Monday, December 7, 2015
"Self care" and consumerism
I touched on some of these points a few weeks ago when I wrote about people who convince themselves that the more expensive cosmetics they buy are objectively better--or even that they themselves are better for buying them. Part of this attitude, I think, relates to a current cultural idea that we all "deserve" luxury in some form. Maybe we can't all live in huge houses, but we are still "good enough" to deserve a Tom Ford lipstick. This type of thinking is intimately connected to the self-care imperative that is becoming more and more widespread, no longer limited to Tumblr and xoJane. While I think self care is a valuable concept in some ways--especially for women, who have been taught that we have to keep on top of everything and be responsible for others in addition to, or instead of, ourselves--"self care" and "treat yourself!" have become nearly synonymous, in a creepy but unsurprisingly capitalist way. Rather than looking after ourselves by taking an hour to sit peacefully in our bedrooms reading a book, we should just buy a bottle of nail polish. There's a lot more I could say about this, but this article in The Atlantic already says it. It is very worth reading (and short!). Interestingly enough, it actually quotes Jane Marie (formerly) of Millihelen on why self care seems unachievable.