Sunday, June 8, 2008

Consumerism Strikes Again!

I admit it - I have fallen prey to consumerism! I went to be bed super stressed and super late Friday (technically Sat morning) and all I could think about was BUY BUY BUY. I needed something to get my mind off finals and everything related to it, so when my friend called me Sat morning about breakfast and doing something - shopping immediately came to my mind. I've tried really hard to suppress the shopholic in me but I was weaken by studying and finals. I went to Vacaville and was lured into the Coach outlet store by their bright lights and people. I was happy to be inside and be treated like a queen - waited by sellspeople with their calculator, friendly smiles, nudges on encouragement, and very VERY low prices! $62 for a coach bag! I just couldn't resist! Right after I paid and walked out the door, "Santa's sweatshop" (Hoinstein, et al) hit me across the face. Where did my products come? Where's the Union label? How do I ask the sellperson where the products come from? Curses!!!! And right as I was slapping myself for my stupidity, my friends stood there laughing at me!

As the day continue, I was dragged from store to store by my consumer-friends. Right when I thought my day was over, my friend screams and dragged me and company across the parking lot to Sanrio. Oh boy! I've given up on Sanrio because of their extremely high prices, but they try to trick you into buy with promo for a cute hello kitty fan for $5 if you buy $25! My friend couldn't resist, but as I watch her shop, I saw all the different types of Japanese trends in our readers (sorry, no author/sources). I saw the Takenokozku, Lady's, Kogal, Gals, Gaothloli Hello Kitty and I thought to myself, before this class, I would have thought it was just a marketing scheme, but now, I was surprise to see they were all there. Even different Sanrio characters were dressed as various Japanese fashion, but no one knows about it! They just thought it was cute! Is it ignorance or just redefinition of cute or kawaii? Does Sanrio lose its meaning here? My friend tried to explain to me that Sanrio makes things small and "cute" to target females (according to his Japanese History class), but according to Kinsella the original intent was to think about the innocent days...

Oh! check out this month's Marie Claire. There's an article in it about Asian females choosing to be concubines because they want to buy things. The article also mentions that these females are usually from poor areas of China who wanted to achieve something better than what they have in rural areas. Maybe that's why we've become such consumers over the years. We want to achieve what we didn't have in the past.

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