1. Do you think the United States in a “Legitimization Crisis”?   Why?  Examples?  Images, Videos?   How does this affect fashion consumption habits?

Yes the United States is in a legitimization crisis. People follow what is shown in the media, public, what has been going on in traditions for a very long time. Whether it is fashion or not, in the media they have always been trying to define what “perfect” is. Although people follows certain rules, they necessarily don’t have to go all the way with it. Using wedding traditions as an example. When it comes to the rules of wearing a gown, it has to be white. Although some do not follow it, majority still do. As the picture below shoes a bride and her bridesmaids, it can be seen that what the bridesmaids are wearing are in appropriate. However it still follows the rules of matching each other. The same for the picture on the right, the bride is in a bikini as her wedding dress. Even though it is not a dress neither is it also appropriate, it still follows the tradition of it being white.


In today’s society, following fashion leaders and a fashion is a trend. Especially with the younger generations in following the latest trend. When something is in trend, almost everyone have to it. We see this throughout the year, when it comes to hair styling, a certain style or product. Society tells us what we should wear or follow.

*When the “bump it” hair style was in, same with the “boho” look, and the “piercing & tattoos” trend.



2. Has a novelty purchase provided you with a lasting sense of satisfaction?  Yes or No, why? Why not?  Reference reading, Professor Lung’s responses, provide images, which reference what you purchased.

According to Colin Campbell in Identities Through Fashion edited by Ana Mart Gonzales and Laura Bovone, Campbell believes “The fact that any so-called new product may not in reality offer anything resembling either additional utility or a truly novel experience is largely irrelevant.” (pg. 11). Regardless of those who says it doesn’t, I believe it does give you a satisfying feeling.

I have indeed bought some sort of novelty products that has lasted and still lasting my satisfaction. Also, I believe whether a product is new or used have nothing to do with the satisfaction I get from it. The idea that a product is different, you don’t often see people have it makes you feel special like you are the only one who has it only because you have not seen someone with it. Or that you believe you deserved it someway and is willing to take a chance on purchasing it. To support my opinion, my purchase of a new pair of shoes like my Nike is a novelty purchase I have not regretted getting. The fact that my Nike shoes are limited edition, tells me there are only a small amount of this kind around and those who buys it first just gets it first and feels lucky. Some consumers buy things that are limited just because it is limited edition. For me, I actually loved the shoe before even knowing it was a limited edition. After already desiring the shoes and to find out it was limited edition, I had the urge to just grab it because the thought of possibly never seeing this pair of shoe got in my head.

In Professor Lung’s response to “Can a novelty purchase bring a lasting sense of satisfaction, and if so why?”, using Dr. Juliet B. Schor’s lecture of Why Do We Consume So Much, shows a great example of my meaning “Today it is less insidious in some ways, because it’s not only offensive (I get the big diamond because my best friend doesn’t have one), but has become defensive. (I get the big diamond because my best friend does have one.)” (pg. 11). This quotes refers to why I bought my Nike shoes. We buy it because everyone else has it or we buy because no one has it, in my case I can admit I bought it because no one else it. (As I mentioned, only because I have not come across another person having the same pair yet.)


In another aspect, using a pair of used jeans and doing a DIY project as to why we follow trends. This reason was because everyone was doing it for the summer and everyone had a pair of high-waisted shorts. You could not avoid the desire for a pair when you are constantly in contact with those you see with it. It was all over the stores, medias and in public. But of course in order to want a pair, regardless of those having it or not, you would have to like it as well. So yes novelty purchases does have a lasting satisfaction because in some purchases, we’ve spend an amount of money we know we can’t get back therefore we keep it to make us feel better.


3. How do members of contemporary western society more closely derive their identities from consumption?  Provide examples, and reference the reading. (the people living today in the western society come about to their identities in what they consumed)

In Identities Through Fashion edited by Ana Mart Gonzales and Laura Bovone, using another of Colin Campbell’s  discussions, “Western fashion pattern involves little more that the consumption of novelty, while it is the fact that modern consumers posses this basic ‘taste for novelty’ that explains not only why they embrace new fashions so enthusiastically, but also how they are able to change their actual tastes so easily….they have a concern with status, but simply because they are addicted to novelty.” (pg. 11).

Members of contemporary western society have taken fashion or what they use as a way to express their identities. They take what they like into who they want to be. By consuming apparels, they wear outfit base on who they want to represent themselves as or who they want to be. The things they consume are a way to show their status, how they want to fit in, how they want to impress others or just simply who they are. What and how a person consume can determine our identities in who we are. I believe this because what you wear does tell others who you are. Even if it is not who you really are, in the meantime it is an expression of what or who you are at the moment. We see these transitions in celebrities all the time.  As Campbell explains, “In other words, all issues of taste were to be considered as purely individual and subjective matters, not open to general debate or dispute. Hence, an individual’s likes and dislikes, in art and aesthetics as much as in food and drink, were to be considered purely personal, subjective and therefore unchangeable.” (pg. 13).

For instance, Rihanna has had quite an amount of transformation throughout her career. One day she can be all rocked out and the next she will be in a luxurious gown. That does not say she is not being herself, that just tells you how she feels at the moment. And that everyone has all different sides to them, it is up to them if they want to reveal that side through styling. Or it can be that they have yet to discover about themselves.


Identities Through Fashion


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