Showing posts with label Perceptions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perceptions. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blog in Review Best of 2014 #4 Unconditional Love, or What We Really Mean

"Wow look its a unicorn, how cool is that?"

I mean come on
This statement is the peak of a very important conversation I was having with my bestie last night about love. At the onset of the New Year I made a promise to myself in regards to my emotions and how I express them.  For as long as I can remember I've tried to make myself as unemotional as possible.  I saw it as weakness as a lack of discipline and self-control.  I thought it was base and beneath me. I dislike scenes and emotional outbursts but more than anything I disliked them on me. It was very simple. My emotions give people power over me. I will rob them of that power.

It’s a very authoritative idea of a ruling mind.  I believe astrologically it is a very masculine Pluto or Mars disposition. In women it is likened to the Eris, Lilith position which is of the Queen of the Underworld Persephone herself.  Robbed of her innocence a new embodiment is given. Let's just say the story has always felt. .  familiar.

Hades and Seph
I always told myself that my emotional disengagement was just a sign of advanced maturity. A hallmark of class and grace under pressure. Which it can be seen as. I believe those who have had to deal with me when I am in an emotional clinch call it something else. . . cold, icy, quite a bit frosty. And it is.  The statements are calm, and poetically polite. My face dead cold giving not an ounce of emotion and my manner dismissive.

It is the defense of a child robbed of innocence of being as emotional as she can be. It is the foolish attempt of one who feels deeply at mastering what can be an all-consuming opus. My emotions always felt like a cliff overlooking raging rapids that plunge into a waterfall that ends somewhere at the center of the earth.  The levels of emotional lost I could and still can experience are extreme.  So I've always practiced at being practical in regards to them because practicality is the last of their concerns.

In many ways my emotions are always battling my intellect, which is the heavy Mercurial influence in me. However being a highly instinctual person I realized that denying emotions was the first step in taking away my natural gifts. So balance had to be attained. Which meant I had to explore my extremes on both ends.  I'm just glad I survived it. It was a near thing.

So back to my new year's resolution. I told myself I was no longer going to stifle how I feel about anyone.  I in fact practiced this by sending very personal very gushing messages of love to my closest pals who in some way inspire me by doing nothing more than being who they are. The results were as I expected.  I got back some gushing replies and silence.  I knew who would do what. The gushers are just what they say they are.  The none gushers, the silent, were whelmed. You see all of these people feel as deeply as I do and I know what such a message would've done to me. I would've gushed back but first I would've needed to be silent.  And sometimes when you're silent you just are because "Wow look its a unicorn, how cool is that." Bask in the moment.

Me and my bestie in film
As my bestie and sister from another mister put it, all her life she had thought that family should respond and behave as I have with her and yet due to never really seeing it our having it, my acceptance of her became like walking into your living room and seeing a unicorn. In the message I sent was what it was always supposed to be but never quite was, forcing the person to truly believe deep in their soul that it cannot exist. And then holy smokes there it is.  It was a very pertinent explanation that stuck a chord with me and made an odd kind of sense. It led me to a thought process that became spoken that symbolizes most relationship troubles in this world.  If you walked into a room and saw a unicorn what would you really do?

The response tells us a lot about how we as individuals process love. But not just any love, Unconditional love; this facet of human emotion few of us experience and none of us feel worthy of. The truth is of course you don't deserve it, but look it’s a unicorn.  Its beautiful, wondrous, miraculous and most of all a gift. Would you shoo it away for its own good or would you keep and cherish it for as long as it would let itself be yours.  Most of us say we of course would choose the second option.  However the truth is many of us actually choose the first.

What they are made of
Let me explain. Relationship patterns are an interesting process because usually the person committing the pattern cannot see it.  In someone else eyes its so clear.  Oh you date the same fundamental type of person and are always surprised at the results? The person watching shakes their head and considers this a lost case and cause.  And it is but not for the reasons you may think.  Those people aren’t stupid; none of us are really stupid.  We love patterns. In general we choose what we know, what we want and what we expect. Dating the same type of person guarantees that every relationship ends the same way.  There is comfort in knowing where you'll be before you get there. And we humans are nothing if we aren't addicted to comfort.  Even if that comfort is pain.  The need is sometimes nothing more than to fulfill the pattern.

This is also a very sad declaration on the nature of love and how it seems to be increasingly viewed as a burden that takes away instead of as a gift that gives. Most of us choose to chase away the unicorn not for its sake but for our own. The specter of unconditional love is such a miracle blessing that many of us instinctively choose to avoid it due to a higher self-preserving fear of loss and potential rejection in regards to attaining our dreams. The irony is that I think most of us do believe in some part of ourselves that we really can’t have it all.   Living your career dreams leads to sacrificing your relationship ones.

Often I explain that I don't do something or haven't done something because I've had peak experiences of it and now can't be bothered by less.  The real reason could be that I honestly don't want to find anything that would make those past experiences less beautiful. I want them preserved as the peak to make the pain I experienced worth the effort in the long run. And I use them as a road map to attaining something similar thinking that this time it might work. It is an odd sense of displaced loyalty to a younger me that had the illusions of a child looking for pixie dust in every kiss while telling herself there is no such thing as pixie dust. When faced with pixie dust you will deny deny deny until you have no choice but to see that the weird horned horse is really a unicorn.  But if I were honest it didn’t look like a unicorn then, but somehow it looks like one now.  We either traumatize or romanticize our pasts.  Its human nature.  The bad relationship was really bad; the one that got away was so wonderful.  But it is the lackluster present that enables a dramatic past because if we’re honest the lackluster present is actually a lot more like the dramatic past than we like to admit.  The implication being we are still making the same mistakes and learning nothing from them.

Oh naughty black unicorn
It is the same for a person who continues to date those who can never really love them the way they need to be loved. But this is a different level of affliction I think. Addiction to love is a terrifying thing. It is a declaration that someone else has a level of control over your well-being that could potentially end your desire to exist without them. It is a lure and a trap that many find no solace or comfort in the idea of attaining.  They instead choose to forge temporary unions with tried and true results of interest, excitement and inevitable endings.  They tell themselves it will end differently this time.  Deep down inside however they realize that it’s too similar to previous relationships which are why they are preferred. At the core of this is the desire to win the heart of the one that started the mess to begin with. In every new person that holds the attraction the way the one before did, they try again expecting different outcomes.

The result is a declaration about self-worth and what you consider sacrifice to be.  Love is within itself a paradox, a selfless selfish thing. It gives and takes, it births it kills. It is all and none. The true fabric that holds this thing together because it can be everything and nothing at all. It fills in the empty spaces.  There are many people who lack the proper perception of their self-worth, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is a fundamentally human flaw and sometimes it takes viewing yourself from the eyes of others to temper it. But self-worth is a highly misunderstood concept.  It is a process of finding all parts of yourself worthy of care and love. It is why religion is so popular. Most religions are based on an idea that the human spirit that embodies a human body is worth unconditional love just by dent of being a creation of an all knowing all seeing all wise and powerful God.  It establishes the ultimate authority on loving yourself. But this is not really a love that can provide a true understanding of self worth.  For some religiously minded people they have done the work, the soul searching and the forgiveness. Some are just going with it.  But a true dialogue that defines self worth starts with self.  Its starts with looking at yourself under a harsh lens and being very critical. This is why people usually find self-worth through either successful or failed love. The successful lover loves your flaws to the point that you realize they aren’t that bad.  A failed love affair forces you to take those flaws to heart and may make you aware of them.  In the last is where self-worth is mostly lost, as some people don't hold the glass up to see what is worthy in them, just why they no longer have a lover.

Me and my bestie in our heads
In the core of that thought is sacrifice. The trick to the thing like all else lies in sacrifice. In order for my bestie to find that unicorn she had to sacrifice, thoughts of family, thoughts of herself, everything.  For people like me, my privacy, my truth must not be held in, it must be made public.  My hard fought for emotional self-control must be ripped to shreds at my feet. 

My favorite song about love is by Mumford & Sons. Its called White Blank Page.  Within this song is the pathway to the light. In this song is the greatest sacrifice.  As the singer finally understands a fundamental divinely uncontestable truth about love that the heartbroken hardly ever ask themselves. The thought centers around the idea, that you can be better, you can do something different and love will be the result. You can read articles about your attitude, consider new style trends.  All the things you can do to make yourself more lovable will not change one simple thing. Who you decide to love. In the end you might just need to date someone you would never date and consider a perspective you’ve never considered.  Sacrifice all of your thoughts about your fault in something and accept a truth about your inherit worth.  Accept that the person was never able to see it and no . . . that was not your fault.

I’ll leave you with the song. .

Monday, January 13, 2014

Oddity of Mind

A few year ago I released a memoir style fiction called Perilous Flight. It was a coming of age thing that had a lot more reality in it than I ever wanted to believe.  This weighs on me right now.  Give a read.  Feeling a bit of melancholy, need a little direction or just want to get lost with someone who was.  Perilous Flight is the book you're looking for. It is the culmination of healing a broken heart that begins and ends with understanding what you should and shouldn't be fighting for:

I usually don't indulge in psychic flights of fancy.  I know things, I don't like it, I just do.  But every once in a while I have an awareness issue where it feels all of the world's everything is pouring into me.  So it's a haze, blurring dizzying and out of control and then I focus.  And out of the whirl comes a clear conscious stream.  Within this stream I see everything.  Not just a picture, I see people, what they are thinking, what they are feeling why they've responded the way that they have, the connections in their lives that have made it so.  I see myself through their eyes and still maintain what I'm thinking.  It's almost like watching my life as a spectator.  I remove myself from myself and then just politely, quietly watch. 

Not many people know this except for close personal friends. But I dreamed of Siegfried for years before we met.  Call me nuts, but really what use would it be. Anyway in these dreams he would murder me.  He was a serial killer, and he would come up to me and I would stand there knowing that he wouldn't hurt me, trusting him even though I knew I shouldn't and I would let him cut me down. 

He would start with my limbs slowly hacking away at me.  His face impassive and calm, indifferent.  He wasn't even really enjoying it, or paying attention truly.  He was performing a function.  And I endured it knowing that while I would die in one way, I would be reborn in another.  The sane would say that you stay away from the man that murdered you in your dreams.  I say I'm not sane and this was the path I needed to take.  Pain teaches so much more than pleasure does.  As far as my life up to this date has shown me at least.

Honestly I owe the man I'm divorcing a bit of gratitude.  I am just now becoming the woman I've always wanted to be.  And I never would've done it if he hadn't destroyed me emotionally to the point that I no longer wanted to live.  It made me find a reason to exist and forced me to find value within myself and not as a side car of what other people want from me.  The greatest gift a woman can ever give herself, is herself and herself alone.

And now my dreams are my own.  They are tempered with flirting, anticipation, longing, desire, waiting, anxiety, all of the delicious, delicious sensations that accompany being alive.  And now I'm starting to finish the dream, the one where Siegfried destroys me.  It doesn't end like I thought it did, but I never knew that before.  The pain of what I was enduring was always too much and I would end the dream early, well before he’s done killing me. You see, I always thought that this ended in my death and I always check out of dreams before I die in them.  Too Nightmare on Elm Street for me. But now, that I don’t fear the dying I can finish it, picking up from where he left off.

I watch as he pries out my heart and just holds it staring into my face waiting. Finally I yell at him to leave me alone, cursing at him, hating him.  He calmly tosses away my heart, gets up and leaves me lying there. I lay on the ground, my limbs scattered around me, they are burned and singed from my proximity to hell.  My eyes are closed and I weep, uncontrollable weeping.  But no motion, it hurts too much I can't bear the pain of crying as I normally would because heaving does me no good.  I turn to see tiny red demons with stubby limbs fighting over my heart.

Suddenly, the earth shatters around me and I hear him before he lands.  The sound of his wings ripping away as he falls cuts through my pain and stops my tears. I close my eyes as the lightning strikes, it tears up the sky and hurts to look at. And I can see him in my head, falling backwards through clouds, his black wings being torn from his back by the force of his falling. He folds his arms across his chest and lets himself fall.  His face is obscure because it’s being covered by his whipping hair. And then he's there. 

I can't see him, but I can feel him slowly putting me back together.  He starts with my legs, the putting together is almost more painful than the hacking off had been.  Because I can feel the burned torn flesh, I can feel the skin he peeled away from when Siegfried was pulling me apart.  I can feel the exposed nerves, the aching of my bones as they are being fused back together.  I feel the stranger’s hand at my brow. I want to open my eyes but I’m so afraid to stare into the face of my savior, so afraid to meet the man that will have all of me forever no matter what else is decided. He fell for me, what choice do I have. Not that I would choose anything else.  I feel his lips at my eyes telling me its okay not to look, and I feel him push my heart back into my chest. 

Through my pain I now know what to look forward to in pleasure.  I can feel it pour over me peeling away the marred, burned, sliced, and badly cauterized wounds the one who came before left.  This mystery coming into my life just unzips this heavy carcass of my despair, and carefully pulls me free from it.  Like a snake dropping its skin, my reconstructed form, starting with my feet he slowly pulls every part of me free.  His hands brushing away the debris slowly I feel the warmth of the sun combined with the coolness of water. The smell of burning flesh replaced with the onset of spring honeysuckle and lavender. Without a word, his lips to mine I am reborn.

From Perilous Flight at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stereotype Tree

Multicultural image
I think the importance of stereotypes and their existence become greatly undervalued.  If you ask someone why a stereotype is bad your general response would be something along the lines of 'Well it isn't polite, or nice."  Which of course opens the doorway of using them when you intentionally want to be mean or seen as bad.  It becomes a matter of opinion on civility instead of a matter of fact in regards to inequality systems.  Make no mistake about it; stereotypes have very little to do with civility and a whole lot more to do with the maintaining of inequality systems.

Inequality systems are an interesting thing.  In the current text I am reading "The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality" there is an analogy that is given by Marilyn Frye that I find to be very appropriate:

"Consider a birdcage. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires.” When the cage is observed so closely, it’s unclear why a bird—eager to escape—wouldn’t just fly around the wire. It’s necessary to step back and look at the entire cage. “It is perfectly obvious that the bird is surrounded by a network of systematically related barriers, no one of which could be the least hindrance to its flight, but which, by their relations to each other, are as confining as the walls of a dungeon” (Ore, 2003)

The interesting aspect of inequality systems is that people have a tendency to deny their existence.  The common perceptions among average Americans are that if a certain sector of the population is not successful it is through their own lack of desire, initiative, and drive.  According to the most privileged Americans, the playing field is level.  This is just the idea that the inequality maintenance system needs to survive. This perception of falsified equality. Yet in language, media, and legislation inequality thrives, and has convinced some that the perceptions given are the truth of the tale. Stereotypes then become even more invasive than these other influences because stereotypes are what a person is involved with on a psychic level and it becomes condoned and supported by these things.  This causes an invalidated truth to take root and be accepted as a validated truth.

Stereotypes are formed because we as people need to isolate things; assemble patterns. That's what we do, and how we learn. Just in case no one has noticed, humanity is in a heap of trouble. We have compounding problems from our environment to our economy. The issue is that likeminded groups stick together. We form these pockets of humanity, and these pockets only like to allow other likeminded individuals in them. We all do it.  However, like minded individuals are what got us into this situation in the first place. Diversity is the only answer now. Different heads need to be thinking about our issues from different perspectives of thought. No individual group is going to come up with an adequate solution. They can't. The only people they bounce ideas off of are just like them, and they see things too similarly. If they had a viable answer we wouldn't be in such a quandary.

Stereotypes are the root of all perspective evil because they incorporate assumptions about a whole that is usually only applicable to a few. However with this assumption in place, the perspective of the person is set and fixed to find evidence of this assumption in everything. It's our ability to create patterns used against us. Even if the stereotype is obviously not true in a person, we are actively looking for it to the point that another unrelated aspect of them seems to reinforce the stereotype. It's us typecasting each other, building that pattern.

Amazing Tree
Stereotype Tree

Roots of stereotypes come from culture, life experiences, and media. These are the things that shape us that were in place before we are even conscious of what we are or who we are going to be. The surrounding infrastructure that facilitated your birth. We would all be different people had we been born in the early 1800s instead of now.

Culture is the thing your family instilled in you and your beliefs. This includes religion, location, racial identity, socioeconomic status, acceptable behaviors and rewarded ideas. These are all the factors that those before you put into place. My foundation was set by a mother who raised me to believe that as a general rule people considered 'white' would always look down on me, but this was should not be the case.  They are no different than us, but they will always act like they are. Already I have a cultural perspective that says this type of person is always going to look down on me, but they are foolish for it. There is no difference between them and me.  This colors all interactions I have with people that are considered 'white'.  Does this person disapprove of what I am doing because as a woman who is 'not white' I should not be doing this because it implies equality?

This is the first step, so try to really dig into this concept and formulate what was presented to you as far as ethnic, class, financial, gender, and sexuality based expectations.  What were these mostly unspoken rules of what your family and friends expected from you at the very beginning of your life?  What was fair and what was based solely on stereotypes and uninformed assumptions?

Life Experiences
With the example set by your culture you have a certain perspective of the world. You see it with lenses colored by your culture. Situations that would seem one way to one person is actually completely different for someone else. When I was accused of cheating on my aptitude test in elementary school the teacher probably noticed me looking around because I do, a lot, always have. I didn't look for answers. I was just looking at the other kids because I was new and trying to figure out my new environment. When the scores came in, she confronted my mother about this. I felt guilty because my understanding was ‘looking around was bad’. When my mother found out and the teacher tried to explain, my mother got angry just like she does when she complains about white people, and tells me that I won't be attending that school anymore. This reinforces the stereotype that my mother has ingrained in me. This is an example of a life experience that can be seen from that cultural perspective.  Now I have an instance where it can be perceived that a ‘white’ authority figure has in fact 'looked down' on me because of my 'non-white' status as she openly questioned whether I was capable of achieving this aptitude score.

Media is a growing issue for stereotyping because it is so ingrained in our lives now. The messages that are being generated by advertisers and media outlets is shameful because the generation that was raised by television is now letting their children be raised by the internet. Should advertisers and content creators be more discriminating, yes, will they, no. They aren't trying to raise your kid right; they're trying to raise your kid to buy what they're selling. Question any and all media no matter what is being said and no matter who is saying it. All media can be traced to 6 corporations.  With that small amount of diversity, everything is being reported from a very limited and specific social perspective.

The trunk is what the roots feed, it's the person you are, and how you react and respond to others in day to day activities. The areas this effects are social, professional, and private aspects of you. In some situations this branches out to virtual versions of you. So think of it as the social you, for friends and group settings; the professional you for the sake of your career or livelihood, and the private you which are the aspects that only close personal people know or no one at all including you even understand. Then there is the advent of this virtual you. The person you project yourself as in cyberspace.

You choose to be in certain areas. Certain groups of people make you feel comfortable or uncomfortable. People create hives and groups based on affinity and relation. Usually these are dens of like-mindedness where ideas are identical and mirrored. These mirrored ideas reinforce stereotypes because they are never challenged.

While your job can create pockets of diversity, the understanding is that this is a ‘working you’, and not truly who you are. At work we respond sometimes as we must to fulfill the job expectations denying personal concerns. Most businesses are not expansive enough to need varying degrees of ability and talent with the exception of some high end performance and technology fields. Business autonomy sometimes makes it unnecessary for these different parts to fully interact. Working day to day while having certain stereotypes in mind causes you to see co-workers in a certain light as well. What is just playful banter can be misconstrued as an insult because of this. Stereotypes may be jarred a bit, but never disavowed because everyone is at work, and the actual face of who they are is not visible. Some fields are so devoid of diversity that even if people interacted with everyone they would see very little difference in ideologies. People who like to do certain work, or have to do certain jobs, have similar ideas and perspectives.

In the deep dark parts of ourselves we know what we truly believe. We believe what we've been shown through media, culture, and life experiences. Patterns develop that lead to who we are and manifest as the decisions and actions taken in our personal time. This is where stereotypes truly fester because our time can be spent in any way we would like. We guide ourselves inside of our own heads; this manifests in habits, likes and dislikes; our dreams. Our minds are our own, and they can either be cultivated or left barren.

The interesting thing about being virtual is the assumption that it creates anonymity. As a programmer I'm here to tell you it doesn’t. Web bots know you're IP address, with that they can find anything and everything they need to know about you. Just hope that no one wants to find you because it isn't difficult if you know how to look.

Online combines aspects of you and content creation. Media intermixes with self and amplifies self. In no other venue will you find more stereotypes being generated, accepted, and passed about freely as if they are actual facts than online. Then the issue becomes that a consensus has been formed, and together through another broader form of socialized communication, a body of evidence has been built and seems airtight. However if you apply all that came before this step, you can see why it works out like that. Now the stereotyped are accepting the labels, the typecasting, and are in fact living to make the stereotypes as real as possible, like some odd form of nihilistic approval seeking.

The result of the roots and the trunk are the branches. This is the active part that the person themselves take in creating the stereotype and regenerating it over and over again. This is the truth of what you believe in habits and nuances that are influencing other people, and reinforcing a certain perspective of an issue adjusting how you respond to them in the real world. You don't have to be a politician or someone in power for this to be effective. Just another person and it's done. This is where social expectations change the course of your actions when you are placed in stereotype forming or breaking situations. Here is when your need to act or fear of acting becomes a crucial determination of your true stance on the issue and ultimately your role.  This is where the company you keep sets an example. As human beings we are either reinforcing stereotypes or we are breaking them. There is no passive in-between.  Fence sitting is just the same as reinforcing them. People can ascertain your ability to accept others by the things you do, and the things you don't. Limitations, drawbacks, and misunderstandings are created by rating things in quality by untested assumptions. 

The idea is that these stereotypes should become leaves if you do a thorough analysis of your thoughts, ideas, and behaviors. They should grow, be tested, and fall away so that new ones can form, because unfortunately that is part of the human experience. There will always be stereotypes. It is the individual's choice if they would like to be a stereotype rock or a tree, always growing, always changing, always adapting.

Ore, Tracy E., ed. 2003. The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Multicultural image courtesy of  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Perspective Bluff: The Leading Lady

I am a bit of a sociology buff.  It's one of those social sciences that I feel very connected to mostly because it's the study of society which is a construct made by us.  People.  So I read lots of sociology blogs and textbooks because I find the study of us rather fascinating.  Recently I've decided to embark on another odyssey besides romance novels.  I also would like to write self-help books for those members of society that would like to free themselves from the constraints of society which would benefit everyone overall.  My self help series will be about women and some of the common perception traps we often find ourselves in.  So here is a little sample of what I would like to confront.  We'll call this segment the leading lady.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching this romantic comedy called Just Wright starring Queen Latifah and Common.  Most days of the week you'll catch me watching some action or super hero movie.  It's just what I prefer.  There was nothing else on, and the part of the movie I chimed in on intrigued me because I've always felt like no one has ever dealt with this aspect of female socialization.  The aspect I'm talking about is the 'professional athlete wife’.  This movie confronted the common perception issues most people have with this designation of society.  It is a one sided account so while it was not very flattering to the image of the professional athlete wife it did show some deeper thought and intelligence directed towards the professional athlete.

The character development for the movie was pretty standardized. If you picture in your mind what the wife of a professional athlete should look like she is usually of a certain weight, height, hair color or texture and sometimes a certain ethnicity. She is what Hollywood would refer to as 'The Leading Lady’.  The leading lady is a concept that leads into certain beliefs about a woman and her worth in the world. Through her portrayal in the media the average person begins to believe that only certain types of women deserve to be treated well. A man should only fall in love with a specific type of woman. She should have certain types of friends, and participate in certain activities.  She should always dress a certain way, and she should always be perceived as the height of feminine beauty.  The Venus Di Milo if we are being specific. The movie has this fascinating scene during a game where the two female characters that will ultimately vie for the attention of the male lead are facing the wives of the athletes.  It was this stark cookie cutter scene where there were rows of women who physically looked nearly identical.

The brilliance of this movie was that the actual leading lady was Queen Latifah who by all standards has never fit into the so called 'leading lady' role.  At several times during the movie I myself questioned why she was cast as she was.  The story itself was a paradox as I found myself thinking about how implausible it would be for a professional athlete to even consider a relationship with someone who didn’t fit the standard. This even slight wondering on my part was quite an epiphany for me because I usually don't prescribe to these pre-conceived notions.  Then I had to acknowledge how invasive and brainwashing media can be.  Even though I knew that this was not such an odd occurrence and should in fact be seen more and not less, something niggled at me saying that this woman wasn't the woman that belonged in this situation.  She didn't have the right qualities to be loved by this type of man, and she shouldn’t be the focal point of this movie.  This was all based on her physical appearance alone as the movie was full of women that did fit that very narrow ‘leading lady’ designation.  But it was that setting that made the absurdity of it my thoughts so apparent.

What it made me realize is how victimized American culture is by the mandates prescribed by our media.  Women hate themselves for not being what media tells them to be, and men actively support it.  However this point is in all respects. While it seems that one end has it better than the other end, what is thought of an unconventionally attractive woman who endeavors to expound upon her beauty as opposed to a conventionally attractive one who attempts to hide it. This aspect of fitting in becomes a value system for self worth and societal standing.  The rating system wants to know how well you fit in, and the system is set up to punish those who do not conform. Consider what happens to an Amish who falls into prideful ways.  In many respects society seeks to do this to those who don’t conform, thus the many societal subcultures.

The irony of this was presented so very clearly in the movie as the standard ‘pro athlete woman’ was in fact a gold digger who didn't care about the man or the sport he played.  She cared about the status symbol he would become in her life and the exalted status that she would enjoy as his wife.  While this is an unfair assumption to place onto most of these women, how many of them have carefully cultivated that look so that this goal can be achieved? It was the believability of it that was the most startling as women do sometimes see each other as either a scheming gold digger or not. We limit what the other is capable of because of it. But in regards to the professional male athlete isn’t this type of wife a statement of the same value system? Even though the female lead actually had more in common with the male lead, when faced with a conversation with each of them he chooses the gold digger instinctively understanding that this was the proper woman to be with thus solidifying his place in the system. This is how he fits in and thus reaffirms his self worth.

The key to society working is the understanding of each other and the value inherit to certain aspects of humanity.  The world is growing more caustic by the day towards ideas of true charity and service because of establishing ideas of glamour and excess. Instead of correlating societal value to service, dignity, compassion, empathy and care, value is given to avarice, vainglory, and idolatry. The system is in place, and it is not a faulty system.  However the accepted qualities and designations of fitting in desperately need to be reworked.