NPR recently publish the article Where in the World is the Best Place for Healthy Eating?. In this article, Max Lawsom of the nonprofit Oxfam states "There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. But 900 million people still don't have enough to eat, and 1 billion people are obese. It's a crazy situation." Add to this post-modern mixture of socio-economic status, media influence, body image distortion, eating disorders, as well as a plethora of addictions afflicting the physical and psychological well-being of human beings.
So while waistlines expand, so does the diet and weight loss market. January 1 marks the start of the diet and exercise season. So while some folks are blessed by genetics and others cursed, there are many claims to fame and so-called quick fixes such as the Thigh Master, Ab-Roller, South Beach, or Atkins Diet. But nothing has been more proven than sweat. Whether jogging on treadmill or jogging on a treadmill covered in plastic; boxers, wrestlers, fighters, body builders, and all sorts of professional athletes and models sweat off pounds at time. Now you can't necessarily sweat off (or out) a 100 pounds, obviously, because you'll die. But who couldn't stand to loose a pound or two...
Although extremely dangerous, working-out in a plastic bag can be fun. It makes you light headed with the added incentive (or in other's eyes, added risk) of passing out. Formerly known as the Sauna Suit, Rubber Suit, and now more conventionally named the Sweat Suit, you can sweat to the oldies too. Forget spandex and cotton, this outfit is made of PVC the same material as your plumbing. In addition the suit, get your full sweat on with some Albolene or Sweet Sweat which are know as sweat enhancers. Also if you're in the market for economizing, forget buying the suit, maybe try some Saran Wrap or a 30 Gallon GLAD lawn and leaf bag? Nothing will make you stand out more than wearing your trash bag or Sweat Suit to the gym. Everyone will obviously recognize you are midst some hard-core training, they may even mistake you as a professional athlete. Anyway there really is no better way than starting off the New Year than taking a risk, standing out in a crowd, and passing out on an elliptical. Cheers to a Happy, Healthy, and Brilliant New Year.
100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.