Sometimes, I wish I was a hooker. If I could be an intellectual, charming hooker — and there aren’t many out there — then maybe I could win the affection of a man like Richard Gere, a crisp Wall Street sweetheart. Perhaps, I’d be doing my nightly rounds and he’d show up in a fancy convertible, and we’d ride into the misty night with our fingers interlaced. He would have the liberty to erase my shameful midnight exercises and he’d simply enjoy both the philosophical and mundane conversations we’d engage in. The fact that I’m even willing to fancy this implausible delusion demonstrates the disappointing effect that the media has on our thoughts.

For those of you who don’t know, the movie “Pretty Woman” is a beautiful cinematic accomplishment proving that the strength of true love removes all obstacles. Realistically, this happens every day whether we choose to notice it or not. But what we seem to ignore is that on the writer’s part, this is a creative endeavor to employ a fantasy that wins the hearts of the masses which then transforms them into money-making machines. Living in reality, we attend school, make it to work with a minute to spare and rarely sit down to eat a peaceful meal, with no hookers to be found.

If you simply replace the writer of a movie with a CEO of a multi-million dollar company, then you’ll begin to fathom my point. Basically, the CEO authors a fantastical narrative that leads us to believe that if we charge these unnecessary Jordans to our Visa then we’re going to be more likable. Or if we buy this L’occitane face cream, men will be more attracted to us. We begin to believe that these embellished ideals, standards and norms must be followed in order to socially function. The problem is we never question the process of why a big business is eerily similar to the likes of a drug pusher.

Essentially, these big businesses utilize the media to persuade individuals to place the latest clothes, food, jewelry and electronics on a pedestal and we become addicted to the flashy lights. Then they swoop in to make money off of the people who are willing to cough it up. They push a lie — publicly misconstrued as the truth — onto the masses to gain a paying audience. They push their agendas hard trying to sway us to believe that McDonald’s is not unhealthy and that there aren’t sweatshops in China and India dedicated to making your $160 Nikes that took about $8 to make. Furthermore, this allows them to take advantage of opportunities that afford them the liberty to be greedy villains that make them the elite one percent that possesses more money than the collective remaining 99 percent.

They want you to absent-mindedly fantasize about being a hooker near Beverly Hills who is unrealistically chauffeured around by a limo and afforded an elite lifestyle. They want you to mindlessly work hours on end to fulfill your minimum payment and ask for a credit increase to afford yourself a new North Face jacket. The media feeds us a sedative that puts us to sleep in a world where fantasy becomes a reality and we drudge forward through a dream of unrealistic expectations. While we’re asleep in la la land, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. Soon enough, the middle class disappears beneath an endless pile of credit card bills. There’s one simple solution to all of this: slap ourselves awake and realize we’re being raped of our rights as consumers and as humans.