This week we read “She Stoops to Conquer” and” The Ladies Dressing Room” for comparison, and I found the issue of conspicuous consumption to be present in each. This term is particularly interesting to me from a marketing perspective, because I feel that most will see the implications of the term as negative. In contrast, I argue conspicuous consumption is natural, and is not evil. A poem about the social pressures of class could have been written in any century, and it is certainly applicable to ours. This concept is central to both works we have read for this week and I feel it is a symptom of the natural hierarchy rather than capitalism. We have a natural need for acceptance that isn’t created by marketers, and I think it requires more inner reflection to understand our underlying desires rather than attribute them to others. I do concede, however, that these needs can be leveraged to make a sale.
To the topic of Celia and the time it takes her to get ready, there are multiple social issues we can take from the situation. First, there is obviously immense pressure for her to look good, and to do so effortlessly. Second, reading the line “Who can do it in less than five hours?” as serious rather than as sarcasm indicates it is a societal pressure towards women. While it can be argued that societal pressures exist towards men as well, using a rubric that is inhuman is obviously unfair.
Overall, I found the readings for this week interesting and applicable to modern day, although I can’t say I would return to them.