Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One For You.. Two for Me.. One For You...

While Christmas shopping last week, I realized that I have a really bad habit of buying things for myself when I'm out shopping for others. I'm a firm believer in the whole 'reward yourself' idea, but this is getting a little ridiculous. Go to Murdoch's to buy something for my dad and I walk out with a new scarf and shirt for me, and one shirt for my dad. Last year I went into Eddie Bauer to buy one of their super awesome First Ascent fleece pullover for my little brother, and walked out with one for him and two for myself (hey, they were on sale for $10!!).

If this lady is anything like me, half of that stuff is for her.

I believe my purchases can mostly be contributed to impulse buying - I don't plan on buying things for myself, and as soon as I see something for me that's on sale, I immediately purchase it. Grr. Then, 9 times out of 10 I feel really bad about it and return it. Retailers must really LOVE me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Increase of "Necessary Accessories"

With the improvements and advancements in technology and manufacturing, there are thousands of new products every year. A great example is a grocery store; there are about 3 times as many products in stores now than there were in the 50's. Another example of the addition of new products are the 'accessories' that are now considered necessary for activities that used to require only basic products. Take running for example - before, you really only needed some athletic shoes, shorts and a shirt and you were good to go. Now, with the improvements in technology and creation of new products, a runner might feel that it's necessary to own several pairs of running shoes, moisture-wicking clothing, a hat, polarized sunglasses, gps watch, iPod, and heart-rate monitor. Obviously the creation of new products can be beneficial, but in some cases it seems a little excessive.

Friday, December 2, 2011


In my wiki page about brand loyalty, insistence, and habit, I talked about 'inertia'. The text described intertia as purchasing a specific brand or product simply out of laziness or habit, not because you actually feel a connection to the brand.

While walking to class yesterday, I noticed that people do a lot of things out of inertia - take for example the pathways through the grass and snow on campus. Even though the pathway was a solid sheet of ice yesterday, I saw several people staying directly on the path the entire way across the lawn. Literally a foot off of the path was grass. Did anyone venture off of the path onto the far less slippery and dangerous grass? No, except for me.

Another example of human inertia are the desks/tables that students sit at in class. I am definately guilty of this one - instead of moving to new seating positions within the classroom, many students often choose the same exact spot day in and day out - and, if someone sits in 'your' spot, you get upset.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Celebrity Endorsements

In class yesterday we discussed the 'balance theory' and how celebrities that endorse products could affect whether a person buys a product or not - the theory is that if you don't like the endorser, you can either change your mind about the person, or you can keep yourself in balance by disliking the product as well.

I started to think about products or brands that I dislike because I'm not a fan of the celebrity endorser. Pretty much anything with Kim Kardashian is big "dislike button" for me. I don't understand why she is famous and everything about her screams fake and scandalous. So, Sketchers and her Sears clothing line are definitely not for me. Paris Hilton is another celebrity that I strongly dislike - I will never eat a Carl's Jr burger (one because she endorsed it and two, that was disturbing).

I also started to think about brands that I don't like, and how, if a celebrity that I used to like endorses that brand, I sometimes feel disgust about that person. I don't want to open up a bag of worms with this, but PETA really irritates me. I'm all for the ethical treatment of animals - I have always owned a dog and the one I have now is literally like my child. However, the founder of PETA is an over-the-top, irrational, and arrogant woman who destroys property in order to make a point. Furthermore, I also believe that hunting animals for food is perfectly legitimate - PETA does not. So, when a celebrity that I like does an endorsement for PETA, I immediately feel annoyed with that celebrity.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Lists

Yes, I still make them. But, in my defense, my family requests them so they know what to get me since I live here in Bozeman while they are all in Yakima, WA. My boyfriend's mom asked me if I had made one yet the other day and I went into a sort of panic mode. (This is what went through my mind) *Holy crap I hadn't even thought of anything yet - I mean my birthday is before Christmas! Plus, if shes asking for one then that means everyone else in my family is probably thinking about it too.*

So, I started contemplating things that I need (or just want) for Christmas. I still felt a sense of panic - asking for certain presents makes me feel guilty, I mean who likes to ask for something super expensive? 1) It makes you look like you only like expensive things 2) maybe they don't have the money for it this year and they might feel guilty they can't get it for you. My Christmas list feels like a guilt trap - I either feel guilty for asking or I'm afraid that my family will feel guilty if they don't purchase the things on my list. What ever happened to the days when I was little and wrote EVERYTHING down? I'm pretty sure I asked for the entire JC Penny catalog once. When you're a kid, you can ask for anything you want and everyone just thinks you're being cute. Plus, as a kid you're not disappointed if you don't get everything on the list so you're family doesn't feel bad for not buying it. Why can't life still be this simple?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I always find it funny/interesting/annoying that Christmas advertising and products come out either right before or immediately after Halloween. I mean, I went to the store to pick up some last minute Halloween decorations and there were almost as many Christmas decorations as Halloween ones.

I get, Christmas is awesome. It's my favorite holiday too. But, there is this thing called Thanksgiving that comes first, not to mention that Christmas actually occurs towards the end of December, not the end of October. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas music, decorations, treats, and all the joy that comes with spending time with my family too. But, if you start showing ads and playing music two months before Christmas even gets here, I'm going to get super annoyed and find Christmas not so enjoyable anymore. Coming from a person who's worked in retail and had to listen to the "Christmas Music" cd that corporate sends in early November, the holiday season isn't called "the most wonderful time of the year" by anyone who listens that repeat 4 times in one shift.

So, why do stores stock up on all-things Christmas in October? Why are holiday ads aired the day after Halloween? When did the corporate minds begin to push Christmas on consumers? All I can think of is that this whole trend was created by the people who buy Christmas presents in August, have 12 light-up Christmas tree sweaters, and smell like sugar cookies.

On a brighter note, here is my favorite Christmas ad I've seen so far - it's got a little bit of the holiday spirit to it, but not so much that you feel like your being pushed to buy presents right this minute:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perceived Beauty

A couple of weeks ago, there was a wiki presentation about how the ideal 'beauty' has become distorted - women now have to be extremely skinny for them to feel beautiful in many cases. Take ballerinas or models for instance; they are extremely skinny and unhealthy, yet they are constantly told how great they look.

During the first viewing of "Bend it Like Beckham", I overheard a couple of classmates talking about how 'buff' and 'inshape' Keira Knightley's character is. I was shocked and a little bothered by their comments. As someone who is extremely interested in fitness and active, healthy lifestyles, I think that Keira's character doesn't look like a real soccer player, and she is most definatley not buff or in good shape. I think she looks like a starving model. I think the fact that several of my classmates identified her as an ideal body type is disturbing and it goes to show just how twisted our idea of ideal beauty is today.

When I think of a female who is 'buff' and in shape, I think of actual fitness models or athletes. Those that are healthy and have muscle tone and definition. Not only do these girls exercise to look great, but they are doing so in a healthy way that keeps their weight down and also decreases the chances of any serious illnesses caused by over-eating or having a sedentary lifestyle. I think that the ideal body should reflect these qualities and not look like Keira in the above picture.