Why treating yourself this Christmas is an act of rebellion

I am someone who, without a doubt, loves treating myself. Be it getting myself something sweet each trip to get groceries, or the idea to have a “me” night with nothing but manicures and Disney music: I know the importance of the occasional indulgence. 

With the holidays around the corner, there’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself to something special. A parcel arrived for me yesterday, and it was an absolutely adorable shirt that I had indulged on. It’s bright yellow, super baggy, and has a cute as hell skateboarding bird on it. It makes me unbelievably happy, but did I need it? No. Did I deserve it? Also probably no. 

There’s a negative attitude crying "hedonism and vanity!" that surrounds buying yourself things you don’t need, but is that warranted? It unfairly impacts women, who are already tore down for spending too long on make up, take too many selfies, or being too self confident and proclaiming, “I’m gorgeous!” 

Why shouldn’t I have a moment of vanity? Why shouldn’t I indulge in some hedonistic tendencies? Isn’t getting through a tough term, rampant stress and being so worn down desert enough? 

Isn’t splurging on myself a way of rebelling against the same sexist attitudes that mock me for being immodest, and put me down for loving myself that bit too loudly? I can spare the money that I earned myself, why shouldn’t I be spending it how I like?

What’s more, in an age where job prospects and mortgage rates for millennials are working against us, I can surely take any small pleasures I can get. We should stop buying avocado toast if we want to buy a house? Screw it, I probably wouldn’t have been able to anyway - let me indulge with a festive latte, because I can. Maybe I'm sustaining a harmful capitalist enterprise, but my ability to resist a cute bird shirt won’t bring down the bourgeoisie any faster. 

Of course, it bears noting that I am a very fortunate individual. I have a job, and if I did fall on hard times, my parents would not hesitate to help me. But this Christmas, so many don’t have the means to buy themselves basics, let alone an extra gift that’s pure frivolity. Maybe I’m being selfish spending money on myself and something I don’t need, when I could give something of equal value to someone who could actually use it. But even so, me indulging my materialistic side doesn’t make me a bad person. It doesn’t outweigh my choices to give money or food to the homeless when I can, and it doesn’t stop me from passionately working with friends to raise money for any number of good causes. 

So screw it: give what you can, and then buy yourself something nice this holiday season. Life is short, and if a skateboarding bird shirt makes you happy, let it. 

About The Author

Currently an undergrad studying Politics and Philosophy at the University of Bristol. 

Editor and writer for the lifestyle section, which I've taken creative licence to turn into an advice section. My plans are to create a series helping readers who struggle with self-confidence, and to incoroporate a agony aunt type articles where I can. What's the point to writing if I'm not helping somehow? 

On top of studying, writing and editing, I'm a Social Sec for the LGBT+ society, an avid hobbyist of anything that catches my eye, and trying not to die every time I do Zumba. 

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