Health, Wealth and Wisdom

Daily Prompt: Barter System

July 8, 2013

If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SKILL.

Since I was a kid (especially when I was a kid, rather) I was enthralled by the idea of the barter system. I thought it was almost a game, setting values for a particular item with respect to each and every other thing.

e.g.:

one horse = two cows

                      = two goats and a kid (the goat kind)

                      = 4 bales of hay

                      =5 bushels of corn

…or something like that, at any rate.

As I got older though, I realized that that’s not so much different from what we do now with money. For example, if a t-shirt is $10, and a pair of jeans is $30 , then you’re technically saying: 1 pair of jeans = 3 t-shirts. BAM. Barter System.

Not being a born bargainer, I think I’d probably be a bad barter-er. I have a hard time even understanding the simple

early to bed, early to rise = healthy, wealthy, wise

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Brave vs. Beauty

I read in this morning’s newspaper that Disney’s been taken to task about “touching up” their Merida (princess in Pixar’s “Brave”) doll in their new toy line. Apparently the doll is curvier and more conventionally pretty and “princess-like” than the character from the movie.

This, of course, sparked off the whole debate about beauty being something from within, and not what society sets as an ideal. Disney was also blamed for perpetuating stereotypes and setting impossibly high and narrow standards of beauty for young girls to aspire to.

Although technically the point is correct, I feel the need to ask when toys became such an important focal point in the war on stereotypes. When I was a child, a toy may have initially influenced my ideas about beauty, but it definitely is not the root cause for my insecurities. It seems to me that the people fighting this war are focusing on the little things and blowing them out of proportion, rather than spending time fighting the more important battles that they seem to think they can’t win, such as the popularity of body slimming commercials, hair bleaching and skin lightening commercials, consumer plastic surgery commercials, and many more. (Although I think everyone has the right to look the way they feel most confident, the popularity of this begs the question of why so many people all feel beautiful looking a particular way.) Women’s magazines, with all their skin-and-bones, 5’10” Caucasian models aren’t any less to blame either. In fact, neither are you, for admiring and attempting to emulate “beautiful” people. Or chasing after them.

The debate about dolls reminds me of a saying I heard somewhere a while back: that creating a debate about something, or attempting to disprove a discriminating stereotype, usually only ends up perpetuating it. The saying was originally used in conjunction with an article about a study which “disproved sexist stereotypes regarding intelligence”, but it works in this scenario just as well.

One way to fix this? Start by opening up your mind to new, wider definitions of beauty first. Then expose others around you to your new views – if you can’t convince those closest to you, how can you expect strangers, making money off of our insecurities, to listen?

I admire celebrities such as P!nk (“Stupid Girl”) and J. K. Rowling (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/454548-fat-is-usually-the-first-insult-a-girl-throws-at), who speak out against society-imposed ideals of beauty, and although they, you might say, don’t need their looks to earn either love or a living, the point remains that neither do we.

Me

In response to Meet Your Fellow Trifectans at http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2012/01/meet-your-fellow-trifectans.html :

  1. What is your name (real or otherwise)?  windandlaughter
  2. Describe your writing style in three words. first-take creative surplus
  3. How long have you been writing online? just over a month
  4. Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? 1.Daily Post’s “Daily Prompt” and “Weekly Writing Challenge”   and 2. Figment’s “Daily Themes”
  5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing. Probably by excising out the redundant bits.
  6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? Charles Bukowski’s “So You Want To Be a Writer” http://allpoetry.com/poem/8509537-So_You_Want_To_Be_A_Writer-by-Charles_Bukowski
  7. Who is your favorite author?  J. K. Rowling
  8. How do you make time to write? I stay up late; it’s the perfect time to write – you can write undisturbed, and you never feel bad sacrificing sleep to your passion.
  9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember–it must have a third definition. art art
  10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn’t miss reading. https://windandlaughter.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/walking-in-beauty/