The 'Must Have' culture

Someone asked me the other day what I blog about and without even thinking I said 'mainly musical theatre and people who are wrong on the internet'. I feel like I might have been doing myself a little bit of a disservice, but this would actually fit into that description pretty well. 

You see, apart from Instagram's new-ish algorithm, (which I might be secretly about to love) the 'must have' or 'essential' culture; or even just the use of the words; is my least favourite thing on the internet right now. 

For once, this concept isn't one which was created by the Internet. Magazines for as long as I can remember, for people of all age and gender, have been writing lists like those which now appear on blogs and websites of 'essentials' and 'must haves' for every season, occasion, or even just for everyday life. 

Every single day without fail I see a blog post or article appear on my twitter or bloglovin' feed entitled 'things every 20 something needs for _____' or '_____ must haves' - I DON'T WANT IT. I don't want to have to have those things. I don't want to be told I have to have them. I don't want to be told that if I'm 20 something, I need x lipstick, y coat and z shoes. I just don't. 

This is part of a huge problem - one of consumerism. It is part of the idea that we are better with more - an idea which I am trying my best to get away from. More than that; it is part of the concept that things can make us happy. Things cannot affect our happiness; especially not clothes. Maybe very, very short term and obviously wearing clothes which fit well, which are made well and which we feel good in is always a good things to do. That's kind of my point though; achieving that is such an individual endeavour that we cannot possibly be told by journalists who are being paid for the links which they use, what we should purchase. 

Perhaps that is the cynic in me, but I have a real problem with people who are also advocating real happiness, good mental health and wellbeing in general also informing the internet that they need a certain style of shoe or a certain combination of makeup products in order to be a real person on the internet, which is exactly what it feels like sometimes. Everyone knows that these things don't bring mental health or happiness and yet everyone is still acting like they do, for the sake of readership or an increase in content. 

We don't need more things. When I say 'we', I'm referring to people who have enough money to have an internet connection and a device from which to run a blog, or something like that - we do not need more things. We certainly don't need more items of clothing which were made by people who do need more things, in factories far far away, in worse conditions than we could even imagine. I think the presence of salt in that wound might have to wait to be discussed in another post, though. 

 

Do you write 'must have' posts? Do you have a response to this? Am I just being too cynical? I'd love to hear your thoughts!