About the dream of self optimization
Our culture revolves around the self. We believe in a dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Jia Tolentino, staff writer for the New Yorker, sets on a mission to explore how we have adjusted to life under late capitalism and how this has impacted how we think about our bodies and our sense of self.
What happens to people when they are forced to compete for the smallest bit of security? Who do we become when we’re always being watched? Why do we keep performing versions of ourselves on social media? Jia Tolentino explains how society and media mediate our identities.
Jia Tolentino is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She attended the University of Virginia, served in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan, and received an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Michigan. Her writing and criticism have appeared in several magazines, like Times Magazine, Pitchfork, Time, and Slate. Her first book, the essay collection Trick Mirror, was published last year, and Rebecca Solnit referred to Tolentino as ‘the best young essayist at work in the United States’.
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