Image Courtesy of Stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Not everyone can afford flash holidays. Eating out would be the next best thing in seeking pleasure for people less well off.
If youíre thinking that this consumerism thing is only about middle class people, think again. We all want to seek pleasure now and then. Unfortunately, what we have been taught is that pleasure costs money, and that you need to purchase it from a recognisable and ďtrustedĒ chain.
When youíre living in poverty, which I have done before, you become isolated because you often feel you canít participate in the pleasurable activities that others are engaging in. Going out for dinner isn't an option, nor is a holiday with friends. These abundances are just too far out of reach. Instead the marketing world has it all worked out for you, so you donít have to worry. They know you canít afford an overseas holiday, so they market to your so called needs. Fast food, tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical products all do well in low socio-economic areas. Why? Because you may not be able to afford a holiday, but you can afford to buy the kids McDonaldís. That makes you a great parent in their eyes, and makes you feel like your children are not losing out in life.
Guilt is kept at bay, be it just for a short while. As harsh as this may sound, itís the truth tobacco companies know cigarettes will sell well in low socio- economic communities under stress. They make you believe that just for a moment you too can have pleasure on a low income. It really does suck, but when youíre living from pay to pay you try to seek pleasure where you can, because you just never know when it will come again. For all those people out there tut tutting people on low incomes because they want TVís, cigarettes, fast food and alcohol; consider what it might be like to be trapped in poverty, and have marketing flashed in your face day after day saying you need this to be happy, but you canít afford it. Now this is a generalisation, but it is also real when you look at tobacco figures over the last 20 years.