Monday, October 11, 2010

The Accoutrements of Beauty

Let's take a moment to think beyond "end use," to that very first impulse behind the urge to buy. What makes you want to purchase something? To give your money in return for a specific product, yes. But why that product? Why that moment to give away something you've worked hard for?

Often the answer is easy. Because it is necessary for survival: food; mortgage or rent; gas and electric bills so you can stay warm.

But why do we pay for stupid things? Products that nobody actually needs to live, but which may or may not inject a measure of satisfaction into one's daily life.

Pendelton makes a cologne. An artist creates an atomizer out of a dead sea urchin. They are both ways of making ourselves smell better. But why? This isn't the 18th century, when taking a bath was something you did on your wedding day, and rarely before or after. Indoor plumbing has made personal hygiene quick and easy.

Simply put, we want these products because somebody told us we want these products.

And isn't it amazing what happens when somebody tells us to do it? We start to feel an urge; a tingle; a deep-seated unrest that will not -- can not -- be filled until we possess the object in question.

That is why we buy these things, and it is the same reason why humans do so much of what we do.

Because somebody tells us we should.

And on that note: You should all hire me for your product pictures immediately. If you don't, that tingle you feel in the base of your skull will just get worse. Trust me.

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