Why Buying Big Brand Names Is Hurting Society

To The Material Girl, Buying Big Brand Names Is Hurting Society

Why "buying on brand" is only hurting society.

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Look, I get it. I think the little Vineyard Vines whale is just as cute as you do. Who wouldn't want that on every dress shirt they own? And it's very satisfying to watch the impressed looks on your friends' faces when they see you wearing both your new Lululemon leggings and your Patagonia.

However, the standard of buying certain brands to appeal to others has gone too far in recent years. We are a society in danger of getting lost in the depths of materialistic consumerism.

It sounds dramatic, but when you consider the path that American culture is currently on, the future appears pretty gloomy. A drastic increase in the capabilities of social media and technology has been both an aid and a detriment to impressionable minds. Children are being exposed to consumer culture at an earlier and earlier age. Suddenly, twelve-year-olds are not going through phases in which Justice, Aeropostale, or Abercrombie and Fitch clothes dominate their wardrobes.

Rather, due to the access they have to Instagram and other social media platforms, which show them the trends in fashion for women much older than them, they are jumping ahead six years and dressing like college girls.

The disheartening fact of this phenomenon is that these girls really aren't dressing according to their own style opinions. Mob mentality is affecting every American consumer today through brand monopolies. We are being manipulated without even realizing it.

Before a year ago, I never would have felt insecure when wearing my watch; now, I am slightly ashamed that it cannot sync to my phone or tell me my heart rate. I did not think twice about New Balance two years ago; flash forward to the present after they have become popular, and I wear my pair to class every day.

Remember the variety of phones that people owned before Apple forced its way into the market? Yeah, neither do I.

When we judge people by what brands they wear or own, we are saying that their worth is restricted to what items they like and can afford. Not only does this dehumanize individuals, but it creates a clear societal gap between people who are different. If you own the right brands, you have money, popularity, and style. If you don't, whether it's your choice or not, you're considered an outcast.

"Why don't you own AirPods? Come on, just buy them. Trust us, you'll feel so much cooler after." It might not be explicitly stated right now, but if we continue to rely on certain logos to confirm our place in the world, our morals and values will begin to matter less than our appearances. There is already enough division in our world; don't enable it.

To further expose the manipulation of popular brands upon our minds, I would like to reveal that it is, in fact, no coincidence that the products we consider "better" are more expensive. Can we all just be honest with ourselves and admit that Lululemon is needlessly expensive? With the money I would use to buy the average Lululemon legging (about $120), I can buy six pairs of leggings at T.J. Maxx that look and function the same as their popular counterparts. The best part is, no one can even tell the difference.

I once had a friend ask me if the leggings I was wearing were Lululemon, when, in fact, I got them from a regular department store. To this day, I am admittedly too proud of that moment.

Convincing the entire United States population that only certain brands of certain items should be bought completely contrasts the main tenet on which this country was founded: Freedom.

Freedom of expression not only applies to the written and spoken word, but also to our personal likes and dislikes. We should be free to wear whatever we want and free from the judgment of others. I should not have to worry about my sister coming home from school and immediately ordering one of those giant, gaudy letter necklaces, not because she wants a giant "M" sitting on her chest all of the time, but because she feels like she doesn't fit in without it.

We have been given the gift of developing our own style. It's time that gift was properly appreciated.

Don't be a follower. We have been taught all of our lives to be the shepherd and not the sheep. So, why do I see so many girls walking around downtown on a Friday night in those oversized, white fluffy coats? The metaphor practically constructs itself.

Enabling blind conformity in regards to consumerism can formulate a bad habit that trickles into other aspects of our everyday life, such as politics and prejudices. I do not mean that liking any of these brands is wrong. I just want you to take a step back and figure out if you would still buy them if society had not told you that you should.

Develop your inquisitive natures, learn to think for yourselves, and don't let anyone tell you what you should believe. Decide who you are and what you truly like, not what your Instagram feed tells you that you should want.

And, if, after all of that, Canada Goose parkas are still your favorite, then go ahead and spend those twelve hundred dollars to stay warm.

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

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15 Items You'll Actually Need For Your Dorm Room

You can thank me later.

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When my parents helped me move into my dorm room, I realized that there were a lot of items that we didn't think about. I ended up purchasing a lot of these items later on because I didn't realize how necessary they were until I was fully settled into my dorm.

1. Extra-long drawers

If you're like me and have a thousand t-shirts and pairs of jeans and leggings extra long drawers are essential for clothing storage. Having four of these drawers helped me store all of my items with ease.

2. An ottaman or stepstool

This is one thing that I totally did not think of when I moved into my dorm. Looking back, I really wonder how I thought I was going to get into my bed. After I moved in, my parents quickly ran to Target and got an ottoman so I could get into my bed. It spruces up the room while also being able to hold my snacks in it.. which is essential.

3. A vanity mirror

I ended up paying a pretty price for my vanity mirror, but its worth it. It has a light, so it became so easy to do my makeup in my room at any time of the day.

4. A planner that works for you

First of all, don't be like me and get a planner that is too small to even write anything in it. I did that and saw my grades suffer. I ended up asking for a planner for Christmas and I couldn't wait to start using it. It has a page to set goals every month and to-do lists for every week.

5. A nice water bottle

I was that cliché student and got a nice Hydro Flask water bottle before I started college. Even though I had to get a special kind with a nozzle, it was completely worth it knowing it would keep me hydrated.

6. Felt hangers

This is one thing that my mom suggested, and I am so glad she did. It may seem like a small change but felt hangers truly make a huge difference in closet space. I have most of my winter clothes and some summer dresses all in one closet thanks to these hangers.

7. Assorted command hooks

These are essential for every college student. I used command hooks for my jewelry, my bathrobe and toiletries and my Christmas lights. They may be a little pricey but its worth it for storage and aesthetic purposes.

8. A toaster

I didn't get a toaster until the second semester of college but it's been a lifesaver. Because of my toaster, I was able to have breakfast in my dorm instead of using my meal plan or spending extra money.

9. A collapsible laundry basket

My roommate actually bought this after the first semester because she liked mine so much. It was not only super easy to store but made doing my laundry so much easier.

10.  A rug

It sounds simple, but its amazing how a rug makes everything look more cohesive and cozy.

11.  A memory foam mattress cover

The mattresses in college dorms are pretty uncomfortable, so getting a foam mattress topper was key. It's made my bed so much more comfortable.

12.  Printed pictures

I printed off many pictures at the end of my first semester. I had pictures from back home, but also from my first semester. Sometimes when I'm feeling down, I like to look at those pictures and realize how grateful I should be for the people in my life.

13.  Spinning toiletry organizer

I ordered this off of amazon a few weeks into my freshman year and it minimized my storage so much.

14.  Large luggage bags

I didn't realize how many clothes I had until I came home from Thanksgiving break. These luggage bags are essential for easy traveling.

15.  A winter coat and boots

This is SO important. I got a winter coat for Christmas during my senior year, and felt really silly wearing such a long coat outside. However, once I got to college I realized that everybody wears these winter coats and so important. So many of my friends bought boots after the first semester of college because they realized how important they are. They not only keep your feet warm but have super good traction which prevents you from slipping while walking to class.

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