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Did You Watch? : Extravagant Spending In The Bahamas

1354 words - 6 pages

“Do you like it?” “Do you need it, must you have it? Can you feel the lure of fame and fortune just by owning it?” “If you live the lie long enough eventually it will become a reality.” This is the dream of so many individuals who have nothing and lack the incentive to work and obtain their dreams of fame and fortune. “Why do poor people ‘waste’ money on luxury goods?” by Tressie Mcmillian Cottom is an article which explores one of the possible reasons why so many people might waste their money. Many Bahamians buy overpriced items such as clothing, accessories, cars, etc., especially when they are well aware of the fact that they cannot and are not in a position to afford these extravagant items. Many Bahamians spend foolishly and leave themselves ‘poor’. This article’s title is an insightful way of addressing the audience and involving them in the speculation on the topic before reading the writer’s perspective on what the reasons might be. Cottom argues that what many be considered as a waste to many is actually the ‘poor person’s way of surviving’, a topic in which others could speculate upon continuously and still the reasons would all be relatively the same. Media convinces us to connect status to merchandized products to which we would otherwise not have a need. Many Bahamians believe that spending money unnecessarily provides either better quality or better opportunities in life. In this essay, I shall claim that, media has heavily affected the way many Bahamians act and behave in regards to prioritizing their expenditure.

Many in the Bahamian society judge its fellow civilians by their outward appearance rather than the inner. Media influences what we see, what we do, and how we function. For example, a school filled with junior or senior high students has always had a uniform. I am not talking about the standardized clothes and shoes that these individuals wear, I am talking about the various accessories that they tote: a Kipling bag, Clark’s shoes, Tommy Hilfiger-cotton school shirts and a Dickies pants. One of the reasons why schools set a standard uniform is to prevent cliques and bullying in the schools. However, children decide based on the popularity of particular media channels to negotiate with their parents in order to have note-worthy school attire. Costly clothes and jewelry are purchased in an attempt to live up to or obtain a similar or better lifestyle than these celebrity individuals, which they so often see. A guilty or indulgent parent buys their kids what they ask for rather than what they need. Why? Why do they ask for such frivolous things? Its because they are children, fascinated with the idea of the lavish other life which they see almost every day on the television screen or on the streets.
Television shows such as ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’, ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘Bad girls club’ depict unrealistic or unsavory life practices and these very same practices are shown to young and impressionable youths. It hardly...

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