The Causes of Materialism Essay Example

  • Category: Economics, Money,
  • Words: 631 Pages: 3
  • Published: 03 November 2020
  • Copied: 195

The concept of materialism involves predominantly focusing on tangible items over intellectual or spiritual values (“Materialism”). The majority of today’s adolescents can be identified as the most materialistic generation in history, as many of us are extremely conscious of our social status and our self-worth is driven by our material possessions. However, the obsession of engaging in social comparison with others over material belongings can ultimately lead to consequences for the individual. I have a materialistic mindset because I believe expensive brands and labels are superior, I become frustrated when I do not own certain material items, and lose confidence when I am unable to display my wealth.  

I am materialistic because I believe that expensive brands or labels are superior, and have a tendency to disregard anything second-hand or repaired. As I became a high school student, I noticed a significant incline in my daily social media usage, and was affected by the socially praised ideals imposed through the media. As a result, I began to believe that those who acquired name-brand shoes, handbags or clothing, as well as luxury cars were most successful and content with their lives. Unconsciously, I started gravitating towards items that were more expensive whenever I decided to go shopping or purchase a product online. Gradually, I developed a habit of looking down on non-branded items, believing that they are undesirable due to their poor quality or because they are not expensive enough. Moreover, I now constantly ask my parents for name-brand clothes and am not satisfied if they are dissimilar from what my peers wear. I also enjoy spending money on lavish gifts for my friends, as I feel that if they are not expensive enough, the present will lose its meaning. However, this acquisitive mindset often causes dissatisfaction and general unhappiness. Thus, my behaviour demonstrates how I am materialistic. 

I become frustrated when I do not own certain material items that I wish to acquire. As a young girl, I was raised with constant support from my family and would ask my parents to purchase any item I wanted, including toys, clothes, shoes, as well as electronic devices. Essentially, the environment that I grew up in has now influenced me to equate buying things with positive emotions, as I feel an overwhelming sense of self-satisfaction when I make a purchase on an expensive item. Although in reality, I have everything I need, I believe that the more I own, the better my life will be. I constantly obsess over obtaining material things only to store and neglect them shortly after. Thus, becoming irritated when I cannot own certain material items reveal my materialistic mindset.

I lose confidence when I am unable to display my material possessions in social settings. I crave to ‘show off’ in order to be admired or gain respect which relates to underlying self-esteem issues or feelings of self-doubt. Moreover, whenever I forget to wear jewelry or specific clothes for a social event, I experience restlessness or a feeling that a certain part of me is being unaccounted for throughout the day. I continually worry about my physical appearance and unconsciously wonder if my peers will perceive me the same way as they usually do when I display my material possessions. Thus, constructing self-identity based on my possessions and how I portray myself to those around me reveal that I am a materialistic individual. 

I have a materialistic mindset due to the certain lifestyle I had as a child, as well as the socially praised ideals imposed through the media. I believe expensive brands and labels are superior, as I enjoy spending money on lavish gifts and suspect that when my desires of owning certain items are fulfilled, I will achieve happiness. I become frustrated when I do not possess certain material items, because in my perspective, the more an individual owns, the better their life will be. I tend to lose confidence and experience restlessness when I am unable to display my possessions to others. My name is Ellen Kim, and as a seventeen-year-old adolescent, I am materialistic.

Work Cited

“Materialism.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,



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