Raise your hand if you OR someone you know has ever bought a bootleg designer bag, designer glasses or a bootleg designer anything… No? Well, if you said No then you are definitely part of the minority, lol!!!
Why do we do this though? Why do we save money to spend $1,400 on a bag that holds the same contents that a FREE plastic bag from the supermarket can hold? Why do we break our backs to maintain a car note on a luxury car, while all of the other non-luxurious things in our lives suffer? Why do we pay $400 for a pair of shades to wear at night? Why do we do these things? I’ve done silly things like this as well, so I’m not judging or pointing the finger.
I came across a phrase from British anthropologist Mary Douglas, “Human beings want to help create the social world and find a credible place in it.“
Pretty much, human beings want to help build the world (which is even biblical as God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply) and we want to hold a special place in the world after we’ve done our part. That’s fine. However, when you add ego, insecurities, perversion of Love (giving you Lust) and greed to the equation then it amounts to one simple word… “Symbols”
The mercedes benz logo is a Symbol. The Louis Vuitton logo is a Symbol. A photo of a raised champagne glass while sitting next to someone “important” is a Symbol. Typically, these symbols show a certain degree of success, and importance to people who see them. I’ll come back to this in a minute
Let’s minimize the world’s social network to just Facebook or Twitter or Myspace, etc… In our small world, we add the friends that we know or we’re interested in knowing or we add those people who make us look more “cool” by having them as a follower or as a friend. We put up pictures in our photo galleries that portray us in a certain light. We post status messages and tweets that portray us in a certain light. We attach all of the Symbols to our profile that would make our profile special and give off a certain message to all of the people who live in that social network… If you’re sitting there saying, “Nuh Uh, I don’t do all that. I don’t front or act like someone that I’m not. If you want to add me/follow me online then add me but if not, then oh well,” Then obviously I ain’t talking about YOU! But for MOST of us, the same holds true in life. We want to attach Symbol after Symbol to ourselves (consciously or subconsciously) so that we look and feel special to both ourselves and to those looking at us. Actually, One of the biggest symbols of all, is being on a red carpet.
Is it silly to chase these symbols? Or vain? Or immature? Or ignorant? Maybe, Maybe not, but I definitely think that it should be thought about. I even look at the Symbols that people waste money on for their children. Women walk around with a certain size bag and it’s not even full, why so big? Guys pop as many bottles (bottles that have Symbols on the label) as they can in the club as a Symbol. There are people that only go to an event if there will be other Symbols there for them to be seen in the same room with, hereby elevating their status, rather than attend a more quality event that has no Symbols. I’m not sure how many of you use twitter but some accounts are verified accounts. I guess that’s a way to distinguish whether or not the Real, Actual person is using that account. But I see people trying and asking and seeking to get the Symbol that comes with that!!!! I ‘m guessing that’s part of what makes you look credible… I guess… It’s even to a point that it’s almost impossible for a budding recording artist to get heard, unless they’ve somehow aligned themselves with an already established Symbol. That Symbol may be a bigger more well known artist or a corporate Brand but without that alliance, the chances are very slim for that new artist. So my original question of why we buy the fake Gucci and the knock off Prada and the bootleg Louis V is because we need to somehow show the world a Symbol of why we should be looked at as special, or why we should also be part of the Cool Kids, or even why we should be respected.
I’m in the process of putting together a movement called “The Fresh Prince of Brooklyn” #FPBK, which addresses this issue. I’ll get more in depth with that at a later date but for now I’ll say, when a Symbol is the reason that a person is respected rather than them just being respected simply because they have flesh, bone, and breath just like you, then this world just might be in more trouble than I thought. But that’s just me.
And if you’re thinking, “So what are you saying? I shouldn’t own a Benz?”, then you, My Freng, have missed the entire point!
-Kel SpencerSubscribe for FREE over there, under ”Keep In Touch…“ Follow Me on Twitter @KelSpencer Join Me on Facebook, Youtube & Centric TV God’s Favorite Emcee, Warrior Poet, Pen.Man, Satan Hater, Ice cream Lover, Quarterback of The Urban Experience & chicks dig me too…