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Which clippings match 'I Shop Therefore I Am' keyword pg.1 of 1
21 MARCH 2014

Haul girls: identity performance through brand consumption and endorsement

"Helina is explaining what a haul girl is to me. 'Basically, you go out shopping for clothes or beauty products,' she says, 'then you make a haul video and show viewers on YouTube what you got. You go through the items of clothing one by one. I guess what people get out of them is not showing off, like, how much money you've got or anything, but lifestyle: you get to see how one person lives, what their taste is.'

If you're minded to sneer at a youth cult that involves making videos about your shopping, then Helina has a pretty intriguing counter–argument. 'It's not just about showing what you've got,' she says. 'It's a whole creative process behind the videos as well, which is what I enjoy about it. Choosing the right music, going from the filming to the editing. Sometimes I even storyboard things, because I want certain shots, how I can present different items and things like that.' Besides, she says, it's a genuine community. She thinks a lot of haul girls 'turn the camera on because it's a way to talk to people without having to go outside and face their fears. I know that was the case with me: I turned on my camera because I was at home, signed off work, sick, and really bored. And it helped with my confidence in a way. There's this community where you can talk to like–minded people.'"

(Alexis Petridis, 20 March 2014, The Guardian)

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TAGS

2014affective consumptionaffective goal achievementamateur cultural productionASOSbeauty products • Boohoo • Boots (shop) • brand awareness • clothes shopping • commodificationcommodity fetishismconstructed identitiesconsumer aestheticsconsumer brandsconsumer cultureconsumer endorsementconsumption spectaclecultural materialismcultural monoculturedigital narcissism • haul girl • haul video • I shop therefore I amidentity performancelifestyle • Missguided (shop) • new media content productiononline communityonline followersperformativitypersonal tastepost-feminist agenda • Primark • product endorsementrecommender culture • retail therapy • shopping for clothes • show and tellspectacular societysubculturetaste formationsThe Guardianunboxingvideo blogger • whats in my bag (video) • whats in my purse (video) • YouTube • Zara (shop)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 JANUARY 2009

Is the Selfridges joke on us?

"The ads are the result of a collaboration between [Barbara Kruger], [Selfridges] and advertising agency Mother which has been going on for several years now.

Although Kruger has always remained tight–lipped about the deal, it's obvious what she gets out of this: what better setting for her slogans than a high temple to consumerism (with an eager congregation queuing outside from 5am)? As for Mother – well, this is what they do: archly ironic social commentary that amounts to 'anti–advertising'. The assumption is that the Selfridges customer is so post–modern and media–savvy that they're all in on the joke.

But what is the joke exactly? That shopping is an alienating process. To say, 'I shop, therefore I am' is to point out the emptiness at the core of the capitalist lifestyle. Take another Kruger slogan used by Selfridges: 'You want it, you buy it, you forget it.' Get it? It's like Gerald Ratner gone highbrow. The joke is on us. Selfridges is laughing at its customers. Only we can't help but laugh along, for fear of appearing unsophisticated; unmetropolitan. How very clever of them. But let's not worry about it too much. Just keep on shopping."
(Mark Hooper Thursday 27 December 2007)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 JANUARY 2009

Barbara Kruger: consumerism critic appropriated

Barbara "Kruger wouldn't like the idea that she incarnates the spirit of our time, the bourgeois bohemianism that David Brooks meanly calls "Boboism." She's against the commercial exploitation of anything, her many market tie–ins notwithstanding. If her work consciously advances a position, it's feminism. But although she's a feminist, she's also a theorist trained not to impose her values on other people. She doesn't like to be for things. Instead, she identifies herself with a stance: critical, suspicious, oppositional. Kruger has made a career out of denouncing oppressors, from anti–abortion agitators to wife–beaters, homophobics, racists, and the editors of glossy magazines."
(Judith Shulevitz, 19 July 2000)

[Photo of signage created through a collaboration between Barbara Kruger, Selfridges and advertising agency Mother.]

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 JANUARY 2009

I think, therefore I shop

"This is the catalog for a special exhibition curated by Murray Moss at the MAK museum in Frankfurt, Germany in August 2002."
(RETAIL21c)

[catalogue title paraphrasing the famous logical statement by René Descartes 'I think, therefore I am']

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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