We are living in a material world and I am a material girl…

Madonna hit the top spot on the charts and the lyrics was in that time representative for the western economy. The shopping behavior lasted for decades and the wealthy middle class was the silver jawed villain in the consumer society. Filling their homes, garages and wardrobes with a bunch of unnecessary stuff with no concern of the environmental fingerprint. The material stuff was bought as a reward for the hard struggle during the work week. SUVs, motor boats and the latest technical gadgets was seen as symbols of their personal success.

But not anymore, things has definitely changed. During the latest years the urban middle class has suddenly re-evaluated the classic status symbols. Now there is health, humanism and environmental awareness on top of the agenda. The middle class is now growing in support of aid organizations, solar panels, gym membership, locally produced organic food and small ugly electric vehicles.

The consumer society lives on to the greatest extent, but your status is now valued whether you live a healthy life, help people in need or care for the mother earth.

I see this as a positive development of the consumer society, hopefully this is a persistent trend, though trends are seldom persistent. As of now it’s very expensive to care for the animals and the environment, the middle class need to make offerings to afford to buy solar panels, electric cars and ecological locally produced vegetables. What if the inaccessibility is the foundation for the hype and prestige? Whenever it’s affordable and the mainstream start discussing solar economy and buying electric cars, perhaps the trendy middle class will abandon this consumer behavior, fall back and find new ways to destroy the planet?

My wife compares this trend with internet, it’s a way of living and thinking that is here to stay, necessary for the humanity to survive. I agree, human survival is a powerful incitement but from time to time individual prestige is even stronger…