How Capitalism Exploits Insecurities | Monologue | Topic

How Capitalism Exploits Insecurities | Monologue | Topic


At the time of the financial crash of 2008 When I was making my last film The Queen of Versailles I started to think about how all of the hundreds of photo stories and stories in my filmmaking since the early nineties might be connected, and when considered together might tell a bigger story about the way we’ve changed. I was struck when I would talk to kids. and asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. And… the most common reply was ‘rich and famous.’ …which is not a job, but really got me thinking about how the American Dream has changed. and kind of how we’ve gone from values of hard work and frugality and discipline to values of bling and celebrity and narcissism. I started to see connections and the gender piece really came together for me when I realized it was about the commodification of women’s bodies, and how the commodification of a human being was kind of the ultimate cost and degradation of capitalism. And, the way that I saw this was through women’s bodies, and through a kind of continuum where girls learned at an early age that their value came from their body, that their body gave them currency. And I had photographed this extensively, beginning with little girls playing dress up at the kind of innocent age of three, four and five, and saw this continuum through the kind of pouting and sexy dress for pictures, to the kind of idealization of sex work. Like, there was a fifteen year-old who told me that if she could be anything, she would be a topless dancer, because she knew if she could do that, she would have the confidence for anything. And, I started looking at; If your value is your body, you have to hold on to that, and the kind of draconian measures that women, from all financial backgrounds were undergoing in the pursuit of youth. Capitalism exploits insecurities, and women and girls are plagues with insecurities, particularly body image insecurities, which make them particularly vulnerable. But, I also saw that vulnerability with children, with poor people, with people in other countries who are trying to kind of assimilate and emulate the American Dream. So, in a way, girls were kind of a case study for how capitalism exploits insecurities and that that is actually an amazing driver for consumerism; that if you tell people that they’re not good enough, or less than, then they become avid consumers and they need that product or thing that will fix them, only to find that there’s then another product that can fix them even more.

10 thoughts on “How Capitalism Exploits Insecurities | Monologue | Topic

  1. Holy Moly ! Im 84 years old and can see over the years that this is truly true. Not only bodies but the youth exploits as well. My hubby and I get all sorts of ads that what us to buy pills, oils, tonics and other junk that will make us look and feel younger, which in turn exploits peoples fear of getting older. I'm sure the market is for the 30 to 50 age group. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. It's your choice whether you want to buy these products or not. You can't decide for others but you can encourage them to choose other options. If you support removing free will for what you perceive to be Utopia, you deserve neither.

  3. Cut the cord from your TV for 10 years and watch how much differently you will think and feel about things you're being brainwashed and you're being lied to wake up and see the truth…Become a reader.. Learn the truth… Thank you for your cool video to illustrate the scrap they feed us…..

  4. Yeah No Shit Sherlock Of Course capitalism and capitalist want to know what you want!Things you might be worth you,re buck So they can sell and make money and that money Goes through the economy,but of course the idea of hard work and saving money does come to mind And Is a important thing that a lot of us do.

  5. Even if you believe that you are good enough the consumer culture will keep on gaslighting you to feel like you are never enough, and once again back to the race inside the hamster wheel

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