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Overconsumption is now… a trend?

TikTok has been our best friend nowadays to find the best products. Think of the many beauty goods shown in the image above which have been promoted to you by our favourite beauty gurus, claiming that this perfume can make you smell like a "coquette princess”, and these serums give you plump and glowy skin. These make it easier to have a pinch of dopamine whenever you sit down to take care of yourself. Additionally, think about the Shein hauls that have allowed Kylie Jenner's most recent wears to be right in your hands for just a bit until said trend dies out. Even if some of these ideas do sound like they promote better life quality, the way TikTok makes us think is more so like, "Oh, every single influence to my lifestyle on this platform is getting paid to promote these cute looking bottles of magic serums that supposedly fixes their life in a second. I should get my hands on that because money is endless, and my resources are already useless anyway! It’s not like any of this material will, other than harm the environment, hook me into this chain of endless stream of heavily promoted fancy-looking items because everyone has them and I, of course, am falling behind on that!” …yikes. That behavior? Yeah, it’s trending.

Although some these products truly do what they promise and are only expanding themselves on the market to generate money, the addictive consumerism of the dilemma, and the FOMO (fear of missing out) triggered out of it spirals down to a very harmful and dark place in the market, brainwashing us into the depths of our pockets until- oh- hmm I think I’m broke.

Ever wondered why so many pretty people always appear on your recommended? That’s TikTok’s strict beauty algorithm, where those with specific types of faces are the ones to get to the typical “for you page”. That means if you don’t fit into the standard, your content ends up not getting promoted because the people in it are “ugly”. Teens who are in transition from childhood to adulthood are going through a really hard phase in there, trying to discover themselves and explore more of the world, full of expectations on their way, anxious, vulnerable… but nothing like rare beauty liquid blush can’t fix. Can’t afford that? “Doops''(or so, specific products from cheaper brands that function the same way as other specific high-end expensive products) are everywhere too! Naturally, their audiences, especially of younger age, begin to feel self-conscious and come to believe that maybe if they had all of those items and keep up with the trends, they could finally get their life together… honey, we all know that concealers can’t cover anxiety more than they cover eye bags.

Such behavior is so normalized that trends such as “get ready with me” videos (also known as GRWMs) or “TikTok made me buy it” videos are everywhere, promoting everything from gadgets, to makeup, to clothes, to smart house accessories, and much, much more. The videos promote a more visual-based approach to romanticizing a life of self-care through products that look aesthetically appealing, encouraging us to buy them just to feel like living a little more of a luxurious lifestyle. Say, why keep your plastic bottle of pharmacy shampoo and conditioner that works just fine when you can buy a full Gison nutritious hair and body kit, which looks like gold-bathed honey and has a minimalist, fancy-looking bottle? It is only rational for TikTok to want to invest your last few pennies in your hair because it will fix your life.

The dopamine rush is just as sizable as a bottle of product, so once it’s over, you’re in need for more. Dare I say that it is just as addicting as drugs except it (sometimes) gives you clearer skin instead of deteriorating your lungs… it does deteriorate your bank account though, that’s for sure.

If it isn’t bad enough that cosmetics are slowly destroying our sanity, values, and bank accounts, Shein has been the infamous platform for fast fashion shopping in the comfort of your own home.

Fast fashion is basically the rapid mass production of clothes that are in trend for the time being for them to get used and discarded right after. Considering that the fashion industry is the world's 2nd most polluting market, Shein, Zara, UNIQLO, GAP, H&M and many of our favorite fast fashion brands mass produce pieces of clothing based around a trend until it dies out and hundreds of low-quality clothes for one-time wears. This FOMO from not keeping up with trends builds the same hivemind as the growth of cosmetic consumerism discussed beforehand. Not to mention that the rapid growth of their market was only achievable due to the child labor and underpayment of their employees.

With all of that said, we should constantly strive for a better mindset and not let this wave of extremely limited short-lived trends consume our money, brainwash our mental health, and destroy the planet once and for all… like I currently am. The author is guilty, guys! The author owns a Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer Facial Therapy Magic Chemicals thing and the exact same Sol De Janeiro perfume as shown on the cover of the article, OK?!

Alright, all jokes aside, we are in serious need of finding other things in life that keep us away from a mindset that will leave us addicted to materialistic things that won't benefit us in the long run. Instead, we should focus on spending money intelligently: investing in timeless clothes that will last a lifetime, clothes that we truly like and see ourselves wearing years ahead of us, and having the basics of hygiene down to have healthy skin and leave us and our credit cards satisfied.

(check these videos out, they cover these topics in deeper detail and their channels are extremely interesting to watch!)


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