Using Consumerism To Transform Yourself
Following on from my previous chatty post that talked about the effects that blogging has on your spending habits, I’m now looking at consumerism as a whole. As part of my university assignment, I’ve been doing a little reading on consumerism and transformationof the self.
Us bloggers have a huge community which are able to interact with each other through the use of things such as blogger chats and comments on blog posts. I touched a little on the fact that the majority of us are looking for approval from our peers but I feel that bloggers take it to the next level, especially through the use of ‘wish lists’ and ‘hauls’. As we get older, we inevitably evolve and begin to find ourself and our own style, but can any style be completely personal and biased?
Since it’s LFW, it’s perfect timing to be writing about this. Brands consciously make a style that they wish to trend and for people to follow - using models and celebrities within their catwalk makes this even more apparent. For instance, doesn’t everyone aspire to be The Burberry girl? Or one of Victoria Beckham’s bunnies? We all have our niche and the style that we follow, even if we jump from trend to trend, we can all fit into a subculture and I now feel that bloggers have made their own subculture. This season, Burberry used the clever tactic of giving celebrities pieces off the runway (from the collection being showcased) to wear on the front row, which basically handed these icons to fans on a plate, thus making them crave the style of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne.
You see the same aesthetics being applied to a number of blogger’s posts and these bloggers share the same style, likes and dislikes and inevitably form a subculture of their own. Something that Maffesoli’s concept of neo-tribalism fits in perfectly with - a lot of bloggers have a ‘spirit of excess and share passions and rituals’in regard to fashion or beauty etc and this is what brings them together to make a group or a ‘tribe’ (in Maffesoli’s terms). But whats the secret to joining this tribe? Nothing. But consumption. You can easily find your way into that group by consuming more and more; consume their ideas, the trends they follow, buy that piece of marble and work it into your blog posts and bang there you have it, you’ve transformed yourself and your blog aesthetic to fit the ways of this tribe.
Transformation or a ‘sense of self’ is something we all seek at some point in our life, whether that be within your career, your appearance, your health, etc and there's only one way to fix it - consummation. However, empty un-happy consumers have no other option but to consume more products in the hope of finding fulfilment - which is where ‘retail therapy’ comes into play. A lot of us who seek fulfilment in other aspects of our life turn to shopping or consumerism as a crutch to ignore those other things. I spoke briefly about my own buying habits in my previous post, but in all seriousness, I spend and consume A LOT. Take a look at this shopaholics website http://www.shopaholicsanonymous.org/ and the reasons behind your habit. Now I don’t know about you, but for me I tick most of the behaviour boxes,which is quite worrying;
Compulsive shoppers – shop to distract feelings; “when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping” Trophy shoppers – find the perfect accessory for outfits, etc. High class items will do. Image shoppers – pick up tab, expensive cars, highly visible stuff Bargain shoppers – buy stuff they don’t need just because it is a good deal. Out for the hunt. Codependent shoppers – to gain love and approval Bulimic Shoppers—buy and return, buy and return (similar to actual bulimia) Collector Shoppers—have to have complete or many sets of objects or different colors of same style of clothing
But mostly, I’m an impulse or compulsive buyer. So when it came to my assignment where I had to record what I’d bought and also the feelings and reasons behind the act, then things got a little intense to say the least.
Do you ever feel the need to transform yourself or your wardrobe? Would love to hear people's views - may help a little with this essay!