Pop Talk: Obsession with the inner self (c/o Carrie, Glee & Friends)

Pop Talk: Obsession with the inner self (c/o Carrie, Glee & Friends) 

"Outwardly these shows may be about friends but what they really portray is the obsession with inner self. It is Carrie from Sex and the City who personifies this sensibility. It was she who reminded us that "the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself", before adding: "and if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's fabulous". Carrie's exhortation to take your needs super seriously signals the depressing idea that the best friend you have is yourself. Is it any surprise that in the American musical comedy Glee Sue Sylvester goes through a mock marriage ceremony with herself?"
 - Professor Frank Ferudi, 'Obsession with the inner self', an essay on pop culture's fascination with the drama of dysfunctional relationships and the glorification of a life of "just messing around with your mates", The Australian.

See also: 

Girl With a Satchel


Laura said...

So if we fixate on what's outside we're all going to get eating disorders, but if we fixate on what's inside we're self obsessed?! We women just can't win!

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

I hear you, Laura.
I've been chewing over this one. I appreciated Ferudi's comments about the normalisation of dysfunction, and have been thinking about the Carrie brand of narcissism (really, there's two issues he's dealing with here). Personally, I've come to realise the gaping disparity between what I think I want/need (as influenced by prevailing culture, environment, etc.) and what serves me best on a values basis (i.e. the self influenced by my Christianity; the one who knows full well that serving others is a most excellent concept when put into practise). Most of my inner conflict/turmoil resides in the place in between.
I think we've got to cut each other some slack - life without introspection and self-awareness (and hence, knowing one's basic emotional/physical/spiritual/relational needs for health and happiness) would be more harmful to the world than a self left unchecked... to go through life as if you were not an individual with needs/wants/desires, but a robot, wouldn't exactly be meeting your potential as a human being, just the same as being a Carrie cut-out unaware of how your actions influence others would be a denial of your humanity, and in my case service to God, too.