Media Monday: “Sharing” Self Appreciation

Jessica Shankman

“How to get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex, and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps”

If the number of “shares” that this article received on Facebook doesn’t tell you that people want a change, I don’t know what will. Perhaps the appeal comes from the relate-ability of the topic. The amount of times that I—that we all—have seen this type of article title in its’ many forms is almost embarrassing to admit. I’ll be honest; I like to think of myself as somehow resistant to the toxic strain of media messages. Wouldn’t that be nice? The amount of times that I have clicked on that ad, pouring the page for the promised miraculous cure to all things desirable (abs, sex, the magical food that will shed away fat, etc.) is most definitely embarrassing. This time was no exception. But—alas—check the fine print on this article, and you may feel encouraged.

Kate Bartolotta clearly struck a chord with young men and women on many levels. The article talks about these misleading titles that we are exposed to. Whether we realize it or not, there is now a belief embedded in society that links our exterior image with our happiness and self worth. In turn, we are made to believe that if we have not achieved these goals, we are not fully happy. Bartolotta disagrees. As a response, she outlines “8 easy steps” to actually being happy.

“You are alive.” In my opinion, the author is crying out for our society to put things into perspective. When we are alive, the possibilities are endless. We live in a contradictory time; we must have “more” and “better”—but we also have to have it now. How can we get the most while exerting the least amount of effort? The result of this obsession is articles upon articles, selling shortcuts (to an audience that seeks shortcuts). It’s no wonder the most willful of individuals are made to feel backed in the corner and out of options. However, Bartolotta’s sales-pitch tells a different story. The only thing being sold here is a little self appreciation, perhaps the easiest, cheapest way to self improvement out there.  And that, my friends, is certainly worth a Facebook share.