by Zachary McAuliffe
Posted In: Shopping
at 01:17 PM | Permalink
Marking the beginning
of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday is easily
the most disgusting bastardization of what a holiday is.
Let’s start with a
brief history of where Black Friday began. This day has been a
grotesque part of the holiday season here in America for years. Notably, in
1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to an earlier date, stretching out the holiday
shopping season. This change was brought
on by retailers during the Depression Era, allowing people more time to go gift shopping or, more importantly, spend their money in the retailers’
Later in the 1950s
and '60s, the day began to be viewed as a kind of worker-less void for shop
owners as their employees started to not show up to work in order to go
Finally, in the '80s, store owners began to state how profitable the day was, or
how much their profits were “in the black."
See what they did there?
Now, the day is a
barbaric ritual for many people across America as they wait until store-doors
open so they can grab a hodgepodge of items away from their competition and
fight anyone who gets in their way.
Black Friday is like the Hunger
Games but without all the talk about a rebellion against an oppressive
regime. It’s just people fighting
each other, and sometimes dying, for seemingly no good reason other than saving
a buck or two.
Like back in 2011 when
Walter Vance was trampled to death by other shoppers while trying to shop at
his local Target in West Virginia. No one noticed they
were literally running over a person to get their goodies.
Deaths do happen on
this “holiday,” which is unsettling on its own, but the injuries far outnumber
According to blackfridaydeathcount.com, there
have been seven deaths attributed to Black Friday and a total of 89
injuries. This data only dates back
to 2006, though, which means there are surely more from earlier years.
Just a quick look at
this same website shows people are not afraid to pepper-spray, stab or
even shoot each other, again, all in the name of savings.
What is even more
unsettling is how ravenous customers are. The following compilation
of Black Friday videos over the years shows just how crazy people can act on this unholy of
days as people break down doors to enter stores, tear apart in-store kiosks and basically act like filthy animals.
Watching videos of
Black Friday is simply depressing, and when you remember these are
people and not zombies from The Walking Dead, it’s hard to think of this day
as a holiday.
definition, a holiday is when little to no work is done and people celebrate something, but
more than that, holidays are meant to bring people together.
One clear example of
what a holiday should be is the Christmas Truce of 1914 during the first World
War. Both sides of the fighting had a
ceasefire on Christmas Day along many points of the Western Front, and some
points saw friendly and enemy soldiers alike exchanging gifts, food and good
That’s a holiday. Everyone put aside their differences for a
short period and came together as humans.
If soldiers fighting a
war can do this, why can’t shoppers perform these same acts of kindness and
decency towards each other?
by Hannah McCartney
You know when you’re at the store and they’ve run out of your size in a shirt you really, really wanted? And you look at the one hanging on the mannequin hoping and praying it’s a medium so you can derobe her and leave with that peplum top? We all know that’s a lost cause, because she’s always, without fail, wearing a damn extra small, because anything larger would engulf the porcelain, size 2 life-size Barbie, which would make the clothes terrible and nobody would want to buy them. One department store in Sweden — surprisingly, the stereotypical exporters of blonde, Scandinavian ice queens — has finally launched a "f&*# you" campaign against the mannequin industry standard, which apparently values female mannequins that are often designed to be six inches taller and six inches smaller than the average woman, according to the Chicago Tribune. Basically, clothes made only for this Ukrainian woman, who went through an insane amount of plastic surgery to become the first "real-life Barbie" (click on her photo to read more): The store only has two of the normal mannequins right now, who are sporting some classy lingerie. Photos of the mannequins have gone viral, and to absolutely nobody's surprise, women across the world have become pretty smitten with the concept of seeing models in clothes that don't look radically different from themselves. It's actually pretty genius, from a marketing standpoint: Aside from making a super-powerful social statement, it seems likely their sales will probably skyrocket — how many times, after all, have you seen something looking fabulous on a mannequin and tried it on yourself, only to look in the mirror with horror and disgust? Let's compare. On the left, two Victoria's Secret mannequins. On the right, the lady from the Swedish department store. The photo of the healthy-looking models was apparently taken in 2010, but it didn't go viral until recently, when Women's Rights News posted on March 12 the image to its Facebook account with the caption, "Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these." The post has earned nearly 20,000 shares and more than 64,000 likes. In the past, you'd probably usually find non-Barbie-fied mannequins strictly at "plus-sized" ladies' stores, which, to me, sort of gives off the impression that there are two types of women in this world who need clothes: white runway lingerie models and white overweight women. Of course, this is not the case, and it's probably time retailers stop deluding themselves and listening to what shoppers want. It's much easier — and less painful — to make smart shopping decisions, which makes for happier shoppers. And it goes without saying that advertising — particularly in the clothing and beauty industries — plays a huge role in how young girls and women (and men) develop self-image. According to the National Eating Disorders Foundation, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from eating disorders sometime during their lives, and 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) have expressed concern about their weight or becoming "too fat."
by Jac Kern
Project Runway mentor, author, fashion guru and catch phrase king Tim Gunn stopped by Cincinnati this weekend as he opened the 2012 SmartTalk ConnectedConversations speaker series at the Aronoff Center. Gunn, who I envision as that proverbial angel on everyone's shoulder, was just as sweet in person as on TV.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Shopping
at 01:20 PM | Permalink
Tristate hipsters' shopping selection has significantly decreased with the closing of Newport's Village Discount Outlet this week.