It starts when we’re born. Accessories. ”My daddy is the best” and “My mom is better than your mom” on our shirts, iconic pacifiers, hair bows in more styles and colors than Baskin Robbins has flavors, complete ensembles of coordinated clothing, all in large quantities. When did babies become fashion statements? Aren’t they cute enough already? I see a lot of people talking to parents with small babies and hearing more compliments about the clothing than the kid wearing them.
It continues through adolescence, expanding to toys and games. I have boys (thank you God) that don’t care much about fashion and will probably need future therapy for their lack of stylish clothing options. They do however have accessories. They have Nintendo DS’s that have lots of games, a universal charger, a fancy light sabre stylus and headphones, all packed inside a custom case. Society says, “You need more” and we respond by buying more.
Into adulthood now, and I’m not exempt from this. I might not have a lot of fancy, trendy clothing but I do have some nice things in my house. Most from eBay, craigslist and thrift stores, but nevertheless, lots of things. Accessories. I have decorative things that serve no purpose other than to sit there and look nice. Now I’m an artist of sorts, so this is an important topic. I love to create things, but with a purpose. Much of my art is chaotic, but has meaning and purpose behind it. The vase sitting on my shelf, not so much. I’ve been sucked into the American vortex of more is better. I created this photograph several years ago. This has many meaning for many people, but I see it as how we become background fixtures in the sea of stuff we own.