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You're Too Fat, Too Old, a Bad Parent, Ugly and You Dress Funny ... Please Don't Change
by Brian W. Vaszily for

Brian VaszilyAbout
Brian Vaszily

Brian Vaszily (pronounced "vay zlee") is a bestselling author, positive change advocate, speaker/organizer and sometimes funny guy whose life mission is to help others explore, experience and enjoy life more intensely while bypassing the traps that would hamper that goal -- particularly unscrupulous marketing and rampant consumerism.

Brian is the founder of, has authored several books including the acclaimed novella Beyond Stone and Steel (see for some reviews), and with over fourteen years of marketing management experience is President of the TopMarketingPro consultancy.

In addition to his How We Get You columns here at SixWise, Brian also leads the popular blog, "The 'Live Deeper' Blog by Brian Vaszily." He has appeared on many TV and radio shows and been quoted in many publications regarding his books, columns, articles and ideas. Brian Vaszily was born and raised in Chicago, growing up on the northwest side in the blue-collar Portage-Cragin neighborhood. Brian and his wife and two children currently reside outside Chicago, Illinois.

In my last column I showed you why the highly polished, unprincipled, highly successful marketers love it when you passively watch TV, stroll through a store or leave yourself vulnerable in any situation to their subtle propaganda.

For example, they greatly appreciate you watching TV "to be entertained," because then your awareness of your emotions is virtually non-existent, your focus is not on detecting and protecting yourself from their propaganda, and you're an easy target for mind-control ... "Wow, looking younger and being beautiful really makes for a wonderful life."

Hand-in-hand with lack of self-awareness and focus when you actually need it most, unprincipled marketers greatly appreciate discontent and a lack of self-esteem.

Which brings us to The Real #4 Rule of Marketing: a happy and confident person is a great customer for truly good and necessary products, but an unhappy and self-loathing person is an exceptional consumer for any product.

Self-Loathing + Need for Quick Fixes = Yummy Prey for Hungry Marketers

Those who dislike themselves in part or whole, and the world around them in part or whole, typically long for that "something better" to make it better.

As emotional healers would stress, the "something better" they truly need is an overhaul of perceptions, of how to look at the self and world in the first place, but of course that would take real effort. That is NOT the quick fix that -- due also to the dedicated efforts of unprincipled marketers -- Westerners are so addicted to (despite the quick fixes failing them every time.)

So the insecure and the discontent - most everyone in one way or another - being also addicted to the promise of quick fixes, make for an absolutely delicious buffet of prey for the unprincipled marketers.

They're Not Vultures, They're Komodo Dragons

Ask yourself which one is real: a world and a self that deserve loathing, or a loathing that has been trained upon your self and the world?

The thing you most need to know about the greedy and unprincipled marketers -- whether they're in business, politics, or entertainment, whether they carry the word "marketing" and its synonyms in their title or not - is that they don't just search around like vultures for those who are already insecure and discontent.

They instead work hard to provoke low self-esteems and unhappiness.

They are more like those giant komodo dragons in Indonesia that sneak up and bite their prey without the prey ever knowing what hit them. Because their saliva is toxic, the bite ever-so-slowly takes down their prey. They'll follow their victim for days if necessary till it does finally die, and then they'll feast.

Campaign ads are a screamingly obvious example: they provoke your disgust with other candidates and with the social situation in general, often when you weren't even previously aware you had something to be disgusted about. They charge you up emotionally (and most people don't question their emotions and the forces prodding them, as discussed in my previous column), and that charge is very negative, making you more unhappy with "those commie Democrats" or "those fascist Republicans" and the state of the world in general.

Everyone claims to despise political ads and not be influenced by them, but they are some of the most powerful and effective of all advertising (if you've been reading my columns for a while, you'll know there are a number of reasons for this, including and especially The Real #1 Rule of Marketing that takes advantage of nearly everyone.)

But it's the not-so-screamingly obvious examples to be especially watchful for, precisely because they are not so obvious ...

typical marketer

A typical unprincipled but highly successful marketer.

Ladies' Home Journal, July 2006 Edition (or, "You Suck!")

An even dirtier little secret is that, behind the scenes, the unprincipled and highly successful marketers particularly target women with propaganda that provokes and perpetuates insecurity and unhappiness. (Say that sentence five times fast.)

It's not that men don't get as unhappy or insecure, because they do. It is instead that ego-oriented and tribal-oriented marketing (which I exposed to some extent in People Who Drive Silver or Blue Cars Should NOT Read This and will cover more in the future) works even more effectively in sucking money, habits, votes and more out of men, and so is used more on them.

There are countless examples of propaganda targeting and perpetuating self-loathing and unhappiness, particularly in women, so as I started writing this column in the café of a bookstore I decided I'd try an experiment by way of providing example: I would randomly choose a women's magazine to see how many ads within it subtly targeted and provoked insecurity and discontent.

I went to the women-oriented section of the magazine rack, closed my eyes, spun around three times, and then grabbed whatever magazine my hands first touched.

People stared at me from a distance for the rest of my stay in that café, but my experiment served its purpose. I had grabbed the 2006 edition of Ladies' Home Journal -- a seemingly innocent-enough magazine I used to browse through in my grandmother's bathroom, I think -- and found that over 50% of the ads provoked and preyed on unhappiness and low self-esteem.

Want to Look and Feel 31½ or So Years Younger Instantly? Then Check Out these Other Columns by Brian Vaszily!

The One Real Reason You Are Stressed Out, Overweight, Depressed or Angry

Why We're Living (Far) Shorter Lives Than Ever, and What to Do About It

How The Charlie's Angels Effect Makes You Poorer, Sicker & Maybe Uglier

People Who Drive Silver or Blue Cars Should NOT Read This

For example:

  • "Get 10 Years Back" an ad for RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum (what a catchy name) proclaims on page 11, accompanied by a picture of a clear- and tight-skinned attractive woman on whose shoulder it is written, "I'm 40." Point being she doesn't look 40 because of the Serum, but you do look every bit 40 or older because you don't look like her, and so you should be ashamed and concerned and get the Serum.

  • "Announcing the End of Cellulite" an ad for DeCellulite announces on page 104, with a big picture of a woman's tiny, impossibly smooth and therefore likely airbrushed butt leaping out at your face. The message is that you don't have a butt like that (neither do most twenty-year-old women, though, but you are not supposed to think of that), you probably DO have cellulite, that is disgusting, so you are disgusting, so get some DeCellulite today!

  • "Clinically proven to reduce pore size!" an ad for "Picture Porefect" (how dumb can these product names get?) shouts on page 67, with an illustrated picture of a female physician writing something on a notepad. "Pores can appear larger than Nature intended ... " starts the supporting copy. So along with ten thousand other reasons to abhor your body, here's yet another ... unless you use Picture Porefect!

  • "Picture Yourself losing 20 ... 50 ... 100 pounds or more!" Page 119, for some diet thing, with the mandatory BEFORE picture (Pamela, Dress Size: 20) and AFTER picture (Pamela, Dress Size: 10). These types of ads have been preying on overweight women's self-esteem to successfully sells billions worth of quick-fix-diet-lies for decades.

  • WINNER of the Lowest of the Low Ad: "The fruity snack your kids will adore. (Who says you can't buy love?)" on page 71, accompanied by a "Are Your Kids Ready for Yogos?" quiz on page 70. As with many ads for children's products targeted at mothers, this one feeds on motherly insecurity and guilt. See, if you DO love your kids, you will buy them colorful, creamy, yogurty Yogos. But if you pass it by the next time you're in the grocery store, well, we all know what kind of mother you REALLY are!

Remember, these are only five examples out of several dozen in the magazine, and that leads to the most important point of all: it is not just the one ad or one issue of a magazine and all such ads it contains, but the cumulative effect of all such marketing in all the mediums you are exposed to day after day that makes it one of the most devastating issues of our time.

With the above in mind, is there really any mystery as to why depression and self-esteem issues have been skyrocketing ... why, according to the World Health Organization, depression will jump to be the 2nd greatest cause of death and disability worldwide by 2020?

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