Consumerism : The Art Of Being Brainwashed
THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THE WRITER’S OWN AND DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEW OF TNM MAGAZINE.
It all started with a drop of black acrylic paint splattering on my hat’s brim. It basically ruined it and I had to get a new one. Now, I’m all up for artistic accidents and the whole aesthetics of it, but in all honesty, the black spatter on a white brim was super unsightly. To set things right, I marched up to the Converse/Vans store and bought a maroon snap back on utter impulse. That set me back Rs.2000 and I didn’t think twice about it. As soon as I got home, I scanned the QR Code on the tag and confirmed that it was not a cheeky knock off. I got a good night’s sleep. That’s right, I spent a week’s worth of lunch money on a hat. The money I could have used to buy 20kgs of sugar; possibly enough to counter the salty looks I’ve been getting from my friends and family whom I’ve told about my purchase.
And I get it, I stand in a place to be scorned. The “look” has slapped the back of my head into embarrassment and forced me to lie about the price. I now tell everyone I bought it for Rs.600. That seems “ to have curbed the expressions of disgust, judgment and disbelief. This got me thinking, who, in their right mind, would splurge on a hat that do I like to think that I made the purchase for the same reason why people choose to ride a Mercedes and not a Maruti 800. And the same reason why people pull off to Kim Kardashian despite of having a pretty girlfriend with curves in all the right places.
Now, I know, cars and hot girls are not really a very good analogy for a hat, but my point is, we are all victims of media in uence. Our choices and obsessions are mostly a result of what the media tells us to choose or obsess over. For instance, your favorite choice of beverage might be Cocacola because chiso bhanekai Koka Kola! See, the mass media has a way of getting inside your head and brainwashing you. For the people who make these products, the apt word from them would be Capitalists,and for them, we are sheep. We just follow what others are doing mindlessly and label it a being “hip”.
THEWAY HOW SOCIETY WORKS IS, THE CAPITALISTS PUT OUT AN OBJECT OF DESIRE AND MAKE US LUST AFTER IT VIA CATCHY ADVERTISEMENTS AND MARKETING GIMMICKS. AND WE WANTS IT, WE NEEDS IT… THE PRECIOUS.
The way how society works is, the capitalists put out an object of desire and make us lust after it via catchy advertisements and marketing gimmicks. And we wants it, we needs it… the precious. Also, as you may have rightly guessed, these products don’t come cheap. And that motivates us to work harder and earn the money to buy it. That’s how consumerism works. We live to buy.
Now, this is just a theory; yet, it is a very crucial concept for understanding how society works. According to sociologists, Consumerism is when we buy things as if our lives depended on it. Consuming is central to our lives and it binds us into a society in which we channel our wants, needs, desires, longings, and pursuit of emotional ful llment into consumption of goods and services. We measure the quality of our lives with the things we own and are able to buy.
What’s more depressing is that consumerism has gone up to such an extent that we have begun to commodify people. I’m not talking about slavery, I’m going on about how, for some, the people they date in uences their social status. There is a reason why most celebrities don’t date us normal folks. The hotter the person you bone, the higher places you go. Apparently.
So, yeah, I might have been intellectually probed into buying an expensive hat. Then again, is it a bad thing? I mean, if a simple hat whose brim does not even shade me properly, motivates me to work, I think that’s a good thing. If getting to date the girl of my desire makes me sweat at the gym, that can’t be a bad thing. It is teaching me to save up and use it for something I want, live a healthier lifestyle, and if getting something I want makes me happy, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But that’s just me.
For my satisfaction, I used to wear a cheap hat from Miniso. My new one, as I have recently discovered, has waterproof front panels, so I can stop worrying about getting my temples wet in the rain. But then again, there are air holes, which sort of defeats the purpose of “waterproof.” However, a pretty girl did sit next to me on the bus after I wore the hat. So maybe I AM on to something.