How consumerism affects self authenticity

by - December 05, 2019

It's barely been a week since Black Friday and Cyber Monday, yet here we are having financial realizations in the lack of self authenticity and how consumerism has greatly affected self image. Getting a part time job, I intended to save up for a better phone and a new laptop. I didn't anticipate to be earning more that what I expected, and this abundance has made me dissatisfied with a lot of things that I have. Suddenly I felt my possessions were lacking, when initially, I only needed/wanted a couple of items.

I took a hiatus in anything architecture related, so my days have mostly been filled with shifts, social media, and my passion projects. I have re-immersed myself in the cyberspace, from blogs, YouTube, and recently Instagram. This "influencer" era has made in-authenticity seem authentic. Sponsorships, advertisements, gifted items, has made personalities muddy, and worst, common. Eventually, the ingenuity of trends creates a suffocating atmosphere of replicating pseudo personalities, that is simply unattainable. 

How does this connect to consumerism you ask. A perfect example of this is Glossier and their Glossier reps program. Don't get me wrong, I am a sucker for Glossier marketing as much as the next person. What made Glossier such a success is that it wasn't advertised (initially) like the other beauty brands. It ran on influencer marketing. I remember first seeing their products when I was on the YouTube rabbit hole and found myself watching a get ready with me video. The production quality wasn't professional. It was filmed with a phone camera, in the bathroom, making it more intimate for the viewers. The model incorporated the products with her already existing routine, which made it seamlessly authentic. What people fail to realize is the model, Coco Baudelle, was recruited by Emily Weiss, the owner of Glossier to market Glossier products on their YouTube channel. A naturally beautiful girl, with model-esque features to showcase the product.

When the Glossier Rep Program started, it was open to everyone. You simply had to sign up and share the products. It eventually trickled over to influencers with bigger followings and since then has created this space of "being part of the club". Admittedly, I willingly visited the Glossier showroom in LA, and even bought a balm dot com salve, but I must say that I was more in it for the hype rather than the product claims. It's sad to admit that some of their products aren't necessarily stellar, and most influencers even disclose that fact, but it's human nature that we want to be part of this "cool people club". I don't know if these influencers are convincing themselves that Glossier has amazing products, or they too want to be part of the club. They disclose that these products are for people with already great skin. It's as if they don't want to be held accountable when customers realize that the products are disappointingly average.

Relating to that, most of my projects I've put off because I often tell myself that I need specific products, equipment, instruments that people have "sworn by", when initially that's not how they even started. I was in the midst of computing my finances when I suddenly realized that I always had a "but" in every move. That I had to have this gadget or that item to create and produce projects, and basically got sucked into the marketing scheme of every other influencer. I had to reevaluate what it is that I already have, and what are the things on my checklist that I don't have an immediate need for. So far I haven't regretted any of my purchases, but I'm more concerned with the fact that I haven't even gotten to enjoy my purchases because my mind has been re-wired into this "so what next?" type of deal. So now I've decided to slow down, and truly narrow down the things that I could put off onto a later date. Take a breather from all the online shopping, and start and finish existing projects with instruments I already have in my arsenal. Back to basics. 

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