The conversation started with this post on one of my message boards about Dove's Real Women campaign.
First, visit this site and watch the short video: Campaign for Real Beauty. Go ahead, I'll wait for you to come back.
The original poster and I both applauded Dove for having the courage to say out loud and in real life that women are beautiful exactly as they were created. Somehow we have gotten terribly off course when whole generations of young women aspire to an unrealistic and unhealthy concept of beauty which would have us believe that the Creation was defective.
It's but one facet of a flawed gem. We also have perverted God's gift by falling prey to overspending and excessive consumerism. In this regard I am a member of the "anti-bling" brigade.
More and more people are spending more money than they have to buy more things that they don't need. They have a sense of entitlement for the brightest and best. How sad that we as a society have been distracted from our real lives by bright, shiny objects. Just like a mina bird.
A lot of people are so caught up in the lifestyle of possessions that they fail to pay their bills, run up enormous credit card debt, have charge-offs and bankruptcies and fail to provide for their children's needs. It is that kind of obsessive consumerism I am against. It is unneccessary, destructive and irresponsible.
That type of consumerism is indicative of deeper problems, not the least of which is a damaged self esteem.
A lot of people are criticizing the Dove campaign. One point they have made is that "commoditizing" sex still sells products, and "commoditizing" self esteem sells soap.
I was stunned to return to the post three hours later. Nearly 100 posts had been added, criticizing the Dove campaign and criticizing me and my stance on extreme consumerism.
It's hard -- no, impossible -- for me to understand defending a lifestyle in which people routinely pay $200 or more on jeans, buy diamonds because they are bigger than the last diamonds they bought, and spend $800 a month or more just to eat out. Oh, especially if the rent goes unpaid and they have a long history of delinquent payments and charge-offs.
That life seems so empty to me.
I grew up poor, as did most of my friends. Since then, however, one of those friends became incredibly wealthy. Our life views are so vastly different now that we have a hard time finding any common ground now. I have a hard time "getting" her lifestyle now.
So I want to know what you, my readers, think. Where do you come down on the scale of consumerism?
How about your stance on the Dove campaign? Is it a good beginning in affirming real women and real girls, or a clever sales campaign? Is it both? Does the fact that Dove is a business change the value of this campaign?