Hi, My name is Isabela and i'm a freshman at SLA. 

over the next couple of weeks I will be involved in a project with my english class where we study a world issue that interests us personally. I chose materialism because I wanted to choose something that I could relate to personally. When I was younger, I had a disease called vitiligo. Vitiligo is a disease where your pigment cells begins to loose their melatonin which is what gives it coloring. This disease tends to be caused by depression, and sometimes genetics. It is not contagious. I got vitiligo the summer that my parents got divorced, I was about 9 years old. I had it for around 4 years, and it completely changed my view on materialism, people, and myself. I grew up thinking that what society told you to like and care about was what really mattered. I felt hideous because half of my face had turned white right as I was reaching my teen years. That year I learned a lot about materialism, and a lot about myself. I learned that some people choose their friends based on their looks, and based on what they wear. I spent about 3 years hating myself for not looking the way everyone else did, and all I wanted was to change. I tried dying my hair, wearing makeup, and it all just made me feel worse. Eventually I stopped caring so much, and I started accepting myself the way I was, around then it started to go away. I was lucky that my vitiligo went away, because most people who get it have it for life. What I took from that experience was that no one should be able to tell me what to look like, what to dress like, how to do my hair, or how to decorate my room. None of these things can bring me real pleasure and joy.
What i've learned so far about materialism is that it makes people unhappy. The reason people go shopping, or get haircuts is because they think it is going to add on to who they are. They do these things to appear certain ways and to emphasize who they are. I think that it's okay to dress to express yourself, but often times people are just trying to appear certain ways by dressing the way they do. They think that clothing and makeup and hairstyles will bring them popularity, or make them seem certain ways to certain people. This can be true, but no matter what, material things can't bring anyone real happiness. People who splurge and buy when their anxious or depressed or stressed feel a brief and temporary relief, but it comes back and they feel like no matter what they can never get enough. I read an article on a college experiment that showed that people felt happier spending money on material experiences like going to a concert or the movie theatre than spending it on an object or a piece of clothing. 
For my next blog entry I would like to look more into why people turn to material things to feel better, and how stereotypes influence the material world. I would also like to look more at material trends over the years and if advertisement for it can cause people to want to loose or gain weight, or do certain things they normally wouldn't.