The toilet seat covers at work are called “Lifesavers.” The name is printed all over them, stamped everywhere they could put it. There’s something I really object to about products, and worse, product ads that imply danger or deficiency on my part. These seat covers are just an example–mouthwash, deodorant, rogaine, antibacterial moist towelettes, the interchangeable paper seat covers on airplanes. All these are little nuanced markets in our society that exist only because marketers plant the idea in our minds that there is something wrong about us or the way we do things. Makeup, diet books, lipo clinics–all these money-making areas first have to induce dissatisfaction, otherwise the majority of us wouldn’t care about them. As a culture, we’re become obsessed with germs, with avoiding contact, with maintaining superficial appearance, not because of any innate personal or cultural needs or desires, but because ads we’re exposed to practically since birth indoctrinate us with ideas and personal habits that lead to a more consumerist lifestyle.
Personally, I try to live a life with as few insecurities and neuroses as possible, but I know I’m vulnerable to suggestions. I hate that companies thrust artificial insecurities upon us under the guise of health or hygiene concerns. I heartily recommend that everyone actively take time to fight their neuroses–stop spending all your time worrying about what people think and colds you might catch! Get yourself a little dirty! Find out what you smell like behind the Tommy Hilfiger perfume! And above all, enjoy the freedom that comes from rebelling against the feelings of imperfection that have been stamped into us.