Since when is aging abnormal?
The picture of Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan in the kitchen—or rather “her physique that put young people to shame”—became a topic on the country’s agenda.
Pekkan had an interview with Kanal D on the same evening she posted the picture on the social media with the caption: “I had never wanted to become the figure of a beautiful woman.”
And afterwards a “but” appeared in her speech: “But staying in shape and your image are very important. Working out makes people very different. Just look at me! Take me as an example!” she added.
In fact, she sincerely meant all of these things.
And without a doubt, she is aware that her world of show business feeds off of consumer capitalism’s most important industries, including fashion, beauty, cosmetics, sports and health. In order to survive in this “industry based on image,” the game needs to be played by the rule.
What is that rule? To look young and beautiful.
It is interesting that Pekkan posted her picture right after the release of Tayfun Atay’s book “Görünüyorum, O Halde Varım” (I am seen therefore I am) last week by Can Yayınları.
Descartes’s phrase “I think therefore I am” is not valid anymore in the “age of image” that we live in today. Because today, what you think, say or do is not nearly as important as how you look.
“But this has one basic condition: You must be ‘worth’ being seen! This is measured by the three criteria: clothes, youth and beauty,” Atay said in his book. We know these industries are no longer a privilege for the wealthy but have become cheaper and more accessible to the masses.
Atay writes that the only problem is in convincing people of these as “necessities.”
The media—and especially television—motivate society to “dress flashier and look young and beautiful because you need this in order to feel good.” That way, “production is based on needs.”
Let’s take a quoted passage from Atay’s book where he includes a letter from acting manager, Başay Okay, which talks about how actors and actresses have surrendered to aesthetics:
“Young grandmothers and young mothers have begun to be shown as ideals. Actresses who are 35 years old play roles as 45-year-old women, 22-year-old women have started to play roles as young 30-year-old mothers. They are trying to familiarize us with this. Young marriages are actually emphasized. On another level, this of course creates the foundation for young girls to be perceived as grown women, and that’s a whole other issue.”
When we work so hard to stay young and look beautiful and chase after the “cures for aging” we think we are free in our choices.
But no, directing us towards these “cures,” or nearly forcing us towards them, is a system backed by giant industries. But as Atay referenced in a TV program, “This is the world of postmodern consumer capitalism where death, if possible, should never be remembered.” Because becoming one of those people who believe “everything other than death is a lie,” who have “faith” and who consider life in this world as “worthless,” can lead to very serious commercial risk.
This is what this world teaches us: Live life to the fullest by consuming as much as possible and if possible, always look young, beautiful and fresh!
That is actually quite pathetic. The poison is obvious. The antidote is to be aware of this issue.
Come on, let’s finally realize it.