|From a book of the same title working toward an end|
to the sex slave trade by Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim.
Today, body image is dictated by Photoshopped images of men and women, boys and girls, who bear little semblence to reality as it is lived. Bodies are ruined when impressionable people, teens in particular, work terribly hard to try to meet these impossible standards. Tell me if you can, what is the point of a "thigh gap," really? Is it to make you weak, emaciated, lacking in muscle? Why do we want bodies defoliated as if we were all pre-pubescent children. Is that a healthy way to face the world? Is that a true ideal to be reached for? Or would you rather have a healthy, age appropriate look with a fully functioning body?
We should not allow ourselves to be conned into thinking our status in society is rightly determined by some electronic object or other we own ... and object that will be obsolete next season. Our automobiles do not tell the world who we are ... just how much we are willing to pay for a thing that will wear out in due course. Our furniture, our houses, our possessions should not, must not be the reason for our existence and the measure of our worth. Our families, our friends, those we help through this often difficult and challenging life, those are the ones who matter. Our belief in peacemaking, in the power of love, in friendships cultivated, in life well lived in service of each other. Now those are worth striving for. Why do we want to continue to pursue consumer dreams of glittering life in the fast lane that leaves many frustrated and hopeless when they cannot keep up with "the Joneses." How can it possibly be a good thing when young people without access to heaps of money or decent job opportunities become twisted and hopeless when they cannot achieve these things that have been touted as the definitive signs of success in our world.
Never, ever allow your culture to determine your worth and define your value based on your race, your sex and/or sexual preference, your age, your height or any other damned nonsensical thing people can come up with to divide us. Do not be beaten down or humiliated by the lies spawned from fear and bigotry, even though the drum beat of hate is so mindlessly omnipresent in all our societies. Rape is never justified, sexual slavery and forced marriage is an abomination, keeping children from education because of gender is twisted and the miserable list goes on and on. We all need to stand up for the rights of every single man, woman, and child around this globe of ours.
Do not let greed steal our planet, our only home, from us. Do not be convinced that economic forces trump a livable biosphere. Do not allow the bottom line to deny our children and their children from having a habitable planet just so industry can wring the last liquified dinosaur from the ground with ever more intrusive and polluting methods. Rail against an industry that insists that only when each and every human being has one or more of their products will we all be safe, even when those products are designed with only one purpose in mind ... to kill. That way lies madness.
Stand up for humanity. Stand up for YOUR humanity and the humanity of others. Live for peace, live for decency, live for real values of love, joy, hope, mercy, generosity, sharing, caring, kindness and every other virtue that uplifts humanity, protects the planet, and ensure life for all of its creatures. Say NO to all the images and arguments that try to define you by your products or other measures that are intended to sell you products or services or to keep you in a subservient place. That is not life as it is meant to be lived. That is debased and must be fought.
Take care of yourself! Wishing you peace.