• Stephanie Elie-Martin

Propoganda: Disease Only Comes with Age

Photo Credit: Instagram @caseylovesfitness

Propaganda is misleading or biased information used to promote a particular cause or point of view. This extends far beyond the political realm where we are often most familiar with the concept. Propaganda can also be used to perpetuate ideals that cultivate a desired mindset or perspective in a group of people. The goals of the propoganda may be to bolster an ethic group, corporate greed, or even personal branding.

Corporate propoganda seeks to use misinformation or manipulated information in order to sell a product. One of the most glaring examples of this, as a female, is the health and beauty industry. We are inundated with deceptive images and promises of flawless figures and perfect eyes. We are told that youth is filled with timeless beauty, perfect skin, slim figures, and the ability to effortlessly achieve anything. However, they overlook the 125 million American's with so called invisible diseases. These diseases include a variety of chronic pain disorders, arthritis, MS, and a myriad of other painful, but not visually significant illnesses. These don't just affect the old.

Diseases don't just come for the elderly or incredibly unhealthy. Disease comes for us all. I'm particauly newly acquainted with the auto immune variety, these includes diseases such as MS and arthritis. As an otherwise healthy, active, 33 year old my recent diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis hit me like a freight train. Not only could my formerly agile body barely move, but I was struck with a chronic, genetic condition that would affect the rest of my life. To add insult to injury the idea that, despite hobbling, I didn't look sick or was too young, or must have done something wrong came from everywhere.

While the above image is my sister, and not myself, she is equally likely to get this genetic hailstorm of pain and agony. There is no too healthy, to young, or too beautiful for some diseases.

The propaganda that youth is for the healthy and beautiful needs to cease. Beauty is variable and everyone no matter their implicit health deserves to be represented as valuable. We need to pass truth and knowledge rather than stigma and greed. Let's not just abolish fake news, but fake narratives as well.

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