Consumerism: A Lot
Growing up I was taught money does not buy happiness. I stumble upon a wise saying, “People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” In the past two years I have traveled to over twenty nations, half of which were third-world countries. Exploring these areas has challenged my perspective of the concept between ‘want’ and ‘need’.
There’s been a recent statistic revealing that the United States produces the most trash in the world, creating more than 1,600 pounds annually per person. The United States make up 5% of the world’s population, yet it generates 40% of the world’s waste. Another staggering statistic reveals that nearly half the world’s toys are in America. Despite the United States making up just over 3% of the global population of children, American kids consume 40% of the world’s toys. These numbers reveal how consumption in America is no longer consuming, but rather over and excessively consuming.
A Lot, focuses on current American consumerism. The purpose of this project is to illustrate the infinite opportunities and choices that are provided in United States, highlighting the consumer-dominated culture in which we live. As the photographer Brian Ulrich states, consumerism “explores not only the everyday activities of shopping, but the economic, cultural, social, and political implications of commercialism and the role we play in self-destruction, over-consumption, and as targets of marketing and advertising.”