Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Shoppers Anonymous

Warning: Pseudo-intellectual musings of the mind ahead.

I've been thinking about our urge to shop lately. Call it eBay, online shops or good old regular stores, you know how you always feel that you "absolutely need this!"? Whether it's a new pair of shoes, the hundredth top in your closet, makeup whatever.
The thing that got me onto this subject was a lecture at my uni by Paul Hartnett, a photographer, journalist and eccentric, several months ago. He was talking about how he had stopped watching television and pointed to the fact that "we are brainwashed to think we need to buy stupid shit to be happy." A blunt way of putting it, but memorable nonetheless.
I also feel that things haven't always been like this, that in the previous decades our desire to consume has become so warped and speeded up, but I might be wrong. 
Have we always been such shopping maniacs?
Doesn't it speak loudly enough for our generation that we have coined the term "shopaholic"?
The next "it" items that everyone thinks is "to die for" or "HAS to have"... I don't know it's a weird stance for me to take I guess, because a) I am just as guilty of over-shopping as the next person and b) I want to work in an industry that is all about consumption. Dunno.
When does the line from "need" to "want" get crossed? 
Yeah, we need a warm jacket in the winter to keep us warm, a certain amount of "necessary" shoes and certain basics in our closet, otherwise we would literally have nothing to wear and just run through the streets naked. But looking at my closet I know for a fact that most of us own more than what is necessary.
I guess shopping is harmless as long as you can actually pay for it and are not in massive debt, but I have honestly had several moments where I though to myself: "Shit Carla, you should not have spent all that money on clothes/shoes/beauty products."
Maybe I just have an internal fear of waking up and just seeing red numbers, because given my love for designer labels (Henry Vibskov, Comme des Garcons, Givenchy) it is damn well possible.
But for now I am just going to calm myself down by keeping an eye on my spending habits and trying to buy things that I really love, can somewhat afford and don't already have hanging in my closet.

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