Thursday, November 08, 2007

My sin

Judgmentalism.

Baby Gap is, in my humble opinion, one of the things that's wrong with America.

How can it be right to spend $60 on an outfit for a baby that she will only wear for two months?

$60 will buy about three months' worth of food for an entire family in rural Kenya.

6 comments:

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

I love finding baby GAP clothes at thrift stores - so much cheaper and they're durable, will last through several kids, heck, generations. I've never bought anything full price, their sales (used to be) were mighty fine. But you're point - what we spend on babies, kids is ridiculous. A few generations ago there were no special clothes for teens. The market is so specialised because it what people are willing to spend. Having Liam, so much later then the other kids, I find I don't want the toys for him. I know he'll lose interest rather quickly and they'll just end up in a bag for the thrift store in 6 months.

regressivepresby said...

... in other words, we treat baby Gap clothes like cars. Buy 'em two yrs old, when the depreciation is done, and they still have plenty of miles in 'em!

Judging the ethos behind the marketing isn't judgementalism... its discernment.

keep discerning bro..
dm

chris said...

Oh, don't get me started! There are SO many things wrong with The Gap in general. I know, it's passe at this point to dis on The Gap, especially 'cause they're failing miserably anyway, but it's still fun!

Watch Starbucks follow them right down the drain.

The sucking sound of mediocrity? Those "sheepherder" brands that lower the bar on innovation and create lazy,uninspired mass consumption.

Sorry for the tangent...sometimes I forget what I do for a living.

Yes, you're right. Baby clothes make people crazy. I can proudly say that although I fell for it with my first kid (and fell HARD at an oh-so-haute place called Oilily), with the exception of some newly purchased Spiderman underwear, number 2 has never owned a single piece of clothing that isn't a "hand-me-down".

Thanks for adding context with your comparisons on life in Kenya. Should open our eyes.

Orrange said...

we're currently in the process of cutting way back. I don't shop at baby gap, but the idea of finding ways to spend less money is constantly on my mind. In the next two months we'll see just how much money I do WASTE on STUFF. Hopefully realizing that will be a wake up call to me and it will stop being difficult to not buy.

MB said...

good point. i like the way you put things into comparison with life in kenya (and lots of other countries, i guess). the holistic view of our world is what lacks a lot of people out there.
though even people in kenya don't necessarily realize what's going on. have you been reading the stereotypes of people living in kenya at: http://africaexpatwivesclub.blogspot.com
i don't necessarily agree with all of what she writes (and how she puts it so radically) but surely much of it has an essence of truth.

chris said...

to orrange...being a self-employed "provider" of 4 over the last 2 years has forced us to stop buying STUFF. Weaning off of the corporate payroll and being directly responsible for creating a cash flow was like stomping on the breaks and skidding ever closer to the brick wall. Scary, no doubt, but also a HUGE wake up call to how little we really do need to survive and live a pleasant little life.

For so many Americans, shopping is a form of entertainment or a cure for boredom - the mall is like Disney Land for people of every age. But over the past 2 years, we have had no money to spend on anything that wasn't a necessity. We've come to enjoy shopping at places like Savers where the selection is actually much more "creative" and eclectic than The Gap! Finding a "designer" jacket for $1.00 is an amazing experience!

And the few times I HAVE taken my kids to the mall, they were thrilled! Where other kids were sulking or pleading for the latest this or that, mine were giddy over getting an ice cream cone at the Ben and Jerry's kiosk.

Paying the bills has been emotionally draining and exhausting, but living with less has barely caused a ripple. I hope you'll feel the same way.

p.s. - I do have to admit that I WILL be ecstatic when I can afford a new shower curtain + liner! :)