Ultimate Juggler

Monday, February 20, 2006

Be yourself

Always insist on yourself. Never imitate.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just finished reading an editorial article on one of my favourite websites about mothering, MMO (The Mothers Movement Online), about a book published recently entitled The Mommy Myth by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels. This book will be added to my evergrowing must-read list.

While I'd be certain to have more to say if I ever read the book, the article about the book was thought-provoking in itself. The theme of the book exposed in the article was what captured my attention. I identified with the reality of the idealistic mommy images portrayed by the media in the early-to-mid '90s during the time my children were born. The images came primarily via parenting magazines in my case, and occasionally on television commercials, however I did not witness the latter to a large degree because we did not have cable television at the time.

Every role and function, including
motherhood, is idealized by the media in the attempt to increase market share. Whether it be a fictitious representation of the ideal male or female physique, SUV driver, IPOD user, mother, father or grandparent, the idealization of consumers is rampant in our society. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves as a public in order to see through these depictions for what they are (comically surreal) and boycott the products if we find the idealization to be offensive. We can protest if we wish to, however I think education is a more effective method of striking at the heart of the problem. The false representation of motherhood is no more than a dim-witted marketing ploy that any of us in the role of motherhood would quickly deduce.

The scheme undermining mothers is by manufacturers of parenting products. It is a fact that when we have children our expenses will increase, and so will the many businesses eager to make some money off of us. There is no ploy an enterprise will not stoop to in order to create a 'need' where none previously existed. Doesn't the creation of a perfect mommy image using a product that makes her life even more perfect seem a likely tactic with which to seduce the imperfect mothers of the world? This method has been used for ages and we need a discerning and critical eye to see through the lies. We mothers, and consumers in general, should give ourselves the permission to be who we choose to be, how we choose to be it, and not simply follow what the mass media tells us.

Tomorrow I will attend my first meeting with a mothers group in my new hometown of St. Lazare. I am hungry for the comaraderie of other women in my situation and the opportunity to share opinions about topics such as this. It has helped me immensely in the past and I am happy to know a group like this exists in my community.

2 Comments:

  • hey aunt laura! i absolutely love your blog. i found it insanely intruiging and very true. your remarks were eye opening and wonderfully unique. we need to hear more things around the world liek this. so get going on your book! (lol) i love you and miss you.

    - Sarah

    By Anonymous Sarah Del., at 6:01 PM  

  • Thanks for the feedback Sarah! I weigh very seriously the words of an ambitious and aspiring writer like yourself. Looking forward to seeing great ideas launched in the written form from you in the future!

    Love, Aunt Laura xoxo

    By Blogger Laura Q, at 9:37 PM  

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