In Desiring the Kingdom, James K.A. Smith describes the mall (shopping centre) in religious terms (see here for a previous post and video). He sees the mall as inviting us to participate in certain "liturgies", which instil in us a certain "understanding of what it means to be really human" (p.94).

The mall has its own strategy for outreach and evangelism, as do many other religions. Through the massive advertising industry we are surrounded with images of the good life, which reinforce in us the belief that if we visit the mall and "worship" by purchasing the products on offer, then we too can have perfect bodies and happy and fulfilling lives.

This is particularly striking when we consider the way women's bodies are portrayed in advertisements and the media in general. Smith mentions the Killing Us Softly documentaries by Jean Kilbourne in connection with this. Here's the trailer for her 2010 documentary, Killing Us Softly 4: