Shopping Your Joy Away

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Call me shallow, but one of my most vivid prayers as a little girl was for L.A. Gear shoes and pierced ears. Yes, in case you’re wondering, I got my way. To this day I still struggle with buying into our culture of over-consumerism. Even if I don’t act upon my purchasing compulsions, you better believe that I waste hours window-shopping, perusing fashion blogs and coveting pretty things I think will bring me peace and perfection, and yet I somehow barely mange to throw a decent outfit together. Consumerism is a social and economic order, which spurs on and fosters our desire or compulsion as potential buyers to purchase goods and services in increasingly greater amounts.

As I was exploring our culture of over-consumerism, I came across an idea that eloquently articulated something I’ve witnessed in my life, in Confessions of a Shopaholic, in the lives of most Americans (especially us ladies) and of course, filthy rich celebrities. According to our friend Wikipedia, ”Enoughism” is the idea that there is a point where consumers (that’s us girls) possess everything they need, and buying more makes their lives worse rather than better.

There comes point when just one too many yoga pants, Free People tops, H&M accessories, Forever 21 finds, and BCBG dresses are going to make our lives worse instead of better – they’ll make life more complicated and stressful instead of peaceful and perfect like we think they will.

Why do we believe the lie that more cute stuff equals perfection, love and happiness ever after?

Let’s be girls who create and give more than we consume, covet or get. Deep down, there’s a void. More stuff isn’t going to fill it. One way I’ve learned to satisfy my hunger for beautiful things while playing a part of a bigger story is to buy socially conscious goods from companies such as Raven + Lily, The Giving Keys, 31 Bits, Sseko Designs, Krochet Kids and many others.

Check out Conscious Co.Toms Marketplace or Give Generation for more ideas.

Do you struggle with the trap of over-consumption? What do you covet most and feel like you can never have enough of? Do you ever think, “If I have [fill in the blank], then I will be content, satisfied and complete?

Image via Chair Your Life

An author and speaker, Allie Marie is also the founder of Wonderfully Made and creator of the Body Beautiful iPhone app.

9 Comments

  • Reply March 30, 2014

    dergi

    Thank you for sharing. Quality you expect your share. Enjoy it!

  • Reply March 11, 2014

    Ayesha Ansari

    add me.

  • Reply February 28, 2014

    Hannah B.

    Definitely! I’ve found it to be even more of a struggle now that I have my own apartment. Instead of outfits, its furniture and throw pillows and kitchen appliances that I’m coveting and comparing. I have to continually remind myself that I’m blessed to have a space of my own, and that working within a budget is part of the fun. :)

    • Reply March 5, 2014

      Chaucee

      I struggle with comparing my space to others. I see how homey their place looks with beautiful succulents and artwork all over the place and it makes me want to add more things to my apartment.

  • Reply February 26, 2014

    Kat

    I love that you wrote such a poignant article on this, and it’s definitely something that’s been a struggle for me. Thanks for being so timely :)

  • Reply February 26, 2014

    Leslie Musser

    This is such a wonderful topic to remain in my mind’s eye as a fashion blogger. Fashion Weeks and budding trends can make a consumer always feel behind the curve–needing to fill their closet with additional items for satisfaction and fashion prowess.

    One of the beautiful components I have discovered in my adoration of style, is that it is so often cyclical. While avoiding a tendency to hoard, I also recognize the recurrence of certain trends and the benefit of not always throwing out those bootcut jeans or (dare I) those parachute pants. Finding the balance in this is wholly necessary.

    http://www.onebrassfox.com

  • Reply February 25, 2014

    julien

    Yes, this is a huge struggle for me. I think I definitely covet clothing and shoes the most. I just can’t seem to help it with all those beautiful fashion blogs and Pinterest out there on the internet, let alone those big name stores with their websites flashing sale signs at me. And it’s so true, that these things won’t completely satisfy us; they’re just so temporary and unnecessary. My way of coping with over-consumerism is seeking after things that are more valuable to the soul, such as stepping away from the computer and spending time with my family, or cooking up a new recipe, or going outdoors and enjoying nature. When I do these things, I soon forget how little value consumer goods are to me.

  • Reply February 25, 2014

    mallory

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and find myself more on your side of the street. I still appreciate consumerism, but I’ve made a vow to stop buying cheap little things that won’t buy me much satisfaction, and instead am pondering my purchases for weeks or months ahead of time, and buying quality items that fill a void in my wardrobe. Cuyana’s “Lean Closet” movement and blog-post series have really encouraged me to continue this mentality. I’ll have to check out those shops as well!

  • Reply February 25, 2014

    Christina Kwan

    I struggle with this same issue. And I work in a retail setting, so I’m faced with it every single time I clock in and out. Furthermore, as a blogger, there’s even more reasons to argue that a great purchase will actually garner more success and thus, more happiness. But you’re absolutely right; these trappings are not going to fulfill us. My most fulfilling purchases are ones I make locally and most often at craft events, when I can meet the person who made the item I’m coveting. To support them in their love and their craft means so much more than making myself look more stylish.

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