Subliminal messaging.

Hello all! Well, as some of you may or may not have heard, I went on a daring adventure across country road trip… I don’t know if it was that I genuinely thought it would be fun or that I had a lapse in judgment and temporarily went insane.

Now, over a course of a week we went from Missouri clear across the country to California, driving throughout states like Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, and Utah. Just to name a few. While having Cheetos thrown at my head, and screaming fits of apple juice depletion I noticed something unusual… And that was the billboards. Now I know that the companies are probably patting themselves on the back realizing that they cause enough of a distraction that they made an exhausted mom start to do math, but I did. And I will tell you why.

I am not against any one state or religion, I believe a person’s beliefs are their own and make up essentially who they are. And I try to bite my tongue, but I can’t anymore. If this was an AA type meeting I would proudly stand before you and say that I am a recovering Mormon… To which a lot of my most cherished idols would cry. They would want me to continue in their beliefs and rear my children in that safety net, but I can not, so I won’t. Maybe this has to do with my bitterness towards this injustice of which I will mathematically show, but I believe logically it will not.

When driving through Las Vegas Nevada, approximately 2/3rds of the bill boards were about attractions and hotels, which is how most of the other states were as well. Except for Kansas and Nebraska which both states tempted me really hard to go and see the 50 LB prairie dog and the five legged cow. But Las Vegas’s 1/3rd remaining billboards were divided evenly (yes, evenly, 50/50) between topless resorts and thunder down under. For every gentleman’s club, there was a chip and dales sign as well… And many signs that geared to all sexual orientation in the form of different adult toys. This my friends, is gender and sexual orientation fairness. How we all should be. None of the billboards had any explicit photos or details, so no children were harmed in the advertising provided, but it was fair! It made me happy.

But, while in Utah, it was a sickening sight. 1/5 of the signs were about coming attractions and hotels. 1/5! Do you want to know what the remaining 4/5ths were? 3/5 were advertisement geared toward women and this idea that they need to change their image. The mild ones were about varicose veins, medium ones were about spending ‘eternity with her smile, don’t you want it to be perfect’? (Having the woman needing braces, and teeth whitening). The absolute worst were about ‘natural breast augmentation’. Seriously? Instead of telling me about what I can go and see in this “family friendly state” you have spent as much time telling me that I am not good enough and need a boob job? I grew up in this culture, but I guess stepping out of it has shown me how judgmental this area of USA truly is! What happened to all those lessons during Sunday school were ‘your body is a temple and you shouldn’t do anything to harm it’? Is this just a way to make me not get an extra set of earrings or tattoos? But if my boobs sag at all, I need to fix it immediately? A part of me, this deep down demented part, wants to get a billboard sign and have it say ‘if your penis isn’t big enough to pleasure her, maybe you shouldn’t have the priesthood…’ But my spouse says that is too harsh and should say ‘can’t pleasure her, can’t be head of the household’… I like mine more.

On to the last 1/5 of the billboards (if it hasn’t already made you sick enough, with all this ‘the best place for a woman is to be a domestic goddess’ bull, and college is only for her to have a place to say ‘I do’). They were geared again to this idea of getting married. Now, marriage is not at all a bad thing.. I would highly recommend it. But the way UT has done this last billboard, it sickened me. ‘You will only know that he truly loves you if he went to (insert jewelry stores name here)’… So you are saying that I should value my worth based on whether or not my ring came from your store? That it isn’t true love if the rock didn’t come from you? I wish I could get some white out and where their login is write in big bold letters ‘he said yes’ underneath the princess cut engagement ring. They did after all legalize same sex marriages, let’s make it loud and proud!

We sit here and complain of the subliminal messaging that fashion magazines and such give our kids, and that is what is causing the huge amounts of eating disorders and self image issues that many women have. It is true, they might, and poor self image can lead to a lot of things. Divorce, anxiety, and in some cases, death. We sit here and ask women to not to judge one another and be each other support group. To love. But quiet honestly, UT, yes, you UT, how can you ask this when you are the only state that is so harshly judgmental of your women that you spent over 3/5ths of your billboard advertisement persecuting them, and finding fault in them? If I could, I would on every single one of those billboards put my good friend, May Faith’s photo, ‘Beautiful as I am’ and maybe, just maybe, they will find happiness. I just know now that I can never ever live in such a hateful state again. Period.

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