Friday, August 14, 2009

Do You Pay To Advertise For Others?

When I was a teenager, I wanted, wanted, wanted a pair of Guess Jeans (dating myself much?). I did end up getting a pair, but not until my extremely fashion conscious mom outgrew her old pair. Other than that, having grown up when I did and where I did, I never paid too much attention to trends, labels, and other crap. While my teammates were buying the most expensive and trendy sports shoes for volleyball, I always went to Kenney Shoes (sadly, Kenney Shoes is long gone) for their cheap NBAs, because they were comfortable and stuck to the court when I needed them to. I wore holey jeans, but only after they had developed holes on their own. I didn't want shirts with a little polo dude or an alligator on them.

I was always more into comfort than trendiness, and I still am. I'd be a great person to put on that show where family members turn in mom for wearing frumpy stuff all the time. But the women who get wardrobe makeovers always look fashionable but uncomfortable at the end. Sometimes, even the men end up looking uncomfortable, but not as often since men's clothing, except for neckties, is not deliberately designed to be UNcomfortable like lots of women's fashions.

Now that I have kids, it seems important to me to instill skepticism into them in regard to pop culture and the advertisement industry, and to make sure they know that they don't have to wear things that look fashionable, but are itchy, pokey, or cut off the circulation to their legs. I refuse to buy them clothes with visible corporate logos. I am careful to call products what they are instead of using trademarked product labels, e.g. tissues instead of Kleenex, swabs instead of Q-tips, etc.

I believe that if I wear a t-shirt with Coca-Cola's logo, the Coca-Cola company should pay ME, not the other way around. Anyone wearing a Coke shirt should be able to get free Cokes that day. I've explained that to my kids, and they seem to understand. I hope so, anyway. So far, they have shown no interest in trendy fashions, and in fact, they often have trouble just picking out tops and bottoms that don't mix stripes and plaids or orange and green, so I'm hoping for the best. They're only 8 though, so the tough years are still ahead.

Do you wear corporate logo clothing? If so, you might think about the fact that you actually PAID money to provide FREE advertising for that corporation. Even if you really, really, really like their product, perhaps you should start sending them an invoice every month requesting reimbursement based on how long you wore the clothing and how many people saw it. Doesn't seem unreasonable to me!

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