How the Era of "Cuties" and Covid Allowed One Mom to Hear a Calling
For some time, I've felt a sense, to use my unconventional mind, and my passion for creativity; in a way that's meaningful and makes a difference. Yet for so long, I struggled to frame what offerings, my skills and interests, added up to. Recent events however, in my life and our current collective circumstances; have brought me to see that my offerings are multi faceted, reflecting the complex person that life has so far, shaped me to be.
I feel a unique calling, to focus on two different types of waste in the world; to look at the impacts of how they interconnect; and to take action towards creating and inspiring more sustainable, integrity.
One area of waste that calls to me, which is a little more straight forward; is the textile waste, left behind from the enormous production and consumption, of the fast fashion industry. Some people are well aware, but others might not know; that over the years, the fashion industry has changed in significant ways, and there have been consequences.
The older rhythm, of a designer or design team, thoughtfully drawing up lines of clothing, and producing and releasing them by season; is now an industry flooded with competing companies, borrowing and pushing trendy designs; and pumping out new pieces anytime, all year.
These are not companies that consider ethical labor practices, or their impact on the planet; and it has changed how consumers buy and discard clothing. Textile waste is a rarely recycled and an underutilized commodity. Despite people donating to thrift stores, churches, charities, and even shipping clothing to third world countries; 85% of textile waste still ends up in landfill.
Now the second area of waste that I'd like to shine some light on, is a bit more subtle to distinguish, but I feel is valuable to connect to the discussion. That is the waste of our social and sexual energies. I know, a little abstract perhaps, but try to stay with me here...
I see a need for us to find balance, with sexualization in consumerism; and feel a good place to start, is with us looking at the role it plays, into our social understanding; and the impact that has on the planet, and our well being.
We've pretty much all heard the popular advertising sentiment. We know it like it's part of us, because to some degree, it is. That phrase, is "S** sells". I say we "pretty much all", because I'm not sure if the younger generation knows this phrase, so consciously, anymore. This concept of using sex for selling, has kind of taken their generation on an autopilot ride, and I wonder if they have the same awareness, that advertising is intentionally designed with a purpose. The purpose of selling commodities.
These days, ads are everywhere. YouTube used to be the ad free place to watch content, and over a few short years, it has grown into an entire industry, with lucrative work opportunity; and shifted the power of influence, in ways we haven't seen in decades previous. Sex has grown beyond the branding and is now often the partial, and/or sometimes, the whole commodity of it's own.
The younger generation has grown up, consuming sex along side just about everything; and even the rise in focus on wholistic living and sustainability, has joined that bandwagon; til we find ourselves where we are today. Earthquakes, fires, natural disasters seem rampant; we're locking down, distancing, unsure what condition our world is really in, and what we're leaving to our next generation of children. So now I feel to ask, is "sexy" sustainable?
Some might argue that sex it's one of the most natural and sustainable things humans do. It represents new life, physical vitality, connecting, enjoyment, pleasure; it keeps our species continuing, and these are all wonderful, natural things.
But what happens when sex, as a vehicle for selling, developes into a life of it's own? When it starts to influence the people and culture's idea of natural; instead of the natural people, influencing what our ideas of sexuality and culture represent.
It's a fine line were dancing, and I might add; were dancing it quite provocatively. Sex is certainly in our nature, but it's far from the wholeness of who we are, or what were capable of. As humans, with able bodies, complex minds, and combined with our hearts; the avenues for us to create, build, innovate, explore, etc., are vast. Yet, with sex so accessible, exploited and encouraged; our thresholds for arousal shift, and we become numb to our natural senses. Our innate inclinations towards forms of creativity and inspirations, come and go unnoticed.
It's easy for kids with technology today, to become pulled into Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, tik tok, etc., giving them platforms to feel connected; but which now, double as market places. A type of sub s*x industry that's free, and encourages them to consume, create and trade content; but also acts as a gateway to business, offering plenty of incentive potential, to make actual money.
The lines that divide adolescence from adulthood have grown increasingly blurred. Today children have avenues for earning money and some parents put their kids out there, for that very reason. Sexual content, used to be considered adult content, but is that the case anymore? We're in unique times, and how we walk through them, will ultimately redefine, what being human means.
Before Covid, money was making the world go 'round; sex and selling was the energy that maintained a type of momentum. But with this big pause, a lot is surfacing, and I see a big a space for, and cry for, taking another look. How are we doing as a humanity? Where are we going? Sex is an energetic, and fast moving vehicle, but is it sustainable?
This question had bounced around in my mind, taking on many forms, before I really realized what I was wanting to ask. It was so hooked into my sense of self, that I took on many bouts of self examining before the clarity showed up. Am I jealous? Too insecure or uptight? Am I being timid, missing out on the money to be made; if I would just join, in branding my 'natural self'? How does this model of sex and consumerism impact my children? How will it potentially impact their happiness and relationships? Questions and questions, until finally I started to see differently. After months of pondering, my heart determined what my eyes saw, and that's when the question became clear.
In an "eco-friendly" underwear advertisement, I scrolled passed the typical forms of subtle sexualization. Just the simple pop of the model's hip, her fingers tugging up one side of the underwear, a blank look in her eyes, and subtle purse of her lips; this ad was modeled, to sell. The company was selling their intention for eco mindedness, however the mark they hit, was slightly off.
After tuning inside, I finally saw something potentially misaligned. Selling sex, along side sustainability, seems a game with a limited shelf life. While I understand we often need to make things "sexy", to make them widespread, at some point, we may need to clean up sexy. Because it seems, we don't even know what this word means, anymore.
The Webster dictionary, formally defines sexy to mean "sexually arousing or exciting" similar "sexually aroused". It also offers an informal definition which is "exciting, appealing".
We've all I'm sure heard, or maybe even ourselves, have described an inanimate object as "sexy". This word gets used in so many ways as if it's one of the most shared, relatable words; and yet I'd say, it's arguably one of the more complexly, individual, preference based, words we have in our language. What's arousing to one, might be appauling to another, and vice versa.
So what is it we're connecting on, when we accept "sexy" as such a commonly understood adjective? I'll give you a hint, (*It's not about the joy of creating new life). Nope, it's much less romantic, and if you're still a bit stuck, I'll help you out. It's sales. We all know sales, we know competition, we know greed, we know survival, we know the grind; and we're letting it infiltrate love and our families. Arguably two others, of the most powerful, and complex words in our language.
So where should we go from here?
This moment, where we've got women far and wide, working hard, doing the most; taking stands for the world to embrace the naturalness, of their naked vessels.
Men and boys are standing up in support, with their wives, and sisters; women applaud and 'Queen' other women, as they boast birthday suit and other sexually charged content, often accompanied with thoughtfully minded sentiments. Since well, selling just sex, might not be as well received; but we all know about power of selling multiple things at once.
Scrolling through social media is free, but do we have a sense for the true cost, of what were consuming? Overt and covert sex, has become a normalized part of a regular diet, but with what impacton our relating and love connections? Has the vehicle of selling through sex, tricked us into believing were truly buying spiritual reminders, womens' empowerment sentiments and sustainable inspirations?
You see, if all of our basic needs were met tomorrow, and we were each free to persue our unique interests and passions, I wonder how many folks would spend time looking to places like Instagram or Hollywood, to inspire their daily dealings.
I'd venture, to speculate, that people would lose some interest in their favorite influencers, and grow busy, engaging with what naturally inspires their vitality, connection, enjoyment, pleasure, etc. All those energies, asside from reproduction, that sex can simbolize, but fails to properly represent, when it becomes lessened, to a vehicle.
This vehicle seems it's gotten away from us. We've grown so skilled at selling with sex, that it's lead us to believe that we can consume endlessly; and now the vehicle is crashing, and our consumption is consuming us.
Perhaps it's time we work to sort out, what's truly nourishing, from the unwholesome; so that we can learn to recognize content which assimilates, into living that is sustainable; vs that which processes through and leaves us looping things like, chronic distraction, depleting relationships, an insatiable sense of desires; basically, energetic waste.
We've unintentionally taken a most valuable, sacred energy; which drives us to connect, cooperate and create; and diminished it, to a carrot, that we only must project in front of a man; to make him perform a dance, which he's substantially unaware, of why he's dancing. The carrot projection, gives an impression that his efforts are honorable; a prized symbol of vitalizing sustinance. But no matter how hard we may run, jump, grasp and perform, any number of impressive attempts, to aquire that carrot; we willingly give our energy, only to find out it's nothing more than an inferior impression, and we remain hungry. Starving to consume anything in consolation.
This model of holding sex hostage, in the middle of consumerism, isn't nourishing for our connections, family lives, or dreams. It's pulled us apart, and distanced us, even in our closest bonds; creating a model where our time and attention are syphened, into various lanes of distraction.
Time seems to be speeding up, and I wonder how much of that, is because we're not as much there, witnessing the moments anymore. Four hours can disappear in an afternoon, series binge. Quality time, and family gatherings, now often means sitting in different corners, looking at separate screens. We've allowed enterprise and transactional relating, into the heart of the home; growing fragmented and in need of a value check and some clever redesign; maybe that better consider, the children this time.
This is why now, has inspired me to start my work; to provide the fashion industry, and the worlds of advertising, social media and consumerism; with content and garments that are refreshing, uplifting, and that can bring up a conversation, about refining and redefining a "sexy", that is truly, sustainable.
Mahalo for reading this far. If you'd like to know more about the family lifestyle, and sustainable fashion venture, that my family is currently undertaking; please check out, and be a part of our GoFundMe here.
If you enjoyed this piece, I'd love for you to share it with whomever you think might appreciate reading it. Any tip donations are such an encouragement, and support. I feel, this writing, reflects only a portion of some very timely and relevant topics; that I feel compelled to share my explorations on, in the very near future. So I hope you'll keep an eye out, for those as well.