Become Yourself, Only Better

Published on Tuesday January 26th, 2010

Renata Salecl in Become yourself, Only a Better One

Finding a life partner or lover is like another type of shopping. You’re supposed to check all the qualities of the person, make a prenuptial agreement, you exchange old for new or decide just to “rent” someone, in order to not to bother with this enormous purchase.

We are therefore addressed by ideology that we are capable of making our lives into a particular kind of idea: a project, an art project, an enterprise, we are sort of addressed as CEOs of this enormous project, our life. But at the same time, the individual in today’s society is also experiencing a particular loneliness. In times of high individualism, in some way we are also supposed to emotionally respond to our own trauma. The ideology of “do it yourself” ends up with the kind of advice that you are supposed to give yourself a pat on the back when you have trouble.

But basically the ideology is convincing people that they should not only work hard at work, but they should endlessly work on themselves, especially their emotions, relationships and so on.


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