Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Art for the Glory of God

I want to give a quick shout out to a dear, beloved friend of mine who has launched a blog.  Please check her out!

Liz Downing is one of my very best friends.  When we met in 2006 (is that right, Liz?), we found we had a great deal in common and developed a fast friendship.  Liz is so many things- artist, worshipper, devoted friend, student, and teacher.  During the years I've had the pleasure of counting Liz as my friend, I've never seen her pursue anything with less than a wholehearted passion.  She dives completely into everything she does.

Liz's blog, Art for the Glory of God, is a forum for her to share her artwork (paintings, pastels, sketches, and whatever else she's working on) with anyone who is interested.  She's incredibly talented- just take a look at her work!  Liz is a constant encouragement and inspiration to me, both in the beautiful pieces she creates and in the way she lives her life.

I believe there is glory in working hard, doing all things in excellence and joy.  Liz exemplifies this lifestyle and it shows in her artwork!  Check her out today, and keep up with her on the blogroll to the right.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Facebook is pimping me out for advertising revenue.  And they're doing it to you, too.

My profile page and wall make absolutely no reference to babies, motherhood, or anything remotely related to babies and motherhood, nor should they.  I am not a mother, and I don't have the natural affection for babies which is typical in women my age.

On the contrary, I'm quite uncomfortable with them- when someone hands me their baby, I hold it awkwardly a few feet in front of me wondering how long I will be in this precarious situation, and what one discusses with a baby, and am always distraught when the baby begins to wail.  While other women coo and grin at babies, I feel strangely vulnerable as they fix me with a fishy gaze.  Don't get me wrong... I don't have any particular grievance against babies, I'm just not baby crazy.  I tell myself it will change when I have my own someday.

But I think Facebook and the advertising conglomerates really want me to get going on the whole procreation thing.  Every time I log on, the ads on the sidebar are all about:
  • babies
  • baby products
  • pregnancy
  • motherhood
  • parenting
  • related products, magazines, supplements, clothing, toys
  • and more babies
Every advertisement (with the exception of one vaguely unsettling ad with a giant Asian baby) features photos of smiling, chubby babies, glowing preggers women, or beaming new mothers holding their clean, not-screaming baby (while their hair and makeup looks fabulous).   And they want my uterus to ache as I think, "I could be that happy... if only I had a baby!"

No matter how many times I tell FB to get rid of the baby ads because they are irrelevant or even offensive, they persist.  You see, my ovaries not only have reproductive power... they also have exponential purchasing power.  My ovaries are a highly sought-after target market.  My ovaries are a lucrative key demographic.  Advertisers are sure that with sufficient time and persistence, their not-so-subliminal message will hit a nerve in women of the proper age, and we will be driven, masses of us, to bear offspring and purchase pampers.  I don't think you could ask for a warmer market, yet we are the socio-economic segment that advertisers pursue with the most vigilance.

Today, I logged on, and there on the sidebar was an ad encouraging me to "Make a Baby!"  I was vexed and mildly offended for a moment until I realized it was for an application which allows you to upload pictures of "you and your love" to see what your offspring will look like.  It might actually work if the baby in the picture wasn't a creepy manchild with a somehow-it's-just-not-quite-right kind of face.  Directly below it was an ad for pampers.  Groan.

Facebook is messing with me.

*Addendum: I posted this yesterday... Today, I got a letter for a special offer on National Geographic KIDS.  Et Tu, NG?