Leave a comment

Big Brother’s More Than Watching: The Media as Narcissistic Parent

Society, as many of us know it, has changed significantly in the last century.

Among those changes are dual-income households, working single parents, and as I’ve heard some people put it, “electronic babysitters”. I know of few parents who haven’t plopped their young kids in front of the television just to get them out from underfoot while they take care of household duties and other chores. I haven’t seen many families that don’t have the television on most of the time that they’re home and awake. Even back when was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, even when we only had a handful of television channels, constant TV was the norm.

So what’s the big deal?

The documentary “MissRepresentation” illustrates the power of the media chillingly well. Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the creator of the film, makes many good points about how our culture is shaped by the media. But I pulled something from the film that she doesn’t mention: the media’s influence bears many resemblances to some common dynamics in narcissistic families. In first conceiving of this article, I thought I’d have a handful of different examples, but upon further reflection, everything seemed to boil down to one central theme:

You’re not good enough.

How do you convince people to buy a weight-loss product or service? You convince them that they’re overweight.

How do you entice people into converting to your religion? You convince them that the way they have been living isn’t enough to get them into heaven, but that your way is the right way, and usually, the only way.

How do you increase public support for a war on foreign soil? You convince them that their way of life is threatened if they do not engage in this conflict, often by instilling and nurturing fear in them. You convince them the war is required to maintain or enhance their safety.

This message, I assume, is seldom outright spoken in families and for the most part isn’t directly expressed in the media. But, it certainly is implied on a constant basis. Narcissistic families may have a different modus operandi than treadmill sales, but this is what it looked like for me when I was growing up. My parents, mainly my mother, but at times my father, were very concerned about how we kids (particularly as extensions of themselves, I’m sure) were perceived by others. We were warned that above-average performance was expected of us in school, for example. I was criticized about my weight and facial hair by my mother as well from a very young age. Later, when I hadn’t married and reproduced by my late twenties, my failure to live up to her expectations were further implied, if not outright stated.

In either case, parental influence or the machinations of the media, this is usually about control – control of the bottom line, control of perception, or sometimes even control for its own sake. Those subject to control, children and consumers respectively, are subjugated, ostensibly for their own good, but the real goal is too often the enrichment, power, or image of the controller. The media, particularly advertisers, do this on purpose. Parents don’t necessarily realize the long-term deleterious effects of squelching the spirits of their children, and sometimes only do what was done to them as kids, or just never learned healthy ways of functioning and therefore cannot teach what they do not truly understand.

To adapt the old adage, “You are what you eat,” I think it’s true that people are what they consume in all areas of life. “Garbage in, garbage out.” Consuming grossly enhanced images of models on a regular basis contributes to eating disorders in young women. Long-term psychological abuse can convince a beautiful, loving person that he is ugly and not worthy of love in return. The messages you willingly or unwittingly are exposed to do much to mould or reinforce how you see your place and worth in the world, so think carefully on who and what you allow to occupy your attention and your thoughts – do they support your inherent value and beauty or tear that down?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Knowing the Narcissist

Read and understand all about narcissists from the best source possible. A narcissist himself.

Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off

Food is the Best Medicine and Fat is the best Food

Sarafina Bianco

Friends call me Fina.

Surviving Narcissistic Abuse

Moving forward towards freedom, hope, and happiness.

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

A story of three unlikely heroines from the most toxic place on Earth

No, Not Baby Anymore.

I know the pieces fit. . . cause I watched them fall away.

Emily L. Hauser - In My Head

Writer, social activist, a lot of Israel/Palestine, and general mental rambling

Dating a Sociopath

The truth will set you free!

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Dree Speaks Freely

Clearing My Thoughts. Speaking My Mind. On My Own Terms.

Psychopath Resistance

Learn how to recognize them. Then you can resist them.

Everyday Red Flags

The Discernment Project


Healing from Psychological Abuse

An Upturned Soul

Sometimes I Climb the Walls and Lie on the Ceiling

Narcissistic Personality

Stop the abuse and attract authentic love.

The 4 - Hour Body

An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex, and becoming superhuman


Just another WordPress.com site


My mind in motion, reflecting the movies it plays.

b-R-o-K-e-N 101

Journal recovery from an emotional affair

Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

The Most Offensive Man on the Internet


Support for survivors of domestic violence, rape and fraud

Soul Healing Art

by Kimberly Harding

Rule of Stupid

Reading, writing and a-rhythmic tics

The Project: Me by Judy

The Tools I Wish I'd Known About Sooner

I Won't Take It

Life After an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

BroKen, Not Shattered!

Living a life with PTSD

Quotes from an Emotional Cheater

Remembering it all, one bullsh*t line at a time


Down to Earth Spirituality


Essays From the Cougar Den

Ladywithatruck's Blog

There is no rhyme or reason with a narcissist. Carrie gives you Reimer Reason

Deliberate Donkey

we're telling secrets here

My journey of healing from psychological abuse

psychological abuse is very prevalent in our day and age, though few know how to recognize it

Keep It Up, David!

I'm slimming down and not stopping now.


the lived experience of being dead inside

Phoenix Rising

"I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return." Frida Kahlo

Joyful Alive Woman

One Woman's Ongoing Journey of Healing from Family and Friendship Narcissism

KinkyLittleGirl - On Abuse and BDSM

A compendium of resources and thoughts about abuse in the BDSM world, and a lot about abuse in general that is useful regardless of one's sexual preferences.

After Narcissistic Abuse

There is Light, Life & Love


Just another WordPress.com site

Mel Joulwan : Well Fed

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” ~ William Gibson

The Narcissistic Continuum

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” ~ William Gibson


“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” ~ William Gibson

SlowBurn Personal Training Studios & The SlowBurn Fitness Revolution

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” ~ William Gibson

The Paleo Diet – Robb Wolf on Paleolithic nutrition, intermittent fasting, and fitness

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” ~ William Gibson

Psychopathyawareness's Blog

information about psychopaths

%d bloggers like this: