Perhaps you have seen the word clean thrown around a lot lately. It is having its moment, again. Heck, clean living hasn’t enjoyed this much popularity since the graham cracker saved us all from masturbatory hell!
There are a lot of books on Amazon such as Clean Food, Clean eating, Eat Clean, Live Well, Oh She Glows (eyeroll), Clean Food, Amazing Body, Pure Food, Food rules and Clean Start. There are products too: a Clean Energy patch, Clean Energy Pills, an Amazing Miracle Cleanse And Runa Clean Energy drink.
Fun fact: some people who bought these items also bought a family-size box of disposable latex gloves. Infer what you’d like from that information.
So this brings up two of my very favorite issues. What is energy and what is clean. The energy piece makes me wonder why we have this cultural expectation that we are all supposed to live in this energized cheerful positive hell, never stopping or napping. It is a depleted state which is based on delusion. Real energy comes from rest, nourishment and a movement practice.
There is nothing inherently better or “cleaner” about using a caffeine patch or Guayasa tea for energy compared to a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
“Clean, focused, balanced energy”…sounds like buzzword bullshit to me.
Now, the deeper issue is what is clean. The whole concept is based on our viewing ourselves as dirty, as broken. Because CLEAN implies that what is not clean is therefore DIRTY. Religious concepts of original sin, body pollution and pleasure-phobia have seeped deeply into our culture to the point where we often don;t see them. We tremble in fear of being dirty in any way, from body odors to buttholes and go to extremes to avoid what we see as germs.
The result is a judgmental, holier-than-thou approach to diet and a bonus to the book industry.
The result is a heck of a lot of “othering”.
So now all these things have been labeled as dirty: meat, grains, coffee, spices, sugar, salt, processed foods, alcohol, GMOs, all non-organic foods, cooked foods, alliums.
These foods make you less spiritual, less sexy, less glowing, angry, lusty, fat, stupid, un-evolved.
I think it is time to talk back to the overuse of “clean”, people.
I think it is time to admit that we are all dirty, and we like it.
We are setting up a binary that doesn’t exist. There does not have to be labels of clean and dirty on people, on foods or on your colon. We don’t have to put others down in order to raise ourselves up.
I do support all people in making healthy changes. I support your spiritual practices, your weird-ass teas and label-examinations. I support choosing sobriety, if needed.
Let’s not let the marketing people manipulate us into judging each other as dirty. Let’s not loathe our own body parts and processes. Let’s not forget to delight in a sweet, sticky, meaty, lusty, sweaty life. Let’s not hate ourselves for choosing a shot and a beer over a nasty-ass raw green juice on a hot summer night.
If we are the people being marketed to, if we are the people being represented by these products and concepts then it is up to us to say HEY, WORDS MATTER!! It is easy to dismiss words, to decline the debate. “Oh, words don’t matter.”
But they do.
There is no magical level of cleanliness that will save us from ourselves, no pure space that lives above marketing and critical thinking and debate, and perhaps that is for the best.