The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year. There is this constant urge for MORE and NEW where it just becomes an endless cycle of overconsumption. And with the age of social media & influencers, this trend isn’t leaving us anytime soon.
If I was younger in this generation, I’d be a complete mess. With items being just a click away & a saturated amount of photos & videos depicting these “so called perfect lives” at your finger tips, how isn’t this lifestyle affecting people’s wellbeing?
Sometimes I miss the 90’s because to me, the pre-digital age was simple. Children still went outside to play. Now parents have to monitor screen time. People’s lives were a bit more mysterious & your past didn’t follow you as easily.
The world of technology, although is quite convenient; it can also cause a burden in the comparison battle.
Even at the age I am now, & a few years ago I would get sucked in feeling like I wanted & needed certain products to make me happy. The picture perfect life society shows online, is nothing compared to their reality. And even with this knowledge, I was quickly consumed by those worlds. Deleting my Instagram in 2016 was the best decision I ever made.
The thing that got me the most, besides the illustrated depiction of success, was the overexposed advertisements. Influencers would post a picture of themselves in an outfit against a bright pink wall & every inch of the image would have affiliate links to brands & companies.
And no, I’m not saying sponsored content is dumb & unnecessary. It’s a way to make a living. You can’t deny this. But you can’t just sit around oblivious to the fact it’s affecting the viewers decisions. Especially, these younger viewers.
I believe influencers of all platforms should keep in mind what they are promoting to their followers. They are role models after all. People trust their opinions whole heartedly. So they better really enjoy what they promote. I myself have purchased most of my makeup products on the sole fact someone [a beauty guru] recommended it.
Back in college I actually wrote a piece about how beauty influencers on YouTube negatively affect our youth. And I still find it holds a lot of truth. “Buy this makeup product, because it will enhance your beauty.” I don’t care how aware teens are about advertisement ploys & gimmicks, they still buy these products don’t they?
No wonder you have people struggling with self esteem, body image & depression. But that’s a topic for another day.
The point is, influencers push product from left to right. And it’s never enough. There will always be a new product to try or a new trend to pull off, with the majority of these products being rather luxurious & designer. Not to mention the amount of money wasted on said products. The average person can’t be dropping thousands of dollars on designer bags & clothing. But the Influencer makes it seem feasible. When most of the time, these men & women get sent these items for FREE! The change needs to come from us viewers where we say enough is enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale from time to time. The Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale for example is a favorite of mine. And Sephora’s VIB Sale? My debit card is already crying just thinking about it. But honestly, I’ve learned to put the wallet away. It’s not like anything truly different shows up on the racks. Oh boy another basic white tee! Another pair of black ankle boots! How original. And how many lipsticks does one person really need?!
For some reason when a basic girl looks out her window & notices a leaf has fallen from a tree [a sign fall season is approaching] another pair of boots or a sweater needs to be added to the wardrobe. Even though she knows she owns 10 sweaters already.
And believe me, I was that girl. Before I discovered minimalism, I thought I needed all these material items to be happy & successful. I still love fashion & expressing myself through makeup looks & outfits. But I’m more mindful of my shopping habits. I’m not against owning expensive things or spending money. The key is to ask yourself if you truly need it?
Being a blogger myself may make me sound like a hypocrite because I talk about products & clothing pieces. But to me it’s more so the concepts I talk about that hold importance to me & the reader. When I talk about my wardrobe for example, I may talk about brands & stores but the main goal is to teach people they can be happy with less of it.
As a minimalist you don’t feel the need to buy certain things to make yourself feel whole. You should feel this way without anything. Picture yourself in an empty room with only yourself & your thoughts. How do you feel? If you feel empty, there’s a problem. Your objects shouldn’t define who you are.
I think as long as you take in consideration what these companies & influencers are aiming towards, which is fueling consumerism, you can take charge & alter your perspective. It all can just be way too much sometimes.
I’d rather have less things I really love over an abundance of items that are just ok. I don’t want to keep feeling the need to declutter & send bags of things to donation centers & landfills.
The world of social media & influencers has created this idea of “bragging” & “showing off” as an acceptable way of being. And although it’s good to feel proud of what you have & accomplished, I think apps like Instagram has ruined that for people.
Instead of selling an image that is desirable, how about just live it? There’s so much wishing & wanting in this life. But nobody wants to actually get up off their phones & do it themselves.
⁃ B 🌿