I chose that line as the title of this post because it’s true. Actually our whole society is build on hegemonic ideas that we just keep on reproducing through media, education, tradition, even the commonest behaviors, like the way you say hello to strangers, and so on. For example, in Mexico, there’s this “war” against the narcotrafficers, so the president of the country, Felipe Calderón, has let the US army enter our country to “help” us fight drug traffic and violence. Every day you will see on the news how another important drug dealer was caught and how we would had never been able to do it without the US army and DEA. But a lot mexicans don’t believe this, all we see is how are sovereignty is being violated using the country’s safeness as an excuse. The army is the north of the country, in the same states where music is a good way to find out about people’s feelings toward daily facts. You can listen to a lot of songs pointing out the corruption of our politicians and police, and the greed of United States to control everything they can. So there you see both sides, the media supporting the politics and popular songs making fun of it.
Another example is the idea of individualism, which has become the magic word to make people buy. All day long you can see and listen to advertisement saying how different you are from everyone else and how you have the right to choose whatever you want. But that “whatever you want” is actually pretty limited and controlled. In some readings I’ve found that when there’s an alternative movement that jeopardizes the hegemony, the best thing to do is to turn that movement into something you can consume, like fashion, so people involved get disappointed. There are a lot of examples: the hippies, the punk movement, old school rock and roll, communism ideals, etc.
We can see it too in how the products to lose weight or the ones that help prevent wrinkles are the most sold because people want to look like models, artists and so on. So all this adds showing the “beautiful people “are helpful to keep consumerism going on.
Even tough Dove’s intentions are good (or that’s what they want you to believe), we should also think about what a good strategy this is to make people buy Dove products, “because all women are beautiful, but there’s no harm in helping yourself using our moisturizers”. Nice…