Kids and Consumerism© Lauren Greenfield
Kids and Consumerism documents American youth spending liberally at malls, preening and pampering in spas, flaunting bling at parties, and closely critiquing themselves in their bedroom mirrors. The result is an intimate portrait of the young consumer’s frantic and frenetic consumer lifestyle.
Once peripheral players in the marketplace, children are now at the epicenter of American consumer culture. Kids and teens are constructing their identities and social worlds around the rampant acquisition and brazen display of the latest hot brands, making them the most trend-obsessed, consumer-involved, and materialistic generations in history.
They are the young embodiment of a social trend that has been diagnosed as a pathological state of material longing. Their behaviors have adapted with according precociousness: young girls practice grooming habits previously reserved for women, and boys posture with mature machismo. Targeted by the media and advertising, children increasingly hold the family purse strings.
Greenfield has a wealth of experience exploring youth and consumerism. In the documentary short film kids + money, the director returned to her native Los Angeles to take the cultural temperature of a generation imprinted by commercial values. Born of the extremes of poverty and wealth that define the Los Angeles landscape, kids tell their stories in a series of cinematic portraits. kids + money debuted on HBO at 7pm - November 28 - historically the biggest shopping day of the year, also known as Black Friday. At a time in which the country is closely scrutinizing its financial situation and free-wheeling spending of the past, Greenfield’s look at young consumers’ relationship to money is especially relevant.
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