Back in 2010/2011 when I was planning a wedding, the wedding industrial complex was increasing in influence. You could tell that people were being sold ideas on what to do for their weddings and if there is one thing that internet has made very clear, it is very easy to be made to adopt other people’s opinions. Therefore incorporating things in your wedding because of seeing them online whether or not they represented you is something that continues to happen (Did I have a damask themed wedding because I wanted it or was it the hype of the season?).
If you don’t think the wedding industrial complex is a thing, you are willfully ignorant. I think being able to see how capitalism infiltrates almost every facet of our lives and in certain instances, seems to dictate what decisions we should make about how we live.
Over the years, it has become fascinating to watch weddings, relationships, pregnancy and the whole nuclear family dynamic be sold to us especially as social media becomes a part of how we connect, socialise and at the same time how advertising is done. I’m not saying that attempting to sell these things to us is new, but we have to agree that social media adds another other level to it. I mean, we keep seeing people announcing relationships as a means to increase followers and become influencers. Couples are the product. Children are the product.
Remember the couple who had a Kshs 100 wedding? Then brands jumped onto that story and it became this big hullabaloo and an apparent Kshs 3.8 million. What was the point? I mean, we do realise it was promotion of consumerism and a marketing drive and had absolutely nothing to do with the couple, right?
At this point, there are people who are actually getting pregnant with the idea that the children will become the content and as a result a way to make money. I have many thoughts on kids being content but high up on opinions is the lack of protection for the money the children generate. How is that money used by their guardians? (please do not say food and education because as a parent, you should be providing those by virtue of having decided to have children).
Is this a product of that late stage capitalism we keep hearing about?
My point is, and I am still thinking my way through this, events/celebrations and relationships have become spectacles, are over-marketed and over-romanticized and then when people are actually experiencing them, they become jaded and disappointed because it is never how they depict it to be and furthermore life doesn’t work like that. Sadly, even as all these things fill our spaces, our relationships are not better, making better decisions or even doing right by the next generation either by how we are parenting or even how the world is becoming. It is all about money and selling ideals.
A damn shame.
There has never been a time when we need to know ourselves like now. So much of what we think we want to do or be is manipulated into our psyche, yes some of it is peer/familial pressure but social media, marketing etc plays a huge role.