Fixation with labels

My six-year-old nephew the other day came to me and showed his mother’s iPhone, saying “this is the latest model with the face recognition feature”. He then looked at my phone only to find an ordinary set in my hand. Recently I had hosted a night out at my home for my cousins. It was strange to find all were glued to their phone sets, looking at Instagram posts of models and celebrities. Our talks revolved around what Selena Gomez had gifted her BFF (best friend forever) or what Sonam Kapoor wore on a particular red carpet event or some other stuff related to models and celebrities.

These are only a few examples of how we are increasingly getting fixated with brands and labels. These days we tend to “judge” people based on the price of the clothes, shoes, watches or bags they are wearing; which phone they are carrying. Designer labels are what our focus is when we meet people. Once a shopkeeper tried to sell me a Versace handbag at Rs 3,000, saying: “This is original”. “Does not a Versace cost much more than what you are saying?” I retorted, only to get a quick reply: “This is the best copy of the original.” I could only smile and appreciate his marketing skills. I got out of the shop. I had not intention to buy the bag — neither the original Versace nor a fake one.

The pressure is even more on middle class families these days. Family functions look like a competition where everyone wants to show off their jewellery, bags, clothes and accessories. Recently my cousin shared a story of her friend who rejected a boy because he did not have a “fancy ride” and was thinking about the prospects of getting in touch with another boy who rode a Ducati.

Today’s generation has become so obsessed with brand that most of the times we inadvertently try to check the label of the bag someone is carrying or the brand of the watch someone is wearing. Are not handbags meant for carrying a few small items; are not watches meant for telling time? Does wearing branded stuff make us superior?

Sometimes such brand obsession becomes a source of immense pressure for parents, as they struggle to fulfil their children’s demand.

What make us better people are the goodness in us, compassion, empathy and positive attitude. But we hardly give a thought about these things.

There is nothing wrong in wearing branded stuff; the only thing is we are becoming more and more materialistic.