Mind Versus Matter

One of my very first posts, an oldie but a goodie, and very debate-able topic at hand ‘Mind Versus Matter’. I even copied & pasted the old comments simply because my readers took the time to write and share their thoughts. Lets hear your thoughts!

This is a touchy subject – and I was hesitant to bring it up – but I was doing some magazine archiving with my older issues of Harper’s Bazaar and came across an interesting article (which I managed to find online) http://www.harpersbazaar.com/magazine/feature-articles/the-fight-against-fakes-0109 and it got me thinking..

There have been endless debates from both sides with subject to what buying counterfeit says about an individual and what type of individual buys counterfeit bags – and it is clear that both fake-haters and fake-lovers have very strong opinions respectively. We tend to get offended quickly and choose sides from a personal point of view; fake-buyers often think that real-buyers are slaves and sheeps to fashion, while the real-buyers believe that fake-buyers are wannabes and misleading.

But the issues of counterfeiting is much more than just a matter of creating replicas – there are legal issues, intellectual property violation, conscpicuous consumption and socio-economics.

We have all heard the common issues in consequences of counterfeiting; lost revenue for companies, lost tax dollars for government, lost jobs, etc. – it’s even being raised as a national security crisis – linking counterfeiting to terrorism! Handbags are obviously only part of the overall authenticity question, but when Louis Vuitton can increase earnings even in a global recession, they might be a part worth considering.
Jean Baudrillard a cultural theorist in France debates over the value of authenticity, the role of replica designs and today’s society that embraces it.

I recall reading this article from the New York Times just recently, where a study was conducted by Professor Dan Ariely at Duke and M.I.T. on how counterfeit goods influence people in other aspects of their lives. The result of these studies were individuals who were told that they were “fake” designer were significantly more likely to cheat on tests than ones told they were wearing “real” ones. “the effect on morality, people don’t anticipate” he said, also author of ‘Predictably Irrational’ Ariely presented his study “faking it: the psychology of dishonesty and couterfeits” at Harper’s Bazaar’s annual anti-counterfeiting summit in March 2009 (among the counterfeit items on display at the conference were Viagra condoms and a Ferrari.

As a thank-you present for speaking, the conference organizations presented him with a Prada bag, which was a new experience for him. “I don’t own any other fashion products,” he said. He decided to keep the label facing inward, but he noted, “I still felt like I was walking around with a Prada bag, which is strange because I didn’t think I cared anything about fashion.” His emotional response to the Prada bag intrigued him, so he started doing a series of studies on how brands — real and fake — affect people. “Whatever the brand means is very much about the internal feeling, and not just about the external projection to the world, – If you think it’s real,” he said, “from the psychology perspective, it’s real.”

So it seems as though it replicated across human behavioural studies that otherwise would have nothing related to the couterfeit industry. The first time a person violates his/her own moral code is the hardest mountain to climb-over; however once you are past the hump subsequent violations are easier. Psychologically knowing affects in a subconcious manner appears and helps the initial act of ethical borders, which makes the following actions repeat itself ethical in their own terms. This study seems to conclude alot of criticisms out there to those fake-buyers, which is, that they are essentially comfortable with deception and unconcerned with the ethics of their decisions, as long as they are satisfied with the end result – rather harsh for something as simple as a handbag – but people forget that every decision made says something about the person making it.

As for Professor Ariely, he gave the Prada bag to his mother – but went out to buy a good Mont Blanc pen because he enjoys writing so much. “When I take it out and I start writing, I have this objective feeling that my thoughts are clearer. My handwriting is clearer,” he said. “The truth is — I didn’t anticipate it — when I take this pen, there is a special feeling.”

Moral of the story? don’t buy fakes – you are not fooling anyone but yourself.

Yvette xo

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  • Paula says: very interesting…. I am one against buying fake bags! Why cant they just shut down all the plants in these countries producing and manufacturing the counterfiet items?

  • Zoe says: its abit much no? to conclude that people that buy fakes are deceitful people? i mean, they probably make an honest living but just like the design of the bag but dont have the means to pay the full price….. its possible…. those studies dont mean anything because in the end everyone lies and cheats at some point in their life, even if its not to others to their selves. what about gluttony? its still cheating yourself, what about killing animals for our very means of survival (whether it be for food or to keep ourselves warm)?, I could probably go on, but you catch my drift.i get that its not right to support and encourage it, but ppl dont know any better. because in the end, everyone copies off one another, no one is truly nor solely unique, just because you label it doesnt mean its urs.
    and i find it extreme that we are labelling ppl as deceitful beings just because of ur behaviour bc of a designer label.
    im not for buying fake bags either, but those tests are meaningless. no offense to that prof, but its all psychological and no tangible theoretical substance.

  • Jess says: ur right, this is a touchy subject and as much as the real buyers believe that theres a solution to this, the truth is, is that there isnt.

    i dont think the method of approach is right either, by subliminally accusing fake buyers that their supporting the act of terrorism (child labour, human trafficking, etc.) nor psychologically telling them that they are cheap and deceitful. i think what these ppl dont realize is the truth behind the reason why ppl buy fakes, and the simple reason is a very similar reason to why a person would buy a real (and excluding the extreme exceptions, crazy collectors, etc) because its nice and they like the design/style of it, just bc ppl cannot afford to pay the retail asking price doesnt give them less of a reason to appreciate the design. and where do ppl get off about the ‘pretending to be rich part’? uh i thought we r all mature adults, not some kids in highschool? most ppl i encounter have admitted that they have purchased a fake and arent afraid to shamelessly admit so, not that that makes everything ok either….
    i just find that these articles/studies are just too quick to judge, and then accuse the bag buyers that they are supporting human trafficking and child labour?? its great to make ppl aware of whats going around in the world, but those kind of marketing methods are just as shameless and tacky. i for one do not agree with Harper Bazaar’s method of message.
    there are bigger issues in this world, how about if we focus on that before attacking issues such as these? is it because they are worried it will drive them out of business once everyone decides to buy fakes and not the real ones? i hardly think so.
    the real lovers will always buy real ones, as fake buyers will always buy fakes because they cannot afford the real ones. its a good balance, just like we have good ppl vs. bad ppl, its not fun without the other.
    just like this topic, ppl going back and forth on each other. really???

    designers will not go out of business, in an ironic way, imitations are what keeps them here, what makes them the most wanted and desirable and envious to ones eyes.
    its a twisted form of flattery so to speak. think about it, chanel, gucci, louis v….. they have all been in the game for way too long, their still here, as bigger and empowering as they will ever be.
    sure the one or two fake buyers who pretend it to be real ruin it for the rest of us, like putting sour powder in our mouths. but in the end its what keeps the world go round. lets just all appreciate one another.

  • Jess says: or just deal with it, because you are living in it.unless you are some hot beyotch who passionately despises poor beings buying designer knock-offs and goes on a shooting rampage on canal street or china town and shoot everyone in site, wearing this seaon’s hottest Manolos, and carrying ur machine gun in ur AUTHENTIC Chanel bag, dressed in a Herve Leger bandage dress with a Burberry Prorsum trench coat, and then some killer Tom Ford shades to go totally incognito?! that would make some kind of a crazy headline! ppl would eat that shit up! i could just see it now, starring Anne Hathaway from Devil Wears Prada
    i can go on and on! lol

    • gay_as_queer

      that would make for a STELLAR headline on NYTIMES which we so desperately need!

  • fancydaint

    LOL on your images! adidos and westpak! what’s wrong with the guess shirt?

  • gay_as_queer

    OH EM GEE LOLING HARD RIGHT NOW!! THOSE PICTURES ARE PRICELESS!!

  • SoSashaxo

    those that think they can get away with are delusional and just plain STUPID.

    http://oi43.tinypic.com/8wmvkn.jpg

    • chaeyoncé

      LOLOLOLOL

  • chaeyoncé

    omg this is hilarious and such an interesting discussion topic.

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