Sell, Sell, Sell, Buy, Buy, Buy!
I suppose I will seem a bit like a hypocrite but I have been pushed to my limits. It started the other day when I saw a brief video by Sivarama Swami entitled ‘Yoga has Lost its Soul‘. https://youtu.be/cN80EQGlxOI In the video we are reminded that “the original yogis, Krishna and Patanjali taught their students austerity, simplicity and renunciation of worldliness in order to attain enlightenment. Fast forward to 2018 and yoga is now a market worth $80 billion. Yoga marketing has gotten the upper hand but it’s no laughing matter, the purpose of yoga was not making money but rather self realisation”.
Suddenly a light went on in my head after watching the video, well not quite but I’ve been in a quiet, reflective mood since the beginning of the year and I’m finding it hard to hide from commercialism, consumerism. I feel like everywhere I look, someone is trying to sell me something I neither want or need. Don’t get me wrong I’m guilty of consuming much more than I probably need, as evidenced by my closets full of shoes, purses and clothes much of which I don’t wear; my CD/old record and book collections; and kitchen gadgets I’ve never used, not to mention a studio full of fabric. It seems we spend the first half of our lives acquiring things and the second half disposing of those things in order to simplify our lives.
I started out really enjoying Instagram and Pinterest, thru social media I got a glimpse of culture, art, photography, fashion/interior design but now it’s full of videos of reality characters selling products. What has happened to work hard and you can be successful? Now it’s ‘get on a reality show and you can become rich by advertising our product”. Is coffee really better because George Clooney drinks it? Is your life really going to be better because you used something that some reality star sold you? I think not.
A couple of years ago I was asked to make a prom dress for a young lady. Her mother didn’t have a lot of money and the daughter wanted a specific colour. Sympathetic to her situation I agreed to make a dress and I even went shopping with them to find a suitable fabric. We found something on the last call rack, I think it was $5.00 a metre. I designed a dress. Needless to say the fabric wasn’t easy to work with and after two fittings it stretched. I realized I had to change the design of the top. The mother in the meantime found a hideous so called “designer dress” (made in China) on sale for $20.00 and bought it, then asked me to attach the ugly sequened top of the ‘designer dress‘ to the bottom of the dress I designed. I was dumbfounded by her request and refused. I finished the dress which turned out beautiful, the daughter was delighted with it and proudly wore it to her graduation. So the question then becomes is a dress with a designer label, one that couldn’t sell and ended up on the sale rack at less than it cost to make really better than a custom designed dress? Of course not but people will buy it simply because of the label. We’ve become numb or senseless, we’ve been lead to believe that if a super model or even a reality star wears it, it must be the best. IT’S NOT.
By the way, I have nothing against Reality TV, I watch it although some of it is getting a little too nasty and negative for my liking. I watched an episode of the Bachelor last week. It occurred to me that some of these girls act crazy, not because they are but so they won’t be forgotten when they aren’t proposed to. Then after filming they can get an agent and do what – SELL of course.
WAKE UP PEOPLE. Not all Reality TV is REAL, it’s scipted – REALITY IS THE LIFE YOU’RE LIVING and it won’t suddenly become better because you wear a designer label or you drink some tea or protein drink that a super thin reality star is selling. We watch so called ‘REALITY TV’ and see all the glitz and glam but the reality is this, it’s not all glitz and glam. How many of those reality star’s houses are going into foreclosure, how many are being sued or have gone to jail? Call me crazy but I just can’t sit back and watch any longer without voicing an opinion. My problem isn’t with someone trying to sell their merchandise but with the fact that normal, everyday people make some wonderful products and work hard to get them on the market. So if you must buy and let’s be honest, we’ll always have to purchase things, then buy local so that your community can flourish.
The #metoo movement has ignited and now #Timesup is focusing on not only sexual harrassment but a myriad of other issues including pay equity and inequality. Well maybe it’s time we start looking at how powerless some local businesses are against the mega giants.
Well that’s my rant for the month, I’m off to the gym where I just might do a yoga class.
In the meantime, Keep Creating!