I am Materialistic

hmmm, I thought this was clever.

hmmm, I thought this was clever.

As much as I decry consumerism and reject capitalism’s tendency to essentialize workers and consumers, I sure do buy into it.  I have effective demand- I spend up to $50  day, when that same $50 would feed one student in Nigeria for a year.

I am typing this on a MacBook.  I have my Sigg water canteen right next to me.  My Motorola cell phone (woefully underutilized) keeps me connected to the material/ephemeral world of technology.  All the same, I sometimes rely on these markers of privilege and wealth to create a certain image of myself.  I am environmentally-conscious because I drink from a $30 canteen.  I am technologically savvy and computer literate because I have this shiny, over-priced MacBook.  I enjoy the musical stylings of artists around the world emanating from my iPod, which was likely manufactured in a factory in China in less-than humane conditions.

And not just technology.  This morning, I decided not to wear earrings.  This is probably the first time I’ve ever gone outside of the house without earrings in 2 years.  I use earrings as a marker of my femininity.  Ever since I cut my hair off, I admit, I have been more careful about constructing a feminine image of myself.  However, this morning, I decided to give my poor earlobes a break.  Predictably, as I walked out the door for work, I ran back in and grabbed the first pair of earrings I saw.  But I told myself, “you’ll be late for work,” and put them down.

Why do I feel the need to define myself with these material things? I am a woman inside and out.  I am a person of worth regardless of my possessions.  I don’t need to use clothes, jewelry, gadgets and things to show that.  I think it is because it is easy to forget that I am who I am despite and in spite of anything else.  My identity is rooted in my Creator- no one else, nothing else.


Filed under Beauty, Gender, God, life

2 responses to “I am Materialistic

  1. Kendra

    I believe that society, which all of us are a part of and contribute to, is responsible for the ways in which we express our personhood. For instance, while I can go months without shaving my legs or showing off my hair, I can still remain conscious of whether or not this alters my feminine image. Even though I may want to go off the beaten trail, I police my image well enough to remain socially acceptable. And even if you don’t police your image, someone else is conditioned to do that for you. So, it can be difficult to shed off pieces of consumption when you feel there is imminent social suicide.

    • aconerlycoleman

      yup, self-policing is real! Now that my hair is longer, I look more feminine (assuming that I accept that norm), but I still wear earrings all the time. I splurge on earrings from time to time… *shakes head*

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