Another reason of becoming materialistic is that, the advertising of today has made an average American lose confidence on his abilities of selection and become slave to the practices of fashion invented and guided by leading rich designers for their own benefit. This also has resulted in constant upping of the bar of standards which an average American aspires to achieve. The fact that in 2003, more than 70% of the American GDP was accounted for by items of personal consumption clearly reflects this fact. The constant promotion of concepts of “hot” and “unique” looks through so called “ready to wear” clothing collections by these designers and the constant blow to the fire of the desire of being different from the rest and showing off good taste brainwashes the consumer into buying himself or herself the uniqueness, even though the fact remains that no two humans are alike. Luke Brown perfectly summarizes the solution to this problem by saying.
“Don’t be swayed by labels promising unwavering good taste. The only style you can really depend on is your own”.
This erratic shopping behavior has also resulted in the American becoming one of the biggest waste creators in the world. This can be highlighted from the interesting fact that in America the money spent on buying garbage bags is more than the total amount that 90 other countries spend on everything. The lack of confidence, the constant raising of the standards bar as well as the increasing desire to buy everything they want has also significantly contributed toward this fact with people buying newer versions of the same thing again and again resulting in previously bought stuff becoming useless without being utilized properly or in many cases without being utilized at all. Another contributing factor to this is display of increasing self-centrism by Americans. Long gone are the days when sharing was considered good and that any pointing out of over-spending was given significance. As compared to 1950 when an average household owned only one car, in 2000 it was discovered that about one fifth of the American owned three cars or more signifying the fact that Americans have gradually swayed toward owning their own stuff rather than sharing it with others or using stuff shared by others (Kulman). This has also been coupled with the decreasing significance that American has paid to over-spending over the years.
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