“You Aren’t Worthy of Love” Said Every Advertiser Ever

Image Credit: thom masat on Unsplash

The foundation of all advertisements is that you are deficient. That you would be happier / better / more loveable if...

It has to be this way so that you're primed to consume whatever product is on offer.

It's subtle, but it's real; the erosion of your sense of self-worth through thousands of daily messages that indirectly imply that you would be so much more worthy of being loved if you were different than you are now.

Death by a thousand paper cuts.

And that's what's at the core of it all - all of the consuming or striving for achievement - our belief or not in our deservedness to be loved for who we are versus what we do or have.

A person who feels content with themselves - who loves themselves and believes themselves to be worthy of the love of others - will not seek the external solutions offered by advertisers. That person consumes to solve a problem rather than to fill a void. (e.g. - My coffee maker broke, so I will purchase a new one = problem solved.)

Humans aren't born feeling unworthy. Just look at a toddler - they think they own the world!

So, you must be made to feel unhappy in some way about some aspect of yourself or your life if companies can ever hope to sell you things, especially things you don't necessarily need.

Advertisers get paid a lot of money to create that need inside of you. #madmen

You know this.

I'm not telling you anything you don't already know somewhere in the back of your mind.

But I wanted to write this down in order to bring it to the forefront of your mind (and mine).

We live in a capitalistic culture that can only thrive if we consume; we will only consume if we think we need to; we will only think we need to if we feel deficient in some way; it is the job of advertisers to make us feel deficient.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you're feeling dissatisfied with some aspect of yourself or your life, your first question should be "Through what channels am I being advertised to, and how can I stop exposing myself to them?"

Remove them from your life and then measure your levels of dissatisfaction; still the same...or not?

Any place in your life that offers the opportunity for comparison (TV, magazines, social media, and all the other usual suspects) are all to be scrutinized. The value you feel they add needs to be weighed against the cost to your mental and emotional well-being.

As much as you can, make a conscious choice about what you expose yourself to. The very thing you think is adding to your life might actually be sucking it out of you.

Your experience of being alive consists of nothing other than the sum of everything to which you pay attention. At the end of your life, looking back, whatever compelled your attention from moment to moment is simply what your life will have been. So when you pay attention to something you don’t especially value, it’s not an exaggeration to say that you’re paying with your life.

If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold.

Your attention is being bought and sold.

And your attention is being captured by making you feel unworthy so that you will pay attention to the things that the advertisers would have you believe will raise your value.

But nothing that can be bought will ever increase your inherent worth as human being.


Image Credit: Joshua Earle on Unsplash


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