Anti-Consumerism, but Make It Sexy

It’s no secret that we live in a consumeristic society. American society was built on showing off wealth, despite economic circumstances, hence why consumers represent 70% of the American economy. We are taught to buy that house or car, even if we can’t afford it, because it’s the American Dream. We’ll figure out the details later.

Think of YouTube videos for a second – those who watch beauty influencers are aware of the amount of review-based videos. Every day is a new review of a new product, which encourages the recent influx of makeup products constantly hitting the market, every time we blink.

In response, there has also been an influx of YouTubers who are making anti-consumeristic content, such as anti-hauls. The point is that if they can talk themselves out of a product, then they don’t need it in the first place. I started taking this logic to heart.

Confession: I grew up with a shopping addiction. My mom and I would go shopping after every paycheck and buy things we did not need and could not afford, but it still felt good. On the surface, it seemed like we were keeping up with my wealthier friends, when, in reality, we were skipping meals (I don’t recommend).

When I moved away to college, I continued my unhealthy shopping habits. If I was stressed, I would buy; if I was sad, I would buy; if I just had an urge, I would buy. Then, I started finding those YouTube videos I mentioned above. Who says you don’t learn anything on the internet?

I learned a few useful tips, along the way, to curb spending. First, find a way to talk yourself out of it. If you have something similar, if it won’t bring joy or uniqueness to your life, if you’re simply buying it as a collector’s item, you don’t need it. Second, limit your purchases. Set a price cap or a specific number of items as your limit for the month or year, and follow it as gospel.

However, the best way to curb hyperconsumerism is to start questioning America’s consumeristic culture and speak out about it. There is no reason why people should go hungry to have a bigger house with a more expensive mortgage. There is no reason why people should kill each other over Black Friday sales.

The more widespread the anti-consumerism movement is, the more powerful it becomes. The first step is admitting we have a problem.