We’re spending some time this month talking about ways that you can embrace the concept of “less” and the freedom that comes with it. That doesn’t mean that we think you should think about “less” as the goal of postconsumerism. Satisfaction by deciding how much is enough is the goal of postconsumerism, and we’ll talk about the many meanings of “less” later on in this month. Today, however, we wanted to specifically talk about your body, your clothing and the societal messages about “more” that are associated with that. No, we don’t think that you need to become a nudist! But we do think it’s worth taking a look at clothing and what its role in consumerism is.

Loving Your Body: The Ultimate Embracement of Less

The first part of letting go of the societal consumer addiction grip is learning to be happy and satisfied. And while that concept can be a complex beast, at a basic level you need to be satisfied with your own body and your own mind. Of course, those are two of the hardest things that you can do! Learning to be satisfied with a calm, clear mind is a topic that we’ve addressed a great deal on the Postconsumers website. But we haven’t talked very much about the physical role and your natural relationship to your body, which is just as important.

Body image and personal satisfaction are a deeply divisive and controversial topic not just in America but throughout the world. For women, do we present an image that’s too unrealistic and penalize women who want to be comfortable in a larger size body? Or has our attitude toward accepting bodies of all types gone too far and contributed to the American obesity epidemic? For men, do we still associate the primitive need for strength and muscles too aggressively with what makes an ideal male physique? These questions are larger than the Postconsumer vision! However, we do feel like we can offer a simple piece of advice.

Are you satisfied?

That’s really the question that it comes down to. But if not being satisfied with your body is the core root of a sense of unhappiness that leads you to fill emotional voids with shopping or consumerism, we’d encourage you to work on … your mind! The chances that actually changing your physical body will change your mindset are typically limited to people who lose large amounts of weight. While getting your body healthy is important, it won’t change how you feel unless you change your mindset to love your body. How do you do that? It may be as simple as deciding to change how you view yourself or as complex as years of therapy. But being satisfied with your body is an important part of being satisfied with life. And being satisfied with life allows you to exit the consumer rat race.

And the Role of Clothing?

So ask yourself, why do you wear clothing?! Of course, there’s the societal expectation (and laws) that say that you have to. There’s also the basic need to protect yourself from the elements. But are your clothes keeping you trapped in a consumer machine?

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t like the look of your clothes or that you should not make an effort to present an appearance that you’re proud of. But we are suggesting that you may not want to define yourself by your clothing, which is the case with most individuals in the western world (and beyond) these days. Of course your clothing should reflect your personality, but does it also need to reflect the latest trend? Does it need to be the most expensive? Does it really make you feel better? These are questions that you should take some time to explore. One of the greatest consumer elements in the current state of the world is clothing manufacturing and retail. The social issues and class issues associated with it (not to mention the environmental ones) are numerous. If you love your body, do you need to adorn it with elaborate clothing?

It’s not a simple answer. But what we’d like you to do is take some time to think about your relationship with your body, your relationship with your clothing and where the line exists between those two things and the ultimate satisfaction in your life.

And, just maybe, that means that you should spend a little more time naked!

Did we miss anything about body image, clothing and consumerism? Share it with us. Comment below or tell us about it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

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