Why Do Poor People Waste Money On Luxury Goods?

1263 words - 6 pages

“OMG”! You see that black young gal coming out of that Mercedes Benz? Oh! And she has on a Dolce & Gabbana dress. I wish I was like her” said a nosey Bahamian woman. “Don’t let dem materialistic tings fool ya girl, that’s Shirley’s daughter who live Bain town with both her parents, that’s all for show cuz she just got her a-sue money so she flaunting, watch next week you will see her in a lancer” said another lady. The world we live in, people judge you based on your appearance; so there’s no better way than to prove to those that you are living well than with luxurious possessions. The public has become more and more consumer driven over the years, thus we have confused the difference between need and want, and if persons think that they need something, they will do whatever it takes to get it. Constantly, we are bombarded with advertisements telling us to want more things, or that it is a necessity to have the latest item that's better than the old thing we already bought. Deprived individuals waste money on pointless assets to feel as though they are still a part of the “normal society” that is depicted as being able to have everything, when they are at a time when they have almost nothing. Nonetheless, in her article “Why do poor people ‘Waste’ Money on Luxury Goods?” Cottom McMillan argues that status symbols matter and that wasteful purchase of status items like bags, and shoes are required in a society where poor people are being discriminated and judged on their appearance more harshly. In this essay, I will dispute that it is beneficial for deprived individuals to spend money on expensive possessions because it boosts their self-esteem, assists them in future employments and also society leads to accept them.
Firstly, poor individual’s self-esteem is boosted when they spend significant amounts of money on luxury items. Prior to that, it also makes them feel superior when shopping with upper-class folks. In the article “Why Do Poor People 'Waste' Money On Luxury Goods?” Cottom states “I watched my mother put on her best Diana Ross "Mahogany" outfit: a camel colored cape with matching slacks and knee high boots.” This shows that Cottom’s mother is self-confident and her self-esteem isn’t low. Cottom later claims “It took half a day but something about my mother's performance of respectable black person, her Queen's English, her Mahogany outfit, her straight bob and pearl earrings got done what the elderly lady next door had not been able to get done in over a year.” Persons act the way they spend their money, so if they spend a major amount, they will act superior. An individual who spends money on luxury items wants to treat their self because they want to feel worthy. It’s a feel good thing and an empowering thing for them. Hence, buying a 2500 designer bag becomes such an investment to them. Money and self-esteem have always been attached to one another. We need money to feel good about ourselves. What if the economy struck or a...

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