Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Children as Consumers

*Update on compact challenge: I think it's almost been a month, if not already that I have been able to restrain myself from going to the mall to by something. I can say, this is the longest time I've gone without shopping since middle school. Even when I lost my sunglasses last week, and really needed one because of how hot it's been the past week, I still ended up not buying a new one. Regardless, I still plan on staying on this challenge as long as possible.

So this week's readings have got me thinking about our world in general. The world we live in today is such a fast pace society, and always on the move. Everyday, we are consuming products and for what? Do we really need them? When I take a step back and look at it from a perspective, I can see how these companies have influenced our consumption ways. In Kawamura's Fashionology in Chapter 6, she talks about this consumer revolution that was started back in the later 1600's by Louis XIV of France. Louis wanted to use visual aesthetic as a way to show France's power and wealth. Through the use of high class clothing and design by the French, they were able to distinguish themselves from the rest. This kind of trend can still be seen today.

Today, the fashion industry are marketing little kids with new toys, gadgets, electronics, new clothes, etc. By using children as a marketing tool for clothing, they are able to mold them into fashion consumption addicts as they grow older. Kids today as young as six years old, are able to distinguish what is 'cool' and what isn't. Think about it. A six year old knows fashion and class distinction. I remember being six years old and had no idea about anything about clothing. I wore whatever my mom bought for me. Today when I go to the mall, I see a lot of designers being made for kids. I see a small pair of True religions for babies, and I can't help but laugh. Why would you spent $200 on a small pair of True Religion jeans for a 2 year old? It doesn't make any sense. But that's what retailers and producers have molded our minds into. Consume, consume, consume. A ten year old stated that "People see what you look like
before they realize what you are like. So they judge you before they really find out your personality. So you show your personality in what you are wearing." To be that quote is shocking to say the least. The fact that a ten year old is self-conscious about what they wore is mind boggling, and shows how wrong this consumption world is taking us.

So what exactly can we do to solve this? To be honest, it is our current generation to change the direction our children will grow up into. Don't spoil them with unnecessary things. Educate them about what you learned. Only then will they be able to not fall in the trap of the retailers and producers.
Kawamura, Yuniya. "Fashion-ology" New York. 2005, 2006. pages 89-103.


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