Friday, April 9, 2010

Consuming Hunger

I was folding laundry the other night and flipped through the handful of channels we get (we have no cable - *on purpose*). I settled on a talk show before realizing it was the Wendy Williams Show :P. But I stayed there because Suze Ormon was about to come on and I believe in synchronicity. How strange that I'd been thinking about finances lately and then, voila! - Suze. I used to watch her years ago (clearly I learned nothing from her words of wisdom) and loved how passionate she was about helping women with their finances. And this time, she was the same, feisty, passionate Suze. Only on this show, she came out. Loud and proud and vocal. And she even stated her thoughts on gay marriage and allowed the show to display a picture of her and her partner. LOVE it.

And then, I thought about my own spending habits. I'm not a big spender. I cut my own hair and I've stopped colouring it now for about three/four years. But, it's spring and April has thrown us a few surprises - flip-flop days. I-wish-the-pool-was-open-NOW days. And the mega shopping complex down the hill has been swarmed by folks looking for summery clothes and shoes, getting lattes from Starbux, and eating lunch at Olive Garden or Applebee's, or whatever that place is that beckons to families on budgets, promising five dollar meals. And I love me some iced lattes on hot days and pretty toe rings and flip-flops and cute dresses. But I rein in a lot of those wants. Most of my peeps don't.

The mega shopping complex down the hill. It plopped down a few years ago, *directly* across from the projects. I've read study after study where they show the buying stats of people of colour and women. We are the most avid consumers on the market. Of anything. Food, clothes, gym memberships, cosmetics, books, music, name it. We buy sh@t. We buy LOTS of sh@t. Most of the time, we buy stuff that we use for a few minutes, then never look at again.

The entire fashion industry knows how much buying power women have. So does the diet and exercise industry. And the cosmetics industry. And the cosmetic surgery industry. These are giant, multi-gazillion-dollar industries that bank on the low self-esteem and high buying power of women.

The fact that a Super Target set up shop directly across the street from the projects indicates that the folks who run these things know where their dollars are coming from, too.

And then it hit me again, every time I think about these things: people consume when they are hungry.

I've put a new mandate up on my cork board. I will not consume anything that is devoid of nutritional value - for my body, emotions, and soul. And I will make sure that everything I create, everything I write, has nutritional value, too. I've always done that intuitively, but now I will do it consciously. Even if I'm writing mostly fluff, it will be nutritional fluff .


sarah mccarry said...

I am giving you such an enthusiastic thumbs-up on your mandate that I think I broke my hand. ME TOO.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'll get my eating under control until I start to get some satisfaction somewhere. I'm intelligent enough to know it's short term, unhealthy satisfaction, but I get it from food. I guess we women of color just want some satisfaction, even if it is short term. I'm trying to learn to eat for nutrition, so, I'm with you!

Marjorie said...

Great, thought-provoking post - and I look forward to your nutritional fluff :-)

coe booth said...

Excellent post, Neesha!

This post has come at a great time for me as I sit here in Paris without all of my "stuff." I've been here for weeks now, and I'm realizing how little I actually need. (I came here for a month with only a carry-on suitcase!)

Hopefully when I get back home, I'll be able to apply these principles to my "real life" and let go of those things I no longer want... and become more mindful of what I'm buying!

Neesha Meminger said...

Coe! Or should I say, Ms. Paris? *grin* From what I know of you, you're a pretty simple-livin' gal. But I know we all could live by the principle: "take only what you need and leave the rest..."

Get in touch when you get back to this side of the pond!

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