Friday, December 21, 2007

I've never been less convinced to buy an overpriced designer good.

Today I was reading the December issue of Allure (yeah, I know) and there was an article about materialism by style writer Amy Larocca, in which the question was raised “Is materialism bad?” and then answered poorly. Where to begin. Here, Ms. Larocca describes a comment made to her by the disapproving mother of an ex-boyfriend:
“’I knew you were a writer,’ she told me on our first meeting. ‘but I didn’t know you wrote about hair clips.’ She said ‘hair clips’ in a tone that I usually reserve for words like ‘genocide.’”
Um, you say “genocide” with disdain? Your tone of voice conveys that you think “genocide” is frivolous? Confusing! She is not winning me over with her thinking so far, and we haven’t even gotten into WHY she thinks people call chicks with $5000 handbags materialists. First up: she gets all defensive! She says people who call other people materialists are just haters:
“It’s easier to insult what you covet than to confront covetous feelings.”
It's also easier to get defensive when people insult you for over-spending than it is to confront your over-spending.

Next up, shopping is in our chromosomes! “…one of the treats of being female is the enjoyment we get from a gorgeous dress, an elegant pair of shoes….” We should all just give in to genetics. Like the Nepalese women Larocca met abroad! They bond over sari-shopping! This kind of feels like a feeble attempt at saying, well the Buddhists shop a lot and they're all, like, enlightened, so I should just go ahead and buy those shoes.

But the kicker is when Ms. Larocca tries to convince you that shopping is good for you. Science proves it!
“Two leading brain researchers at Johns Hopkins have concluded that shopping requires a trifecta of healthy behaviors—physical activity, decision-making, and a positive self-image—it might actually help you live longer.”
You know what else requires physical activity and decision-making? Um, everything, basically. Like choosing between Cuervo and whiskey, then dancing on a bar table with your skirt over your head. Don't think anyone would confuse that with healthy behavior. And you know what doesn’t require a positive self-image? Shopping! I’ve totally bought “fat jeans” when I was feeling bloated and ugly.

And the crowning gem of Ms. Larocca’s argument: Without fashion, people might run your ass over!
“…psychologists at the University of Leicester, in England, claim that being well-dressed can protect you from being hit by a car. (Drivers, apparently, are more likely to stop for you in a crosswalk if you’re looking sharp.)”
“Is that Gucci?…no wait, it’s Forever 21! Gun it!” Seriously, if anything, this is an argument for not going around looking like crap, which you can do without spending a fortune.

Anyway, I’ve exhausted my indignation. I’m going to go drink beer and think festive thoughts.


Pea said...

All right, so Ms. Larocca finds shopping until your credit card's maxed out is virtuous. Hey, she's writing for Allure! You want heavy-duty thinking, you could do better yourself, even after that beer. And get something better to read, for God's sake!

Nightcrush said...


Rach said...

For whatever reason, I too head toward similar magazines during this season. It is Christmas Day, and I just finished reading a People in which they described an anorexic Tara Reid as "slender." I need to go eat some more Christmas cookies. And have a glass of scotch before the anti-alcohol family arrives. Eeek.

wiscogrl said...

I know, Rach! and Jennifer Love-Hewitt is "fat"! Wow, I must be an ELEPHANT then. Merry Christmas, all!

YZA said...

the more you buy, the more people will like you.