It's the Most Inadequate Time of the Year
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Near the end of the year, attempts to influence consumer behavior abounds with ways to "improve yourself" in the new year. They remind the consumer that you're still the same imperfect person they've always been.
The commodification of inadequacy is clear: You have some work you should be doing, and these companies have some related products to help you realize your goal.
Whereas previously resolutions took the form of taking stock of the previous year and making amends to move forward, the American culture today focus on the self.
Self-improvement often boils down to being thin and generating wealth.
Top resolutions tend to be the ones for which it's easiest to market products or services, like gym memberships or workout clothes. They are easily targeted to someone who feels pressure to change their physical aspect.
It is easy to imagine why people might choose these options when prompted to explain what they don't like about themselves and get them to buy things meant to soothe their fears of being unable to change.
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Bacon scholar. Avid reader of all things self help.
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