The Desire to be a Shopaholic

February 16th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The other day, in my anthropology course, Language, Culture & Society, a student gave a presentation on women’s desire to shop.  She mentioned the film Confessions of a Shopaholic.  I thought, “I need to see that film!”  So, that night, I went on Netflix, and watched the film online.  Even though this film is a story of a woman who jacks up her debts on credit cards by overspending obnoxiously on woman’s wardrobe, the story raised a lot of thoughts.  The film did portray an over-generalization of woman’s love of shopping.  Most women cannot hate shopping.  According to the Office for National Statistics, shopping accounts for one-forth of women’s travels in the UK!  Men are just men.  In general, most men shop because it’s an obligation.

Even I, as a female, love to shop til I drop.  I’m very conscious about my appearance, as it affects the impression of who I am.  So, spending time to look for the right design of clothing, shoes, jewelry, and makeup are all critical.

However, that’s not the only reason.  From an artist’s perspective, I find clothes, shoes, and jewelry to be a works of art.  When I go into clothing stores, I feel like I’m in a museum where I can admire or even criticize the designs.  Buying an article of clothing is like buying a painting.  We buy paintings to make our homes pretty and feel comfortable (I’ll explain in another post about the desire to buy paintings and how they comfort us).  Women buy clothes to make themselves look pretty and to feel confident in themselves.

Shopping is like a travel experience where we will remember our moments.  An article in Discovery News made a very good statement that describes exactly that –

“When women go into a store and see a $200 sweater they like, but they don’t want to pay that much, they are going to save it in their memories and go back to that store later,” Kruger said. “When a guy has something specific in mind, he wants to go in, get it, and get out.”

I’ll spend hours in Anthropologie admiring their beautiful collection of clothing and jewelry and yet, I’ll walk out of the store with only one or two article(s) of clothing or sometimes nothing.  However, some of the highly-expensive clothes will always be in my memory, and even the atmosphere of the store.  There is a dress that I absolutely adore because of the design, but it was $288.  So, I just had to dream myself in that dress by remembering the design.  Again, that’s just something about women’s love for clothes.  As I mentioned that I love the atmosphere of the store, I feel like I’m visiting a Tuscan or Provencal home where I can see charming decorations, including furniture.

I personally have not gone through this experience, but from my research, I’ve found that according to this site, 79 percent of the women go on a shopping spree when they’re depressed!  This could account another reason for women’s desire to shop.

In fact, there is an actual disorder for shopaholics and it affects 6 percent of the women!  It’s part of the Obsessive–Compulsive disorder (OCD). – See one source here.

It would be cool to actually go to the mall one day and interview several women on why they like to shop!  I imagine I would get some interesting results.

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