Raul Freitas

That’s so last week!



“Beauty is only skin deep”, is a phrase used to allude to the fact that a person’s character was more important than how they looked. I’m sure that in today’s ‘market’ it’s something many don’t care to hear. It seems like outward appearance is the very essence of one’s self and what’s on the inside just gets tucked away for safe keeping.

Dolling yourself up has always been important to most people, but in today’s climate, your face is literally what most people see of you, when you consider the amount of time we spend socializing and even working, via social media. We don’t meet up with people nearly as much as we used to. With phones in everyone’s hands practically 24/7, we’re just a touch away from whomever wishes to communicate with us. Scary, but we’re now all perfectly accustomed to it. It’s gotten to a point where this handy device has become a fundamental part of us. So, our face is our calling card, and many believe they need to be ‘current’ in their look, and go to extremes to keep that up.

We’re strange beings, loving individuality but also not wanting to be left out. Many try to make up for that by going extreme on the current trends in order to be different. The result, is what many times looks to me like something went wrong, although the person seems really happy with their “look”. It’s shocking sometimes, isn’t it? You see someone who’s gone so far over the top that you cringe, and wonder if they really feel comfortable in that state. You feel the pain that they look like they’re experiencing. Those that are so pumped with Botox that they’re devoid of facial expression. They don’t see this? Is it a trade-off to be…. beautiful? My thinking is that people do these things to themselves to fill voids on the inside. It shows a great lack of confidence, and the providers of said procedures are always happy to fill those holes from the outside. It’s a huge business, of course. So is fashion and décor. These are all businesses that thrive on trends. The same people that designed and installed your kitchen ten years ago will walk in your door today and convince you that what you currently have is “outdated”. You must now do it this way because that’s what the “trend” is. Somewhat hypocritical, yes, but that’s how the economy rolls.

We’re all so disconnected now. Less and less, people are making up their own minds; observing, processing, learning, deciding. Look at our children. They’re so caught up in this web that it collides with their innocence and creates a quagmire of confusion and self-doubt. They’re alone and the only place they can turn to is in the palm of their hands, and those that they’re “learning from” couldn’t care less about them. They want to use them, influence them and take advantage of them, and it’s working really efficiently, seemingly with no solution in sight. How can you fight something everyone is so attached to. How do you convince a child to have patience and learn, if they’re convinced all the right answers are a click away.

All this constantly reminds me of a 1985 Terry Gilliam flick called “Brazil”. A mind-bending movie that very much relates to the direction the world is taking. A lesson in what’s to come, using the extreme to bring the point across. Another interesting fact I just recently found out was that George Orwell’s “1984” made it to the banned book list in Florida, very tell-tale.

We’re losing ourselves to the conglomerates and we’re going willingly. It’s of little consequence what few of us do to bring awareness to this situation. It almost seems like they’re putting something in our food to make us comply, but it’s not like that at all. They don’t need to make any special efforts to lock us in, we jump at the chance because they tell us our lives will be better for it; beautiful, attractive, sexy, convenient, simple, easy, no mess, instant, at the push of a button. Simple phrases for which we will unknowingly sell our soul.

In the seventies, a hairy Magnum, P.I., (Tom Selleck), was a world-wide sex symbol, today, it’s Harry Styles, hairless and wearing a dress. Not a criticism, but an example of how easily we get played.
Fiquem bem.

Raul Freitas/MS

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