Don't Buy Into It!

by W. Lomano

Am I the only person on the face of the earth that sees the irony in such people as models and actors complaining about "big companies" damaging the world, yet these same people are the ones pushing needless, senseless items on society? Of course, like a lot of people, these models and actors are driven by one thing: money.

Think about it... Look at any women's magazine -- check out the advertising in it, even the articles : "101 Beauty Items You Can't Live Without," "The Year's Best Buys" (which, by the way is guaranteed to feature $30 tank tops, $60 skirts and $200 handbags). Many men's magazines do the same -- to the tune of not only higher cover prices, but higher priced items displayed inside!

Our society is filled with families in debt. Couples who desire to live in big fancy houses they cannot really afford. Men and women leasing BMWs because they can't afford to actually buy them... Women who buy things they don't need because they're told they must have them by the media. They see beautiful women on television and in the movies wearing the newest trends and their first impulse is I have to have that too!

Damage by "big companies" (and small ones!) doesn't just come in the form of endangered species or the dreaded "greenhouse" effect. Damage to society is done every day, every second by something as seemingly innocuous and innocent as advertising. We are bombarded by advertising every day, all day long -- the radio, the television, magazines, Internet, cable, e-mail, billboards, our mail, phone solicitations, the sides of buildings and buses...

The damage is in the form of debt and if you can believe what the (gasp!) media reports, a higher percentage of Americans are in debt now than ever before (as is our government).

One only has to look at the amount of media to which a person is exposed to know just how much they spend on useless items.

People need to stop and take a look at what they're reading, hearing, watching and looking at on a daily basis. When that cool black blazer goes on sale, or those Dockers in a new shade for this season, do you really need it? How many black blazers or jackets do you already have? How many pairs of Dockers do you have? If a particular brand of cereal is on sale for $.99 and you have a $.50 coupon, will you really eat the cereal if you buy it?

If you impulse buy, hobby shop or buy things "for later", you probably have bought the advertising lines. If you shop when you're depressed or upset, you're shopping because you've fell for the line that "this product will make you feel/look/be better." If your credit cards are maxed out and you have nothing real to show for it except a closet full of last year's fashions, you've bought their ploys.

Am I saying you should go out and sue the big manufacturers of make-up, cars, shoes, clothing and convenience foods because you are in debt? No -- your debt most likely is due to your own purchasing decisions.

I do hope, however, to get you thinking about just what ads, and all media to which you are exposed, are telling you. I do hope to get you thinking about your true needs and to compare them to your base desires to simply own something new, something trendy, something flashy or expensive. I do hope to get you thinking on whether it's ego or necessity that has you running to the store.

W. Lomano has been an at-home mother for the past five years. She enjoys reading and playing with her children, baking and going for long walks.

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