Consumerism as entertainment

kk 271

Most of us would be fine if we didn’t buy any clothes for the next three years. But we keep shopping. Compulsively. As if we needed to have more stuff in our closets. We buy more jewelry, more shoes, more books, more clothes, more music. Why do we keep buying things that we don’t actually need?

For many people, shopping is a kind of entertainment. I think it’s more fun if the following is true:

1. You have money and you can afford to shop.
2. You have taste and you know what you like.
3. Rather than being in a large impersonal department store, you’re in a small shop.
4. The people at the shop are helpful.
5. You are looking for something specific and you know what you like
6. If you’re shopping for clothes, it helps a lot if you’re thin. I would think shopping for clothes would be fun if I were thin.

In my case, I have gotten to a point where I can shop by myself in NY and be okay with it. I can go to little shops or to Anthropologie over on 9th Avenue in Chelsea and I go immediately to see what’s on the sale rack, and I think about what the upcoming event is and I try to find something.

But, shopping isn’t entertaining or particularly fun for me because none of the above things are true for me. I don’t have money for shopping, I don’t have taste, I don’t know what I’ll like and I’m not thin so clothes often look better on hangars than on me. I don’t like being compared to a hangar and coming up short.

I hate to say this, because I know that shopping stimulates the American economy, but I think we should all cook more instead of going out to eat and garden or paint or write or sing instead of shopping. If shopping is what you need to make you happy, you’re always going to need to go back and buy something else, and there is always going to be a hole in your heart.

Shopping is trying to fill the soul and what the soul actually needs is room for the imagination to grow; it needs intellectual stimulation, it needs to roll around in the hay of ideas. Shopping is a way of turning off the brain and smothering the heart. We all need to shop a little, nudity is illegal in most public places, but I think you’re always better off reading a book than shopping. But you have to buy the book first. And if you’re going to buy books, a good place to start is Red Hen books.

Published in: on August 17, 2013 at 10:51 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Nice. Great marketing pitch. But I also actually agree with the ideas in here as well.

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