In American culture, so much of our lives are dictated by a mirage – an image of what our lives “should” look like. According to Forbes magazine, the average American is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements per day. Whether that’s via television programming or social media, the fact remains that we are being programmed to chase an unobtainable illusion. It’s no wonder that so many of us are unhappy and lacking fulfillment in our lives.
That gnawing feeling begins to feel natural and we seek to fill that emptiness with products – things, in hopes that it will make us feel something more akin to alive. So many of us become addicted to that small hit of serotonin we get when we buy something new. Ah, new – even just the word “new” brings about a feeling of fresh possibility with it.
As humans, being told we have fallen for a trap does not sit well with us. We don’t like feeling duped and for good reason! Any perceived attack to the ego often gets automatically rejected and labeled as irrelevant regardless of how applicable it may be to our self awareness and growth.
Rather than responding defensively, I instead ask that we review the pertinent information with an open mind and cast the ego aside.
Only by looking at how we have fallen for consumer trickery and contributed further to the problem in the past can we truly become aware and consciously choose what we consume in the future.
When we examine the products we consume the most as a society, it becomes clear that the way the system must be designed in order to keep consumers coming back is to provide a constant turn over and progression of products. The heaviest consumption is that of food products, followed by clothing, beauty products, the latest technological advances, and other services.
This progression of products can be seen very clearly when we examine the fashion industries as we did in Part One: Media & Beauty Trends last week. For women in particular, the beauty industry has constructed an amazing scheme to keep us reaching for our wallets.
Oh, the glorious beauty trends of the 2000’s – sparkly lip gloss, crimped hair, spiked and bleached hair, thin eyebrows, soul patches, Spartan-esque abs, belly button piercings, and boob jobs.
My personal favorites I’d seen in my early teenage days were the layered polos with happily flaunted popped collars, decorated and doodled upon converses in all their colorful glory, and god did I want a hideous ruffled mini skirt. Who else is feeling way too grossly nostalgic right now?
Examining these fashion trends of the 2000’s, which were questionable at best, it begs the question, who comes up with this stuff?