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Libby Donevan

on 6 June 2014

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Libby Donevan
" Consumerism becomes a process of self-identification, people develop a sense of who they are and what they want to become through consumption...we are what we buy" (Jessup)
" We have a feeling that there is some kind of controlling force, but its pointless to look for it."
Paranoia is something that has been a major factor in the world every since a constant fear of attacks has been implemented on the world. One of the major events that made paranoia become more evident in the world was 9/11. 9/11 being the first major terrorist attack on North American soil, and this event placed a constant fear and untrust in the safety of our country. This event changed the way people think, travel, and it may have been a main factor in the start of racial profiling. The fear of another attack like 9/11 is not always as frequent as the minor paranois that teenagers like I would have. My main source of fear would be not succeeding with the next steps of my life, weather it be success in school, volleyball, or socially. But never the matter paranoia is in the thoughts of people all around in the world.
Although many might not admit it, consumerism is a major factor on the way we perceive and live our lives. Especially as a teenager in high school, I tend to follow the trends of fashion, technology, lifestyle etc. that my other peers follow. I can personally say that I can be defined by the computer and phone I have (Apple), the brand names clothes that I wear (Roots, Aritzia), the food places I eat at (Starbucks), and the gym that I attend (YMCA). All os these things that I wear and use, portray different messages that I follow and that shape who I am. As an example, I wear a lot of Lululemon clothing, and that particular brand convey an active and healthy lifestyle, that I follow due to my volleyball training.
" Contemporary media are concerned with not just relaying information or stories but with interpreting, our most private selves for us, making us approach each other and the good world through the lens of these images" (Felluga)
In this day and age, technology is all around us and it is near to impossible to go a full day without seeing it. As a teenage girl in this era, I mainly communicate by texting, twitter, instagram, and facebook. The times have changed from even a couple years ago to now, if I need to know something, I will go straight to google rather than a book or asking another person. The world is becoming a place more made up of simulations. With technology growing as rapidly and drastically as it is, I believe that there will never be a time where technology isn't heavily relied on. Personally I constantly have my phone on me, and I will check my different social media pages thousands of times during the average day. If i don't have my phone with me, I find it difficult to communicate with my friends, and I believe that this is because we live in a world that is obsessed and heavily focused on technology.
This is an example of what my social media accounts could like at any time during the day (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TMZ.com). A big thing that have noticed is that everything is becoming more compact and shorter, whether it is a status update or a blog entry, peoples attention spans are becoming shorter and no one really gets the 'big picture' anymore as a result of it.
The Classic Teenage Girl
Being a teenage girl is a hard identity to have, having to make sure you wear the right clothes, have the right haircut, and act a certain way so you don't embarrass yourself ALL while being judged by your peers and trying to figure out who you are. The classic teenage girl now is constantly compared to the flawless, airbrushed models in magazines that show a unrealistic view of how we are supposed to look and act. The media has a large influence on the way we look at ourselves, making us want to be the popular girl, with perfect hair and teeth. Girls everywhere try and copy the magazines and the pictures that they see, which proves the point that 'nothing is original". Everything is a simulacra of the original.
In my life, this has always been a challenge because I have always come off as more of a 'tomboy' kind of girl. My love of sports and my choice to swear sweatpants over dresses, has always made me think of myself as less of the classic teenage girl.
I find it interesting how teenagers everywhere know these photos are photoshopped, yet we still constantly compare and strive to be copies of these celebrities.
What is Pastiche?

Pastiche is the 'pasting' together of multiple elements, or genres to create a unique narrative. In postmodernism this can be seen as a representation of the chaotic, pluralistic, or information-drenched aspects of a postmodern soiety.
Pastiche in My Life
Pastiche can be seen in my life by the different components in my family. My family dynamic, while being very classic and nuclear becomes pastiche when you further look into the personalities and extended families with my mother and father. Both my mother and fathers families come from St.Catharines and share similar work ethics and values. However, when you look at the values and personalities of the two families they share a very different story. My father came from a very religious family that shared a very high belief in God, and they lived a very calm lifestyle. While my mother came from a blended family, that did not have a strong religious connection and lived a very hectic lifestyle. I look at it as my fathers lifestyle being somewhat like a history documentary, and my mother family like a action and adventure film. The mixing of these two people and 'genres' lead to the making of my family, which has moments of both 'history' and 'action and adventure'.
In a postmodern world, it cancels out the idea of metanarratives or 'one truth', and so everything in the world becomes subjective and the idea of multiple truths arises. Multiple truths allow for the acceptance of all truths, even if they contradict themselves.
This has had a large impact on my life on dealing with what is the correct or 'true' thing to do after high school. With the options being attending University, Collage, start a career, travel, work, etc...
Growing up, I was always taught that University was the right step to take after high school, and that is the step that I am taking next year. Burke wrote that "We now live in a society run by university trained professionals and technical elite. This statement is very true about the new world, now-a-days if you don't have a degree it can be near to impossible to find a job. Even if you have a degree it does not guarantee you a job, because of the mas amount of people that have them. For the next steps of my life, I think that I do need to get degree and pursue more education, because with societies 'rules' today, those are the necessary steps.
"Truth ebbs as a primary social and cultural value, and degenerates into personal beliefs, tastes, and life styles where private preferences are alienated from moral convictions." (Jessop- Truth: The First Casualty of Postmodern Consumerism)
" [A] generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal" (Baudrillard)
In our current society, most everything in the world has been replaced with symbols or signs that are supposed to be used as representations of the real thing. A perfect example of this would be Disneyland, and how they set up this 'imaginary world' in order to convince consumers that this is real.
Disneyland is setup to bring out the child in everyone, once you enter the park you immediately are engulfed with cartoon like animals, and an overwhelming amount amount of rides and attractions for keep with the childlike theme. While being in Disneyland, you are further distanced from the real world, making this a simulation.
In a postmodern society, it is hard to be different, but even when you try and be unique you still somehow end up being like everyone else.
Being the typical teenage girl I am, being my own individual is hard because I have to try so hard to follow what everyone is doing. Whether its clothing, slang, movies or music teenage girls try so hard to follow what is happening. At the same time however, we also try hard to be the first one to find different music, different clothes etc., and we try to do this to be unique (but still within the limits).
An example of this individualism (within limits) would be the store
Urban Outfitters
. While some of the clothing in this store is unrealistic for the real world it offers unique, boho clothing that offers people a different look compared to the classic Roots and Gap clothing. This is a store that gives the feel of individuality, but at the same time the clothing sold is mass-produced and sold to millions of customers everywhere.
This is just a small example of how even when you try to be different, you still end up being a copy of others. In my life I like to think that I am unique, but when I take a step back and look at it i can see that I am really a copy of what others are doing.
(Paranoia in Terms and Techniques)
This can relate to really anyone in today's society, because every mall that I have ever been in resembles Disneyland or a simulation. Malls are everywhere in the world, and they are a place much like Disneyland, where you can loose touch with the outside world for hours at a time.
Work Cited:
Jessup, Micheal. Truth: The First Casualty. Tylor University. 2001, Web. 4 June, 2014

Feluga, Dino, Jean Baudrillard on Postmdernity. Web 4 June, 2014

Klagus, Mary: Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed Continuum Press. Web 4 June, 2014

Fredric Jameson. Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism Web 4 June, 2014

Postmodernism: Common Themes and Techniques, Web 4 June, 2014
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