The clothes you wear often say more than you think, and if you’re in the majority of the public, your clothes act as a walking billboard. LuluLemon. Under Armor. That spanking new iPhone. Why though? Does that on-trend beanie make you feel good, does it make you feel fulfilled? Or maybe those shoes really are good, despite the fact that you can’t walk five feet in them without tearing the seams. “They’re just for show.” What exactly are you showing? That you’re loyal to a brand who relies on their fanbase to compensate for their shoddy quality products?
Let me pose this question:
Do you support any of these brands?
The obvious answer is no. You probably don’t even know about half of their corporate scandals. Yet you still live like this, content with paying for borderline garbage and financing a money hungry conglomerate. Nike’s sportswear monopoly, Apple’s child labor abuse. Is this who you represent? Companies who would sooner charge you $40 for a headphone cable than listen to the cries of their consumers?
But how did these companies get so large then, if they’re not as good as I claim? Here’s where us, the consumers, come in. One word: advertising. Have you ever tried to count the amount of ads you see in a day? Not just commercials and billboards, but product placement and celebrity endorsed products. We’ve all seen it, the latest golden boy talking about how amazing his tea detox was, a character in our favorite movie conveniently grabbing a Pepsi from the fridge. You want to be like them, we all do. So you go out and buy the product because, deep down, you’re hoping that you’re buying that lifestyle, too. That this product will change your life, it will make you a better person. You’ll be the person you always imagined yourself as. Whether it be trendy, cool, calm, or fit, this product will get you there. Ads are so ingrained in our media, our lives, the world seems empty if some state of the art product isn’t shoved down our throat every three seconds. And we fall for it. Every. Single. Time.
Now I'm not suggesting we destroy capitalism and all start living as nudists, but I urge you to question why you buy the things you do. Do you really want a new phone, or do you feel like you have to buy one?
You owe absolutely nothing to any company. Blind faith, and blind consumerism, is a dangerous path that puts immoral companies in places of power, leaving us slaves to the desire to fit in.