# 103 (2013) Living The Dream Or Falling For the Fakery
There’s a lot of a fakery around. I’m not just talking about people. That’s what Snog Marry Avoid is for. I mean in life in general. In the things around us. We are always trying to live up to ideals and standards but the problem is that a lot of what we are trying to aspire to doesn’t actually exist.
From the models in the clothing catalogue to the McDonalds burger meal we see on advertising hoardings, it’s all fake, a scaled up, colourised and perfected version of what things really are.
Inevitably this means we will be disappointed by the results. Take Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy. It makes sense that we have been given an expectation based on what previous generations have brought us up to believe. But that has been based on their experiences and things have changed. We are still programmed to strive for a better future through further education, that a degree will get us the job. But it’s just not the case any more. The result of that realisation can be devastating.
Instead of encouraging students to have a Plan B, C and possibly even a D, when plan A doesn’t materialise, they can just give up and head for the first paying job they can get. We are not encouraged to continue after failure to bend to suit other options that might ultimately still get us to our final destination. But I digress. This blog was really about visuals, not life expectations. Although the two are clearly linked.
If you want to stop believing the hype, employ a little cynicism. You don’t have to go overboard (although it’s easy to once you start realising how often we are lied to) and it’ll help to filter out the misleading information.
If a good deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. You don’t get something for nothing. Read the small print. Remember that companies are trying to sell you something. They are not there to make your life better, they are there to make money, to profit and they will do what it takes to win you over so that you will become that special customer who always comes back for more or makes that all important purchase.
Take Primark. You may think they’re doing you a favour. That in austere times cheap clothing is just helping us stay fashionable at a fraction of the cost. They may be selling their clothes cheap but you can bet they are making huge profits on every piece they sell. They pay almost nothing out to have their products made, which is why they fall apart so fast and often don’t fit. What you’ve actually just bought is a sub-standard product but because you have a ‘bargain’ you think they’ve done you a favour. So you go back for more. Come the end of the tax year, all that matters to Primark is what the profit margins look like, not how many of their clothes are still hanging in customers wardrobes.
It’s the same with fast food. We know it’s bad for us, but because it’s at our convenience and cheap we think companies are helping us out. The fact that you may enter an early grave because of it is no matter for big corporations although they can often be ‘seen to be doing’ with healthy eating campaigns. But these are designed to appease customers whilst keeping them loyal to a what is essentially the same product.
All this knowledge can really take the fun out of a shopping spree but it’s as well to be wise for long term satisfaction and longevity of your purchases and the balance of your bank account.