Monday, 11 August 2008

Don't get me started.

Transitioning out of the negative thinking which fuels this project (What's wrong here?) into more constructive modes (How can I fix it?) is something I'm feeling more aware of as I continue to post. Just sheer distaste for so much of what I've seen around brings out the why-I-oughtas in me, and I can sense the tone - that of a humourless scold. I tsk-tsk my way around crappy department stores, eye rolling my way from racks of bras for seven year olds, to the toy section where I can melodramtically huff and sigh my disgruntlement at the hoochie Bratz dolls. When I'm targeting a group of people who are all about fun, creativity and exploration, I'm going to need to lift the tone considerably, or at least portion the different tones, file and shelve them accordingly.

It may go something like this:
academia (theory) =cranky
creativity (practise) =positivity
Is this a law of nature or something, because if I'm just headed that way because the path is well worn, then I would prefer to think about ways to stray off the trail and find newways of getting there.

But I have to indulge the heavy-sigh-arms-flailing-in-the-air thing just this once to relate the Harper's Bazaar story I read the other day about two society women who have joined forces to create what is perhaps my project's nemisis - a "you go girl!" custom clothing emporium, where all the creativity and craft is taken out of making custom clothes, and the only thing the girl children bring to the experience is their parent's money and the ability to choose clothing patches. The worst part of it is the creator's "belief " that they are giving girls the best experience of their childhoods - making memories.* The inflation of the ideology - well, it's just shopping, and it's still just shovelling "stuff" into an ever deepening pit of desire.

If you want to read the entire nauseating story for yourself, go here. Proceed with caution: It made me want to be a Trapist monk, and I'm a woman with a drawer full of Chanel cosmetics and a wardrobe full of shoes, so that's really saying something. Or you can scope it out on their web site. I guess I get bent out of shape by these things because they are fundamentally building a similar thing to my project, but their hearts aren't in the right places and they underestimate their audience, who will no doubt buy the clothes anyway. Perhaps I underestimate when I presume it'll be a hit, but I know how powerful the lure of cool stuff is to young people. All people for that matter. Incidently, $57.50 is a huge freaking amount of money for a hoodie in the United States. I bet they sell a trillion of them.

I'll admit envy that these women seem to be able to hurl money at a project of this kind. Unless you are truly challenged, money will invariably make money, so I predict their store will be a fungus-like success story of multiplication and doom.

*I'm not really certain these are beliefs the creators hold anyway - I sense it's more of a money making exercise and they want to fluff the whole endeavor up with some life affirming platitudes. Making money is fine by me, it's just the faux feminism and pretensions of fostering creativity which get me down. It all makes me hanker for the purity of the fully transparent, no holding back sales pitches of my childhood. Buy meeeeeeee. No one pretended Strawberry Shortcake made girls more independent and self reliant. Every brand has a philosophy these days, including mine.

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