Saturday, May 23, 2009

Consumerism: Consumption?

As we go onto our eighth week of class, I begin to wonder can a population so large make a difference to change the world? My answer to this would simply be yes. I believe we can make a difference; though it may not be drastic changes, baby steps would be enough. As I explore into the world of consumerism, I find that consumerism isn’t just about consuming clothing and the clothing industries but consuming foods as well. Not only is the population consuming an excessive amount of food, but our society is consuming unhealthy foods at that. Such unhealthy foods would be the many fast food restaurants worldwide, ranging from Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, and the most notorious of all unhealthy foods in my opinion: McDonalds.

All of these fast foods are located worldwide, but McDonalds would literally be down every corner of a street. I remember there was a time I had driven from Davis to the Bay area with a couple of friends and to pass by time, we had played a game of “how many”. We decided to count how many McDonalds we passed on the freeway. When the trip was over, we accumulated approximately 18-20 McDonald restaurants in which that’s too many for a fast food restaurant. Imagine if we had gone within each city and counted how many McDonalds there are, I bet about three times the amount we counted.

In addition to the many fast food restaurants, consuming too much has its consequences. Eating fast food regularly can cause obesity and type-two diabetes, in which obesity is slowly becoming the top leading causes of death right next to tobacco. This not only causes a problem for adults but for children as well. It’s understandable that parents want to give their children what they want and when they want it but there has to be a limit, a line, some authority as a parent. The percent rate of obese children is has doubled and its slowly increasing if we continue this excessive cycle of consumption. It’s bad enough that children stay cooped inside of their house playing with the latest technology instead of playing outside and soaking up the wonderful air and being active.

In the book, “Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies” by Yuniya Kawamura stated that the way a person dress helps formulate a sense of identity and spread that message to the public. In correlation to chapter 6 of the reading, the way a person eats also helps formulate the identity of a person and says to the public that one is unhealthy. Like the known saying “you are what you eat”. In the end, as a society we have to become aware with this epidemic and that this type of living is not the way to go. And that this too is also a type of consumerism that not only effects the earth as a whole, but individuals as well.

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Kawamura, Yuniya. 2005. Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies. New York: Berg Publishers.

Yvonne Tran

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