Monday, 17 August 2009

"The more I drink, the better you look"

I've seen this slogan on a few T-shirts recently. Although the definitive statement about slogans on t-shirts was made by the poet Fran Landesman who is reputed to have said;
"If I don't want to hear from you; what makes you think I want to hear from your damn T-shirt?"
However, seeing it again today invoked some feelings about underlying meanings. Before I'd just thought about the beer goggles aspect, sex and regret under the influence and stopped there.
This this time I thought; drink, released inhibitions, makes you look lovelier, me feel relaxed, better, the world seem, be-youtiful, ahhhhhhh.

Then I realised that is what a lot of people have been getting at regards beauty and being fat. Often caricatured as fat people wanting the 'right' to be found attractive. It's tricky because we are trained to believe that attractiveness is natural and unfettered, hardwired even. And yet we know that isn't quite the whole truth, what is and is not judged attractive is filtered through our conscious judgements.

At first it seems like a joke, but alcohol is a way of getting out from under these rules, which a lot of the time we don't even choose.That's often why we are so emphatic about them, to try and make them belong to us, when we know they are imposed by peer pressure. Usually guys maintain a front of insisting that when it comes to their playmates they are extremely chooooosy and would not stoop to dipping their wick in anything less than the acme of physical perfection and beauty. We all know this isn't true, but they feel an imperative to state it.

Rather than, 'I'll have a beer and oh by the way, hick, may I say how splendiferouzly shaggable you're looking right now?' You have a beer because that's what it takes to let go and give you courage to overcome the part of you that polices society's expectations of you. Underneath everything, you just want to live, to have a good time and that isn't compatible with outer dictates that don't really give a damn about your needs or real opinions.

The strain of the standards we impose upon ourselves and the pleasure it steals from us, leads us to overindulgence and worse when we can take the imbalance no more. This is the story of a whole lot of human unhappiness and how we have to bypass or blunt our minds to relieve the strain when it gets too much. We love to say that we are a different person when drunk, we are not responsible for that version of ourselves, even the law recognises this to an extent.

All because of peer pressure. Ah the much criticized peer pressure, for that's what the obesity crisis is made of. It is toxic when children are using it, but in the hands of us grown ups, why it's going to save the world from the coming adipocalypse.

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