Paleo Retiree writes:

My tax dollars helped pay for this piece of feel-good-about-yourself propaganda:

ne_nyc_2013_10_poster_im_a-g-ril1But, hey, maybe this is a message that’s urgently needed … because we all know that, if today’s girls and young women are lacking in anything, it’s self-esteem.

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
This entry was posted in Photography, Politics and Economics, Sex and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Confidence

  1. Meanwhile, here’s the kind of public-service poster we’re aiming at boys.


  2. Sasha says:

    Oh, barf. PR, where in NYC did you find this particular gem?

    BTW what did you think of the furore over Emily Yoffe’s column? I think it is a perfectly sensible piece of advice, but all the feministes are frothing about “victim blaming”.


    • In the Village, right around the corner from where we live.

      Wasn’t that something, the brouhaha over Yoffe’s column? Perfectly sensible advice, yet many PC people went nuts. What’s become of the world when common-sense advice is viewed as Evil? What’d you make of the fuss?


      • Sasha says:

        I’m not surprised. Camille Paglia has been saying the same thing for years and years and people hated on her and called her a “rape apologist” too. (Camille was the only “feminist” I ever admired, before she went all Ralph Nader. Her common-sense attitude toward both male and female sexuality, and her intellectual rigor, made me a fan. Also her alma mater is the same as mine–good old SUNY Binghamton.)

        If I were in the mind to rape someone, and I had a choice of two possible victims: an alert girl with her wits about her and friends looking out for her well-being, or a lonely drunk chick about to pass out from alcohol poisoning, guess who I’d pick?

        It’s all about not making yourself an easy target. Yes, rapists will always exist, but why put yourself more in harm’s way than you need to? That’s not blaming the victim or endorsing “rape culture” (whatever that is), it is being SMART.

        (Might recycle some of this comment for a blog post.)


  3. ironrailsironweights says:

    Notice the ad uses the picture of a cute girl to illustrate the concept “I’m beautiful the way I am.” Why not use an overweight or unattractive girl?



  4. agnostic says:

    “I’m adventurous, sincere, creative, curious, healthy, loving, and smart”

    …spends all day on her phone following celebs on twitter, posting whiny facebook updates, and snapping ironic-sarcastic duckface selfies for instagram.


  5. agnostic says:

    There is something real behind campaigns like this one, though, about whether our self-esteem comes from knowledge or experience.

    Millennials have been told since they were babies how great they are by adults. Family members including especially their helicopter parents, keep showering them with “awesome job, buddy!” for the most trivial things. And teachers / administrators at school do the same — Everybody Gets a Trophy Day. “I get A’s on all my papers, even though they’re pure last-minute BS” — right, because of grade inflation and teacher apathy, not because you actually know jackshit.

    Yet despite all these declarations of how awesome they are, they’ve rarely had a vivid experience where someone else was grateful that they were there for them. Or even littler, more frequent things like other people calling them up on the phone, hanging out with them, had that head-over-heels look in their eyes, and so on.

    Experiences like that are “costly signals” from the other person that they accept, esteem, and value you — after all, they could be hanging out with someone else instead of you, falling for someone other than you, etc. Thus they are honest signals of your peers valuing your relationship, unlike the cheap fakeable praise that grown-ups keep heaping on you. Who cares if “my mom says I’m cool”?

    Deep down in the Millennial brain, they sense that in the mismatch between declarations and experiences, the latter trump the former. They really do have nobody who cares about whether they’re there or not.

    I don’t mean to be too hard on them, since the root cause is their helicopter parents cutting them off from their peers, from infancy through adolescence. After that, it’s a bit too little, too late to try to get experiences in college and afterward that will give the kid something to hang their hat on. Development, including the development of self-perception, is one of those “sensitive window” things, and although the window lasts pretty damn long — through the teenage years — it doesn’t last forever.

    At some level the helicopter parents realize that, and are more willing to let their kids out of constant supervision once they leave for college. The parents have already crippled, stunted, and warped their minds from 17 years of constant social isolation, so what’s the worst that could happen when they head off for college? It’d be like strapping a kid to a chair for all of childhood, then finally relenting and graciously allowing him to go for a swim at the pool with the other kids.


    • I think there’s a lot to that … Although I hear from some acquaintances who are college administrators that the helicoptering of the helicopter in fact often doesn’t stop when the kids go off to college. Apparently it’s not uncommon for parents to stay in touch with their kids (via smartphones and texting and such) on a more-than-daily basis, and even for parents to call up their kids’ profs to complain about grades and such.


      • Toddy Cat says:

        You’re correct, PR. The helicoptering certainly continues on into college. It’s astonishing. If my parents had contacted any of my college instructors back when I was in school, I would have killed myself out of humiliation. It’s fairly common now.


  6. The truth is that truly adventurous people don’t need government sponsored PR campaigns to stimulate them. Government sponsored adventure is something of a contradiction in terms. We used to call this “conformity.” As a lifelong Henry Miller fan, I’ve been astonished to observe how state and school indoctrination can lead to conformist sexual “adventure.”


    • I’m amazed these days by how little rebelling youngsters are doing. Many of them seem perfectly content to live swaddled in over-protectiveness (of both the PC and parental kind). They seem completely uninterested in anything I’d think of as freedom. What’s up with that? How did that situation arise?


  7. Pingback: Late October Mini-Linkfest | Patriactionary

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