Friday, April 26, 2013

Bring on the Good

I'm not exactly sure what draws me to reality TV. Is it the intensity of the fabricated drama? Is it the ridiculousness of the Kardashians? Is it the myth of life's problems being resolved in a 20-minute segment?

I know that many of the shows are staged.
I know the Kardashians will continually shock me with their elaborately posh lives.
I know that conflicts aren't realistically resolved in one episode.

But all of these TV shows lure me in with the intoxicating belief that I can feel better about myself if only I measure up to the "reality" of the rest of the world.

Like: "At least I'm not like that."


"Wow, I need to be more like that."

Both responses make me feel worse and at the end of the day, it's all about wanting to feel worthy. And reality TV tends to convince me--on some level--that I'm not.

This morning on the treadmill, I rapidly flipped through about twenty channels knowing that I just wanted to get to HGTV. Here's what I saw on my way there:
-tanned, half-naked bodies promoting the Insanity work-out infomercial
-QVC selling some bizarre knitted poncho thing
-Cindy Crawford posing for skin care line (enter exotic fruits and tropical jungles)
-the Magic Bullet that will probably make me lose weight just by purchasing one
-a teeth whitening system that will make everyone love me
-Chalene Extreme work-out infomercial with happily Spandexed human beings
-some slimming/body-shaping garment thing that will probably change my life
-the Hip Hop abs weight loss program
-and so on and so forth. You get the picture.

I was amazed (even at 6am) at how in such a brief few seconds I saw before me the entire marketing mantra:
"You suck. 
But if you buy our stuff.
You'll suck less."

I know what my triggers are. I know what I'm drawn to, what I benefit from, and what does me no good. And yet, I keep coming back like it's a drug. The reasons I'm drawn to reality TV and infomercials, are the exact same reasons I'm drawn to magazines, Facebook, and the bathroom scale:
Please--oh inanimate object--tell me where I stand. 

How do I measure up?
How do I compare?
Am I good enough?
Pretty enough?

These questions terrorize me when I'm surrounding myself with garbage.
But they get squished out when I'm surrounding myself with goodness.

Goodness like my young and lovely cousins with curly hair and full smiles.
Goodness like watching a 70-something woman dance with grace.
Goodness like laughing with kindergarteners.
Goodness like a mojito on a sunny afternoon.
Goodness like a yummy book.
Goodness like real women standing confidently in swimsuits.
Goodness like vulnerability and balance.
Goodness like self-care and tenderness.
Goodness like a life well-lived and not just a life well-documented on "reality" television.

Bring on the good.