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Advertising and it’s role in our society
Every day i watch better and better commercials. The advertising industry does a better job as anytime in our history and this is only normal taking into consideration that they are building their advertisments based on a deeper and deper understanding of our human nature and our why we see the world and interact with it. Everyday they are improving the concepts, they find new ‘soft’ spots into their audience minds. Everyday new advertising forms appear that does not look as advertising and everyday i learn how to spot and ignore such fake messages. Even so advertising has never been more effective than now.
I don’t especially like commercials and, because of that, i choose not to own a TV for the last 6 years of my life. My interaction with the ‘outside world’ is mainly based on internet and on the fact that using the computer i can choose when, if and what materials to watch and i can easily choose not to go to the websites what have way too much advertisments. Even so i feel that advertising has captured all my surroundings. Metro stations, bus stations, buildings, parks, everywhere i am surrounded by advertisements. They are also taking hold of my internet world, video sharing sites presenting advertisements much in a way i hated about the traditional TV. The widespread use of advertising has diminished their one by one impact by the overall picture is that the effectiveness increases.
Wikipedia tells us that “Advertising or advertising is a form of communication used to encourage or persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group of people) to continue or take some new action.” We could not be more wrong than that and this is the image advertising agencies are counting on it.
We usually believe that Advertising it’s about selling products, but the fact of the matter advertising it’s more about the end result than about the product itself. And what is the end result ? This 1895 ad. from Wikipedia Commons ask us to ‘GET FAT’ and if watched in detail we can see that taking this products “will produce from 8 to 16 lbs. of solid healthy flesh per month.”
Nature has endowed us with the ways to take care of ourselves, to know what is right for us. This process had taken hundreds of thousands of years and it’s what we call today evolution. We have evolved in such a way that even when we are infants our senses can detect our mothers milk and know it’s good for us to drink it. Such mechanisms are embedded into our genes and our life is guided by it. In fact all our senses are designed in such a way to help us overcome the hostility of life. Powerful sounds, powerful colors ( red ), powerful smells, powerful tastes put us on alert every time. Through this senses we have also come to enjoy life and this is why we can smell flowers, we can taste honey, we can hear music, we can see beauty.
What is happening right now ?
Advertising has blurred the lines between only selling products and manipulating people a long time ago. Nowadays we are even encouraged to buy products in order to deceive ourselves or our partners.
Males are genetically wired to be able to find and matching partner for procreation. The beauty of a woman represents in the eyes of males those characteristics that can assure healthy offsprings. Again the concept of beauty has been changed over the centuries by our minds becoming nowadays something very far away from what was supposed to be from nature’s point of view. Either we refer to beautiful flowers that count on their beauty (color, shape) to be selected by insects and perform pollinisation, either we refer to ‘beautiful’ sounds that help many birds choose their mating partner beauty is one of the nice ways nature devised as a natural selection method. Humans are no stranger to this selection algorithm and beauty counts for us even more than it counts for animals or plants in the process of selecting a partner.
Here advertising is hurting our evolution more than anybody now can imagine. We have been lied by ads that we have to be fat to be healthy, more recently that we have to be really skinny to be beautiful and so on when the truth is that each one of us must be the way was made to be by nature and by its parents. Such advertising, based on the human ‘urge’ to be selected, to be beautiful, has created monsters. It has created useless industries that sell useless products based on this natural ‘urge’ generating endless amount of waste just because we have been deceived that we can’t live without mascara, without longer eyelashes, without soft skin and straight hair.
But this is not by far the worst thing that has happened. This are only external products that have a limited impact on our understanding of our partner. You can forget one day to use a perfume and then you can smell your own body odor. You can forget to put mascara and you will see the true face of your partner. We can detect this changes and we can override them in our minds in our quest to search for a partner. This things usually can’t do much harm but then there are some long term ‘solutions’ to this non existent ‘problems’ that advertising has helped create and feed over the last decades.
Among those long lasting effects are medical treatments designed to ‘rejuvenate’ us, breast implants, butt implants, nose jobs and so on. The effects of this procedures are very easy to understand. We need to understand first that these are lies we can’t easily detect until it’s too late. Having a nose job is only a step further from lying everybody about your natural nose shape. All this changes means the partners lie each other about their REAL and NATURAL capability of producing healthy and beautiful offsprings.
For example breasts are the best thing a infant can wish for and the ability to provide good quality milk for the mother is an important factor of child development. This is the main biological purpose of breasts. Big breasts mean an abundance of such milk and males are more likely to choose big-breasted females as their partner because of only this reason.
What is the outcome of such lies promoted by ‘advertising’ and i don’t only refer to advertising agencies, i refer here to every human being, an unnatural modified body ?
The outcome is at least grim. Generation by generation humans will be more ugly than they have ever been before and smart people that don’t decide to have their nose job will be an extinct subspecies. With each generation the problem of ‘beauty’ will amplify and advertising and products to hide the natural ‘ugliness’ will be more and more used. This is nothing more than a vicious circle with every step bringing us close to extinction. For the first time in our earth history a species has started to involute and lose its adaptive capabilities.
Sadly things do not stop here. Medicine nowadays is giving even a bigger blow to nature and natural selection. Not even that we are lied about ‘beauty’, about the visible features that help us decide the best partner, we are lied starting from the genetic material. People carrying grave genetic disorders, disease prone and so on are living longer lives today than they would ever have been and during that borrowed time, given to them by medicine are having offsprings that carry with them all the bad genes of their parents. In an normal evolutive society, this would have not been possible. I do praise the advances of medicine and that they are giving me a chance to live a longer life than my ancestors have lived but i must understand that i have a responsibility to the human species that, if there is the case, might mean that i should not have the offsprings that i would not have had anyway.
What can be done ?
My first impulse is to be radical, to put a stop to all this. But this is an insane thought when we think at the consequences. The only acceptable and normal way is for people to demand less advertising be imposed on them, to demand less fiction to be used.
We should demand from the people we meet to know their medical history and any modifications that they have made to their body so we can take an informed decision when choosing the partner that is lying to us everyday about their appearance and health. We should say that is not acceptable to modify your body unless there are imperative reasons to do this like in the cases of accidents.
And last but not least we should refrain from having offsprings if we are the carriers of grave genetic diseases or feats that have great chances to be genetically transmitted.
For humanity to have a future everything we do must be put in the perspective of evolution.