Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I recently came across http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/, a website that documents some of the more outlandishly dressed people spotted at Walmarts across the country. This isn't so much a documentary about Walmart, but about the many people we encounter who seem to have abandoned even the most minimum standards of taste, decency and decor.
In light of the current economic and social ills that we face, I am not so much troubled by the actual clothing, but I am very curious about what it may say about the culture and values of these individuals in particular and the nation at large.
I am not certain what the answer is, but I am contemplating that it may reveal a growing indifference of many individual to members of their community. It may reveal an increasing disconnect from the social and community spheres. It possibly reveals a sense of self esteem that is increasingly divorced from reality (thank you new age school teachers). In the past most obese men and women dressed conservatively to downplay the less than ideal aspects of their physique. But, now many obese individuals wear highly revealing clothing that proudly displays their undulating waves of belly fat and thongs to highlight their gargantuan posteriors. And lastly, it may reveal a growing class of people who have lost their sense of self reflection and the impulse of self improvement that was (relative to other cultures) very strong in the United States. Millions either are so lethargic and torpid that they do not see or care about the connection between behaviors and their growing obesity. This same phenomena drives the explosive growth of pathological social and economic phenomena like single-motherhood and the reckless financial behavior of the Bushbama Administration.