Just read a few chapters from a great book "Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers" by A. Quart (2003). It discusses the duping of teenagers by the MTVs, Abercrombies and other mega corps. Good read, I recommend it.

I would've thought that by now teens would've smartened up and started a massive anti-trend movement but those marketers are just too clever. I'd argue that, in fact, people are being duped even into their twenties, marching around with labels emblazened on their chests, backs and bottoms as if to say, you can tell the kinda girl I am because I wear Juicy. It saddens me that people cannot find a means of constructing an identity without the help of deliberately overpriced brand name goods to tell a story for them. What irks me even more is that what used to be anti-trend and counter culture is also being packaged up and sold. There is some chain store, the name escapes me, that sells all the stuff you need if you want to be a skater, goth or punk. Back in my day, that used to mean removing labels, making your own clothes or buying it from a second hand store. Doing anything to be unique and not getting duped by all the mass identity vendors. But that is no longer, for you can buy yourself an "alternative" identity. In Quart's book she made mention of a couple enlightened teens who have publicly expressed their disgust with the attempts by corporations to buy them. One dressed up as an Old Navy employee and walked around telling all the customers about the child labour that goes into making the merchandise. Another protested their public school's acceptance of sponsorship by McDonalds. If only all young people had the smarts to understand the manipulation.

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