I’ve been trying to write a huge diatribe against the concept of a “new me” verses an “old me” all week, but I haven’t felt any momentum on this one. I know that the women’s magazines, TV commercials, billboards, and shitty talk shows are probably covered in that kind of deluded talk. But you, my intelligent friends, are gracefully avoiding the maw of self-hatred induced consumerism that always accompanies the “new me” philosophy. Weather it’s work out gear, nutritional supplements, clothes, make-up, surgery, psychology, or spirituality, the myth of the “New You” is pervasive, unrealistic, and damaging.
As the blessed mother, RuPaul, says: You’re born naked, the rest is drag. Same goes for all this other stuff. You’re born you. The rest is training. I used to hope that I could cut my bad qualities off like a cancer; take a hot knife to my acerbic wit, negativity, messiness, fattness, forgetfulness, self-centeredness, etc. But I can’t. Those things are endemic to me. To deny any of them, would be to deny myself, and that would be to kill myself.
But there is hope. Was not Edward Scissorhands also a remarkable stylist and ice sculptor? You may be unable to change the fact that you have knives for fingers, but you can decide how and when you apply the blade. There’s no such thing as a new you, but there is such a thing as a real you. And I’m not talking about the “real you” fat-shaming diet industry ads try and pretend every fat person ate somewhere along the way. You ever notice how the “real you” and the “new you” advertisers talk about is always rich, thin, and more than likely white?
The real you is a messy, squirming, scream-machine; starving, covered in blood, and looking for the womb you’ve just been so cruelly shat out of. Maybe you’re smart, maybe you’re cute, maybe you’re more than unusually strong. Maybe you have opinions on things and a need to make sure every other goo-pile on this rock knows about them. Don’t waste your time living in the delusion that you can change your stats. No matter how many calories you eat, how many cars you own, or how many sexual infections you acquire, you’re the same terrified poop factory you started out as. Embrace it. Use it.
I’m not saying that there’s no point to self improvement. But improve your actual self. Not some idea of who you should be. You want to lose weight? Have better looking hair? Converse with the divine, or fuck hot bitches in sweaty, drug-fueled clumps? Handle it. But please, do so as yourself. Reach inside that quivering gut, look your true self in the face, and be that person first. Some of us will never be pretty, others of us will never be smart, or soft. Don’t buy the delusion that time or money will turn you into a thing you can’t be. Instead, be the best unattractive, stupid, and/or hard ass individual you can be. That’s a far more interesting goal anyway.