Jasmine, I’m so honored to collaborate with you on this important post juxtaposing the various ways media shapes stigma and your own testimony.
Guest Post from Jasmine:
I love old ads, Victorian, retro, apothecaries… not only are they works of art, but are full of the funniest jokes.
It would be a lot easier to laugh at the ad agencies if it wasn’t for the fact that we buy it. These ads are proof that our health depends on our willingness to look at more than media. Just because we read it on the internet, see a commercial on TV, it doesn’t mean it’s the right path.
I look at my bottles of pills. “Of course it’s safe, otherwise they wouldn’t be aloud to sell it in the grocery store”, I think to myself. Or, “they must be okay because my doctor said so. Somebody would have gotten in trouble for it by now, if it was bad”.
That kind of thinking gives away our power. We are no longer responsible when we make it everyone else’s fault if something bad happens to us. Even if the doctors and companies get sued, it is Me who will suffer the most. There is nothing more important than our health. How can we deal with life when we are distracted with health issues? How will we treat people the way they deserve, when we’re not feeling well?
The point is that what we see in popular culture isn’t there to educate us. It is there to entertain. Or make a sale. Or push its other entrepreneurial agenda.
I’m trying to focus on smoking because there is no way anyone could deny they hurt you in some way. Pills are different because there is a different mindset with that, and I’m saving that for another day… But smoking clearly isn’t healthy. My dad was one of those people who smoked 1-3 packs a day and said that it’s a myth that people are getting lung cancer from cigarettes. He jogged everyday and worked out… with a cigarette in his mouth. If he was alive, I would like to ask him if he thought he would be a better athlete with more stamina if he at least didn’t smoke while working out. I know the times are different and we know more now than we did back then… But I smoked enough cigarettes in my day to know that I would hack up a lung every morning and had a regular cough, until I quit.
Questions: How do we tell people what to listen to? Not just listen to other dramatic people and what we want to hear… not kid ourselves and run away from the real solution, whatever it may be?
-Jasmine (I’m 39, a wife, a mother and I’m cRaZy!)
Self-Care Tip: Use media material for entertainment and look in better places for education and counsel.