Forget the number delorentos art journal

Forget The Numbers

Eight. That is my favourite number. I call it my lucky number. Although I don’t know what’s very lucky about it. Perhaps because when rotated 90 degrees it turns into an infinity sign. Or maybe it’s the octave of a piano that makes this number somehow more meaningful to me than the rest. Regardless, there’s nothing that special about the number eight. It’s just an integer, a digit, an ordinary even number.  But if numbers are just numbers, then why do we care so much about them?

The thing is, society is built on numbers. The amount of calories we eat, the size of our clothes and the number on the weighing scales are dictated by society and driven by social media. While it may be all about reducing that number to 0 for size and weight, when it comes to other things like the popularity of a tweet or the amount of likes on an instagram picture, it’s a competition to get to the top. We have become obsessed with numbers.

Print by artist lauren o sullivan from LSAD
Prints by artist Lauren O’Sullivan 3rd Year LSAD

I’ve seen my friends take dozens of photos and selfies – not stopping until they are satisfied that the picture is perfect enough, and then want that perfection to be validated by their instagram followers. This notion of “likes” and “favourites” are such toxic ways of acceptance. Since when has it become the norm to see your beauty through eyes of strangers? We are all to blame for that. I post pictures on instagram, and while they may not be of me, I get a satisfaction from each like. It’s as if each one of those people (or bots) are taking the time to praise me and acknowledge my brilliant photography skills, ensuring that my ego is fully inflated . While in reality, each of those people may have spent less than a second looking at it before scrolling onwards, rinse and repeat. Yet even though I’m fully aware of that truth, it still doesn’t stop the feeling of validation I’ll earn from each “like”.

Prints by artist Eimear Whyte 3rd Year LSAD

It turns out that there are many people out there who are sick of being measured by a number that doesn’t reflect who they truly are. One such woman is the amazing and brilliant Jameela Jamil. She founded an online viral campaign known as “I Weigh” to fight against the toxic ideals that are thrown at women everyday and to encourage people across the globe to look beyond the surface and ask for more. It began as a response to a picture of the Kardashians with their respective weights posted across each of their bodies. What followed was a tidal wave movement to put an end to this oppression.  Jameela posted all the things that contribute to her worth in a picture as a way of highlighting that a woman’s weight shouldn’t be a measurement of her success. Now, all across the world people are following suit. I-Weigh has become a phenomenon and if you have not heard of it, I insist you educate yourself – for this could be the change that the modern world needs.

There is a song called 6 out of 10. It’s about social anxiety and feeling insecure. 6/10 is neither bad nor good, it’s a meh number. Nobody wants to be a meh number. And nobody certainly wants to be anything under that. So now imagine being in a nightclub when a guy starts to rate women in this “out of 10” fashion. I did not ask to be judged on my looks, I did not want to know what he thought, in fact I didn’t even want to have any form of communication with him. Yet I had to have his opinion forced upon me. And being told you are a 5 out of 10 is not very nice. Not very nice at all. Of course I brushed off this stranger’s comment and told myself I was an eight on its side. I was infinity. I was a number so great, that any negatives couldn’t impede my magnitude. But months later when I’m not feeling so infinite, that 5 seems very accurate and the words of a stupid boy echo in my head. So I try to forget the numbers. Because no number can define a person’s worth.

There’s something fun about defying society’s rules and expectations. Not letting magazines and social media cloud my judgement gives me a sense of empowerment. I like that I can’t be controlled. Its exciting to stick to my gut and to stay true to what I believe in. Or even to change what social norms have taught me – to change my way of thinking. We all need to see the bigger picture here. So don’t be a sheep and follow the crowd. Open your eyes and see.

See Colour, See Differences

Delorentos, Forget the Numbers

A lot of the inspiration for this topic came from a song with the same namesake as this post. “Forget The Numbers” was probably written with a totally different meaning in mind but I’m oblivious to the obvious. I mean, I could probably find the meaning of life in a song about carrot cake. However this Delorentos song literally says to forget the numbers and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

Always, M

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