentence. That’s like dipping your finger into the icing without getting the whole cake- rather unfair to the people who are interested.
The portion of the conversation that triggered all these thoughts for me was talking about how we dress in public. Some people feel that because a woman is attractive physically, she should dress to show the best parts off – showing cleavage, tight pants, etc. When a woman who is attractive but fails to dress to reveal herself goes out into public, she’s put down for not meeting the norm. She gets ridiculed for being shy about her body and not allowing the guys to see what they want to see, like they get to do with most of the other women out there. It’s not that she’s uncomfortable with her body, but she doesn’t want to be perceived as a sex object completely. Ultimately, she wants to be respected for who she is as a person first, with her body being secondary.
Now, that’s the attitude that I feel we should all be taking. Physical attractiveness is ingrained into our minds biologically – when we were more primitive, it didn’t matter if someone was more artistic, because cave paintings didn’t feed the children. We were focused on the physical attributes – how strong the male was, how big he was, how wide the hips were on a woman, and her breasts, etc. But even though our mental capacity has been increasing, and our awareness of who we are in relation to everyone else is increasing, we still resort to primitive functions of the brain to live in the world.
We still put emphasis on how hot our prospective partner is. We still look for how a person can provide (money, career choice). We still think about whether that person can protect the family. What we may look for but not make a priority is how funny someone is, how opinionated, empathetic and caring, whether they like the outdoors or not, music tastes, etc.
What bothers me is how we all want eachother to conform to standards, whether public or individual or a little group. We work hard on our bodies so we get the six-pack abs to give us instant “hotness,” or we have to listen to a certain genre of music to remain cool, or we have to wear the most up to date fashionable clothing so we don’t risk looking like we came from the past. We all do this to some degree. How did you choose the computer you’re using? Did you choose that brand based on what they had to offer, or because of how everyone else felt about it through reviews? Look at your clothes. Did you pick them based on how they look on you, or how they feel while wearing them?
I feel like we lose a lot of our individual traits that make us unique in fear of how we will be judged by other people. Or we dress in certain ways so people judge us in a negative way. Does Goth culture wear black clothing because black clothing is more comfortable than blue jeans, or do they choose that style to offend the public? Our behaviour is changed, too. We act certain ways to attract certain types of people. We flirt with our bodies, we choose to run in parks at noon hours to let the most people view our bodies on display. We drive fast, play music loud, eat at certain restaurants, and so forth. Granted, some of these things may feel right to us, but how much of it is us feeling right, and how much is it of us convincing ourselves that it feels right? Isn’t this how gay and lesbians remain in the closet for so long? They spend so much time telling themselves that they are straight so they can live a normal life, when in truth they’re lying to themselves without really knowing it. We pile so much crap on top of our natural truths to live a different way than we really intended. School systems, media, parents/family, advertising are all designed in part to make us conform to something without letting ourselves explore and discover on our own. Why do we have to be told that 1+1=2 and not give us the tools to make that discovery on our own? (ie there’s a number system to describe quantity, and you can put those quantities together to create a new quantity).
Our lives, our world, is real good at being able to create more crap for us to pile onto ourselves, but fails miserably at allowing ourselves to discover. This is why I think the internet was so powerful on me. I can open it up and just click randomly until time stops. The material on it is so vast that no one will be able to read it all. It’s like a whole other world opened up to us that says, “It’s okay to come here and go if you wish, and feel free to take what you want.” The rules that exist are to protect the standards that were created for the “old” way of living (copyright, pirating software, etc), but are barely able to be put into action. Anyone can download music, movies, crack software, write as many swear words as they want on here, pronounce their faith in Hitler with a touch of Buddha and a slice of Christ. You can do whatever you want, let your mind go and explore. If you come across an obstacle of discomfort, you just click close on the browser and start over. If people harass you, you don’t need to log in or you just block them. The possibilities are endless with how you wish to explore, and they’re almost as endless if you wish to censor the invading forces on your life.
No one judges on how you look here because looks don’t matter. It’s the mind, baby. Let yourself out there and explore. Find the dirty, find the illegal, find the good, find the squishy-cuteness.