What happens in Vegas…

Things I have learned… while on vacation this week:

1. I am sexy

2. I am fearless

3. I am not perfect

Written Wednesday…

Just got home from Vegas yesterday and I say, screw the saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”…LOL

It was a fun, interesting and exhausting trip. Things I remember; driving, winning, driving, Blue Man Group, walking, driving and well, yes you guessed it…  driving…LOL

This was my first ‘road trip’ to anywhere in over 3 years. I didn’t realize it till I was there, but this was a huge step for me. 2-3 years ago, I would have packed all my food and been afraid to be so far from home.  Funny, that stuff didn’t even cross my mind.

I went to Vegas and conquered a lot of things I have been afraid of recently. I walked so much. Of course, it’s easy to walk when you are on vacation, but for me, I have been afraid to walk because I have been so out of shape. I didn’t even think about it on this trip. I just did it. No fear right??? We walked through casinos, down the strip, down Fremont Street, back through casinos, up stairs, down stairs and back through casinos dodging multitudes of people along the way. My hips got a work out twisting and turning, that’s for sure…LOL

I felt normal again. Now, I know you are saying, well what is normal anyway. But normal for me was being spontaneous, doing anything and most everything without thinking about it, just doing it. I felt alive again. And even for a little while, I felt sexy. That is until we started walking around MGM Grand’s pool area and I saw all the women in bikinis flirting with the 6-pack clad guys. I was wondering if maybe I had logged into Second Life again. LOL

Magic mirror…

How do TV commercials influence American culture?

by Garth Sundem

How do TV commercials influence American culture?

Image Gallery: Evolution of TV

Family of four watching TV
Flying Colours Ltd/Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Television advertisements have the power to influence all viewers, from young to old. See more pictures of TV’s evolution.

TV ads are built on one simple idea: If you buy X, you’ll get Y. But Y is rarely the product itself. Rather, it’s a positive emotion, a perfect relationship, higher social status or an amazing experience. For example, if you buy Big Red gum, you’ll get to “kiss a little longer.” Or if you go to Toys “R” Us, you’ll reconnect with your youthful self, allowing you to have even more fun with your kids: After all, you don’t wanna grow up, ’cause maybe if you did, you couldn’t be a Toys “R” Us kid! Leaving the jingles aside, if you had a Verizon phone, you’d be able to stay close with your family. Or if you owned a Kia car, you would immediately transform into an ultracool rodent. (Well, maybe that one’s a little far-fetched!)

Maybe more importantly, in terms of TV ads’ impact on culture, buying Calvin Klein jeans will make you sexy like Kate Moss, or buying Nike sports apparel will make you ready to “Just Do It,” like a professional beach volleyball player.

Of course, this isn’t breaking news. What’s cool, though, is how exactly it works — more specifically, how TV ads both reflect culture and drive it forward, pulling us unsuspecting viewers along with it.

Up Next

In the early 1900s, clever industrialists faced competition from other clever industrialists. They quickly realized that instead of simply selling a better cooking stove, for example, they could sell the idea that their cooking stove above any other on the market was the key to a “modern” household. And what did society want? It wanted to be modern. And how did society achieve this? By buying brand X’s stove, because it appeared to be the obvious choice. And thus the idea of buying your way to an idealized life was born.

Next up, we’ll look a little more at how today’s ads affect TV viewers.

The Average American

We’ve already established that TV ads reflect culture. They parrot back to consumers what consumers already want: a modern household, the ability to properly nurture a family according to cultural standards, the perfect relationship and more.

But this reflection is a magic mirror: one that you can look into and see not you as you are, but a better self. According to the ads, this better self is funnier than you (the misquoted football coaches of Coors), cooler than you (the guy driving a Dodge Charger) and way, way sexier than you (Kate Moss, Tyra Banks or the ever-alluring David Hasselhoff).

In fact, almost all of the 16,000 ads the average American sees every day have one thing in common: They’re idealized . Idealization means that whatever’s happening in the ad is ahead of where culture is right now. It’s not what we’ve got, but instead it’s richer, sexier and cooler!

TV ads drive culture by reflecting only the lucky top 0.001 percent of what’s possible, and then when the remaining 99.999 percent of culture imitates it, the center of culture shifts. Ads show sexy, liberated women smoking, so more average American women start smoking to try to achieve that sexy liberation. Ads show perfect natural beauty, or athletic beauty, or posh beauty, or stick-figure beauty, and when culture imitates these ideals, the center shifts and the ads have to get more extreme to remain ideal. For example, how could you not want to be as cool as the Kia hamsters in their saggy pants, hoodies and dark glasses?

If we’re not careful, these ads can be cultural quicksand. Culture suggests something and ads drive it — whether the destination is worthwhile or not is beside the point.

The evolution of beauty…

I have had to take a hiatus from shooting pics in SL, as I need a new computer. I’m totally depressed over this as the projects are my passion, my art. But nothing I can do until I get a new computer. In the meantime, I am still working through so many issues in my life, including body image, self confidence, beauty, health and my eating disorder, among others. I wanted to share a couple videos I have found recently or re-found. If you have any inspiration, supportive ideas/vides etc, you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!!!

Have a wonderful week!!!