And for once I was SuperMom

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Over Market

"I'm trying not to buy stuff we don't need," I heard a wife hiss to her husband, as I wheeled my cart through Target.  I giggled, don't we all think that in Target?  Don't I think that every time I go into a store?  A purchase of a few dollars isn't something I need to fret about.  So that hummus looks good, and so does that extra pack of tortillas, ohhh, they're on sale, I should buy those shoes now.
And with everything looking so tastey or so necessary it's really hard not to buy a bunch of stuff that you don't need.

I spent the afternoon shopping by myself a week or so ago.  Usually when I come home I report my findings.  I had ended up spending way more than I expected at Panera for lunch for myself.  I chose to get one of their 'You Pick Two,' meals.  A prominently displayed option where you choose two of either half a salad, half a sandwich, or a cup of soup.  By the time I actually did the math I realized that I was paying twelve dollar for a half sandwich, and half salad.  That seems like a lot of money for a small meal, doesn't it?
The way that Panera displays this meal option you automatically go to it, and want it, without realizing the cost of the choice.  I also noticed on that same shopping trip that Trader Joe's had their chocolate displayed in a peculiar way.  The more inexpensive choice is lying down on the top of the shelf and the more expensive choices are propped up and easily accessible.
I told all of my 'finding's to Scott when I got home.  I felt like I had been manipulated the whole time I was shopping.
I know that there is a whole science to marketing, but it just makes me mad when I figure it out.

"Well, she's tall and skinny and often that is what makes a model," I said, we had just figured out that one of our friends has a modeling contract.
"Why? Why is that considered beautiful," my husband asked.
"Well, because tall skinny people look good in clothes," I respond.
"That's stupid," he said definitively.
He's right.  That is stupid.  I think as he has lived with me and has seen how much this standard of beauty has kept me from enjoying my short muscular body he has grown to hate this paradigm more. Even our standard of beauty is centered on marketing.  A tall thin body type has become our standard of beauty because designers use women shaped like that to show off their clothes, and they are photographed and we think we have to look like that to look good.
Or to be pretty in general.
We are so driven (or being driven) by marketing, by what is in our wallet that we have let our very images of ourselves get caught up in it.
Doesn't that make you mad?

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