The Symbolism of ScoMo in Shorts

AKA — Time To Get Your Big Boy Pants On!

Like most of you I saw the picture of ScoMo half-suit, half-shorts on the weekend. Hey, no judgement here! How anyone wants to dress in their own home is completely up to them. Here’s the kicker for me though — this picture was taken by a professional photographer and I guess used to promote the fact that ScoMo is a down to earth, every day friendly fella who gets around the house in his shorts.

That is all well and good. However, HE IS NOT an everyday guy. He is the leader of Australia. He is the leader of my country, and the more I dwelled on this photo, the more it disturbed me. Ok, so there is no denying that I overthink things, but when I dug deeper, I found my concern stemmed from something I learnt in dream therapy. Have I lost you yet ? Please bear with me.

You see many years ago I did some dream therapy work with the most awesome and wise lady — Jane Teresa Anderson. Her work is truly life-changing! But one thing I remember from these sessions is the symbolism of clothes, more specifically what you are wearing on the top half versus what you are wearing on the bottom half of your body in the dream. The top half represents the way you portray yourself to others — your external persona. The bottom half of your attire portrays your internal persona, the real you.

So on the surface the picture sends the message that yes, ScoMo is presenting a professional, serious image to those around him, but underneath he is pretty casual about it all. The problem is Australia is in crisis! Actually, as outlined in my article The Economic Policy Is Killing Us we are facing numerous crises — climate, mental health, community health, economic inequity, global tensions. But there is ScoMo in his boardies casually playing about on his phone!

Using the symbolism of dream therapy this suggests that ScoMo is putting on a show of seriousness and action. While in reality he is just happily going with the flow. While he may project the appearance of dedicated action, in reality he has not committed to this fully. The mixed messages contained within the outfit provide very little comfort that he understands or is willing to address the health and wellbeing of our country and its people. It suggests that he will sit around the table and say what needs to be said. And then walk out thinking ‘she’ll be right mate.’

I guess this is understandable. ScoMo, like many politicians has no personal investment, no ‘skin in the game’ on many of the big issues facing Australia. He, like many other politicians have nothing to gain from change — just a lot of hard work and a lot of potential backlash. We all know how that bodes for longevity in politics (see my article Why Are We Surrounded By Underwhelming Politicians)

While I may be overthinking this image, I don’t think ScoMo’s PR people thought it through well enough. After all, would you want your leader showing how clever he is getting away with being casual about things. Or would you want your leader to be seen with his big boy pants on and dealing with the tough issues that threaten our daily lives and our children’s future? This picture has given me no faith that ScoMo is serious about dealing with the crises, but gosh we will see a good show to make us think he is.

This picture makes me think we will just continue to see superficial band-aid responses to mental health, climate change and social inequity. We will continue to hear a lot of announcements and see lots of ribbon cutting. We will continue to see time being wasted with Dorothy Dixer’s during question time. But ultimately, we will not see anything that causes discomfort in his ‘privates’ or those in the Liberal league.

C’mon ScoMo if you are truly dedicated to the health and prosperity of this nation, it is time to get your big boy pants on, get uncomfortable and commit personally and professionally to the big issues!

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