My blog promotes shopping and consumption, but I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while to raise some questions and awareness of what it is that we are actually doing and contributing to with this behaviour.
Now should also be the perfect time to think about these things; just before the (consumptive) festive season begins.
Let’s first try and understand why it’s so deeply routed in most women of liking to shop, while men tend to hate it and spend less time in stores. As you know, I’m very interested in evolutionary psychology and there is a lot of science behind this theory that I will present. Let me share some quotes:
There you go:
In our genetic code, men act as hunters and women as gatherers.
This is the reason us girls often love shopping and can spend hours and hours on this, while men just rush in and out, buying first best thing they find.
To add on – females are prone to be shoppers thanks to our genetic caregiving role. We need to care for our family and home hence the need to nurture it with collecting necessary items.
However in todays superficial society, we collect necessary PLUS a bunch of un-necessary items on top.
– can make you feel happy (retail therapy)
– gives you a sense of control
– makes you feel creative
– gives you a temporary escape in life
– is a social thing among friends
– feels very rewarding
– can feel like a thrill
– is competitive
-helps supporting your superficial life
Shopping is very easy explained in a neuroscientific way.
When you buy something you like the chemicals in your brain and body gets “high” by the release of dopamine in your system.
The same dopamine gets released in people who take drugs, gamble, binge eat etc.
This dopamine effect has different levels of intensity, for example when you grab a bargain (at a surreal price) your dopamine levels goes sky-high, if you compare to when you do the average shopping stroll in the supermarket.
Some people proudly admit them being “Shopaholics” like it’s carrying some form of prestige (“I afford, I can, I’m a fashionista”).
But if you examine this behaviour, there is actually nothing much to be proud of.
Shopping can be compared to any addiction out there like alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders etc – the line is very fine of what it’s actually considered as acceptable, normal and where the limit goes for “too much”.
Sadly our society is built today so that we do as much consumption as possible (everywhere we go there is advertisement manipulating and subconsciously affecting us). Shopaholism is there for not looked upon serious unless it has reached extreme levels.
What’s important to keep in mind, is that shopping will always make you happy on days when you feel low – but it should not be used as a legit excuse to do so.
Have in mind why you shop and be aware of the chemical release in your body.
When I go shopping these days I always remind myself that the great feeling that I’m feeling is just my dopamine release. When I walk home high on life with my bags, I make sure to understand that this is not something to get used to. That it should be a treat and not a way of living.
Many young women are today obsessed with shopping to a degree I personally find a bit scary.
Our modern world is overly concerned with material possessions and wealth, if we look at the jet-set world: Even more!
The jet-setters are probably the worst when it comes to this, as that’s how they evaluate each other and status – by material possessions and how much this/that/he/she is worth.
Jetset Babes get a buzz out of acquiring material possessions in order to fit in to the jet-set world.
The ticket to feel accepted and blend in, is to look like everyone else (be covered in labels and status symbols).
There for looking expensive, having a designer purse, an expensive watch and jewellery is crucial. Without this you will not be classified as a Jetset Babe (if you don’t look like a Jetset Babe you will never ripe the success of a Jetset Babe).
When you think about it, it’s quite sad and shallow – but it’s the truth. The jet-set world is extreme in this way hence why I wanted to make a post about the obsession with consumption.
– make big evil corporations filthy rich and support their expansion and ability to rule & control the world.
– support companies un ethical work with child workers, poor working conditions, exploit people who are desperate to work for extremely low wages etc.
– contribute to the climate change & pollution
– contribute to the general waste. Where do you think all your trash will go one day?
– contribute to the abuse of our innocent animals and all the suffering they go through just so you look good (in their fur, leather, make up, beauty products etc)
– contribute to a wide range of environmental and social global problems
I know it all feels so innocent when we go on that shopping spree, buying crap we don’t really need.
But because we are living in a materialistic society, where material posessions is more like a drug then a necessaity – we totally forget what impact that stupid little t-shirt from H&M that we just bought actually brings on to the entire planet.
You think it doesn’t matter, but in reality every single thing matters!
The question is:
When are we going to stop acting selfish and instead start taking care of the planet and our future?
This is a slow journey to self-instinction and our shopping habits contributes to this a lot.
There are many scientific studies that show us that shopping makes us happy (the chemical release in the body that I mentioned earlier) – BUT it’s only TEMPORARY. A very short-lived happiness.
A temporary joy that carries a significant amount of destructiveness to the world we live in. What do you choose?
Science shows us that consumption makes us temporary happy, but long-term it’s proofed to make us UN HAPPY.
A screen shot:
I’m not trying to say “STOP SHOPPING OTHERWISE YOU ARE A BAD PERSON” because that would be extremely hypocritical of me since I run a blog promoting a certain lifestyle (materialism, wealth and possessions).
But I still think it’s important to bring up these issues to the surface, to raise awareness and maybe to start looking at things from a different angle. Start by simply understanding WHY you consume and ask yourself next time you buy something “Do I really, really need this? Will this make me happy long-term?”.
I personally have been aware of my addiction to the materialistic world since I began my spiritual journey. My awareness does not excuse my actions (I still shop, I still blog about jet-setters etc), but I feel I’m one tiny step closer to making amendments in my life that feels significant to me. It all contributes to my personal growth, but I’m far away from there.
My dream would be to one day have total freedom in my mind of not wanting to consume unnecessary items and cut the ties to the superficial world. I believe I will get there one day.
So think about this topic a little bit extra next time you step in to a shop, or obsess about a certain handbag or get your shopping cravings.
Maybe one day we all can do changes in our behaviour so we together take responsibility and contribute to a better world out there.