Dear class of 2014 it feels like it was just yesterday when we were sitting in our FYE class and wondering what the purpose of the class was. Today we are sitting here in our purple cap and gowns and still asking ourselves what the purpose of that class was, but now we are four years older or as many would rather hear four years wiser. As students at LIM we strive to be the absolute best and we’ve been told that we have amazing opportunities ahead of us because of our credibility in the fashion industry. At first, we may find becoming successful in this dog eat dog industry a bit stressful, but please by all means, trip in your new Louboutins and tie your Hermes tie backwards because like our beloved Aaliyah said “if at first you don’t succeed lift yourself up and try again.” Devote yourself to an idea, go make it happen, struggle on it, overcome your fears, smile, and don’t you forget THIS IS YOUR DREAM. Through our time spent here at LIM we have learned to shop until we drop and to stay on top of the latest trends from season to season because that is our interest, however many people disagree with an economy based solely on consumerism. Although there are both advantages and disadvantages to consumerism, the people who disagree with consumerism fail to realize that being a consumer runs our entire life whether we like it or not.
These past four years we have learned how to be fashionistas and many people may call us materialistic based on that reason only. We are all at the age where we have caught reruns of Sex and the City and I am positive most of us have fell in love with the idea of living a consumerist life like Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. Television has a very strong effect on how people view consumerism in the twenty first century. Although people are infatuated with idea of being materialistic the fact of the matter is with materialism comes responsibility and a well-paying job. A study conducted by an Australian blogger living in New York showed that in order to live like Carrie Bradshaw, which included having an apartment in the West Village, a gym membership, her phone bill, a taxi every day and takeout multiple times a week would cost about eighty-five thousand dollars a year. That’s without the Louboutins and the Monolo Blahnik shoes and accessories that filled the interior of Carrie’s single bedroom apartment. The fact of the matter is that all four of these successful women began with nothing and molded their selves to be what they believed they were destined to be, materialistic and all.
Consumerism and potential materialism comes from success in your life long journey. I am sure we have all heard the expression “from rags to riches”, and for most of us who are here today that is what we wish to accomplish. When we are able to purchase one item after the next it gives us a special feeling inside, a feeling of acceptance and pleasure, not the feeling of being materialistic. In the series Sex and the City the main characters are seen as powerful individuals because they do not rely on anyone else to satisfy their materialistic wants. According to Sally Howe of the Watercooler Journal, “Through selective consumerism, the women of Sex and the City determine their identities without relying on men—in fact, since men are seen as little more than lifestyle accessories, they can form relationships with men without becoming dependent upon them as signifiers of identity of worth.” Like the women of Sex and the City in the fashion world we aspire to determine our identities without relying on men and with the feeling that our new purchases give us we can accomplish this lifelong goal.
Human beings love being materialistic, said no one ever. James Twitchell, author of Two Cheers for Materialism, believes that as Americans we were not just born to shop but that we are alive to shop. When Twitchell writes this he is making his readers aware of the fact that we live in an