Free Choice and a Consumer Society

In a consumerism-driven society, free choice is simply a fool’s paradise. Our desires are all based off of media advertising around us (depicting mainly the thin and unrealistic), showing that those who should be allowed to have free choice are solely those who are perfect and beautiful. How can one individual not in this minority stand up to the views and opinions of the collective, and shun the conformed ideals of beauty? “Food and weight loss are an inescapable part of contemporary culture” (Hesse-Biber 67). People strive to achieve impossible standards to have free choice, but can never reach the goal. Even those with some societal power (in the form of the influence of the public), such as celebrities, give in to the advertising perfections, and lose their ability to change it, therefore shunning the abilities of free choice. This is done in one way by giving in to the perfect body and by accepting Photoshop. Everyone, even the “wildcard” celebrities, want respect from the public and therefore lose their free choice. Even Jennifer Lawrence, who is known to be proud of her body and “regular” eating habits, shot a Dior campaign and accepted Photoshop to make her thinner and less realistic: “I love Photoshop more than anything in the world. Of course it’s Photoshop; people don’t look like that,” (Weinger). The individual pales in comparison to society, and everyone ends up in self-loathing for not reflecting each admirable attribute of the collective.

 

Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy. “The Cult of Thinness.” Oxford University Press. Oxford University, 2007. Print.

Weinger, Erin. “Jennifer Lawrence on Her Dior Ads: ‘Of Course It’s Photoshop; People Don’t Look Like That'” Fashtrack. The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.Image

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