Opinion: Are we too materialistic?


Sophia Bambury, Review Contributor

Feature Photo By: Sophia Bambury – A student wears a gold watch at school. Many students feel the need to appear wealthy to fit in. 

Looking around — whether it’s at school, in a public place, or even on television — individuals are flaunting their hundred dollar shoes, jewelry, and designer clothing. This is the society we live in: appearance means more than whether you’ll be able to keep your lights on this week, and for Rangeview High school students, it means whether or not you fit in.

As a student at Rangeview, I realize many students are very concerned with keeping up with the “hype” or the latest trend. Most of my peers own the latest iPhone, Apple Watch, Jordans, and expensive clothing brands, that they sport almost every day, but why?

A Coach bag, a pair of Jordan’s, a nice watch, and an iPhone are laid out. Many students own expensive items like these to fit in. (Sophia Bambury)

 According to a survey done by Piper Jaffray , teens spend about $2,050 on clothes a year. That’s equivalent to A Bronco Meal Plan for a student at the University of Colorado at Denver.

“We spend way too much money on materialism,” said senior Josh Hollins. “As high school students, we should be saving towards our future.”

Josh Hollins realized this after adding up the ensemble he had on, which came to a total of $425. The most expensive items on him were gold-rimmed Ray-Ban glasses and Adidas shoes. There are many students like Hollins that want to fit in or appear richer. Then you have some who use materialism as a mask to hide their true selves behind.

“I like to show off the fact that I can afford brands that many people can’t without putting a dent into my pocket.” said Tyjae Norman. “It’s not being over-materialistic but simply showing that, hey, as a working teenager I’m independent. I can buy all these things by myself.”

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to an expensive bag or pair of shoes, especially after a hard week of work, but there’s a certain point where you’re no longer treating yourself but looking for the approval and acceptance of others. In pop culture, materialism is often flaunted through pictures and music videos of rappers in foreign cars with decked out chains, rings, and Gucci shoes. Many people in this generation look up to this lifestyle and tend to believe that you will be happy once you own all these things.

But you can reach true happiness without possessions. Although pop culture makes it seem like you’re missing out if you’re not living the high life, you don’t have to follow that.

This is a still from the video for “God’s Plan.” This video is a good example of how you can spend money on things other than possessions. (Provided by YouTube)

Take Drake’s God’s Plan music video for example. Drake was given a budget of $996,631.90 to shoot a music video. Instead of going all out and filming this video in some foreign country, private jet, or in a Rolls Royce speeding down a highway, Drake decided to give back. In his video, he pays for a young lady’s college, buys people’s groceries, gives to the poor, and even more. When we have more than enough money, it’s better to give or invest in needs rather than splurging on desires.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a pair of Jordan’s or a gold watch for ourselves here and there, but let’s remember that all these things are bought with a price. There’s no price on true happiness and the relationships we build as we go through life.

“Once you need less, you will have more.”- Anonymous