A few months ago, a dear friend and I were chatting about quality over quantity. We discovered that we’re both more likely to purchase six crappy-but-cheap items over one high-quality item. And while I believe that some women can utilize and enjoy large, varied wardrobes, I also acknowledge that how we spend money on ourselves can be very telling. What we feel we deserve is at the core of many purchases, whether we realize it or not. And talking with my girlfriend about the frustrations of rifling through a closet packed with chintzy junk-clothing, about how she was more apt to spend big on me than on herself, about how she will always hunt down a cheap substitute for the item that she REALLY wants, this became crystal clear. And I found myself saying to her, “You deserve good things.”
And I didn’t mean that she should start shelling out $1,000 per pair for her shoes, or that anything she’d purchased at H&M was unworthy, or that she was looking visibly shabby. On the contrary, this lady is strikingly beautiful and one of the most stylish people I know. Whenever we meet, she is inevitably wearing at least three things that I want to strip off her body and run away with. But hearing her talk about her shopping habits made me realize that she didn’t believe that spending money on herself was wise or fair or right. She didn’t think she deserved quality, beautiful, good things. She thought she deserved second-rate things. And it broke my heart.
And it made me think of all the women I’ve met who behaved the same way, believed the same things, held themselves as second-class citizens in their own lives. Some did it because they’d never had access to money growing up, and simply didn’t know how to invest in quality. Some did it because they hated their bodies and refused to shell out for amazing clothing until they got thinner or prettier or more toned or more something-else-that-might-never-happen. Some did it for reasons I couldn’t fathom, and all did it unconsciously.
We all manage our money differently. We all have different amounts of money, and divvy it up based on our personal spending priorities. And sometimes we’re flush and sometimes we’re broke, and a philosophy of always “deserving” the best can seem preposterous when times are tight. But it’s not really the spending that matters, it’s the mantra, because no matter your current financial situation, YOU DESERVE GOOD THINGS. I believe that good things, quality things, beautiful things – be they clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry or food, experiences, houses, and artwork – are not the exclusive domain of rich, powerful, phenomenally beautiful or unbelievably lucky people. Even when you can’t afford them, you still deserve them. Even if they’re not available, you still deserve them. You are, at your core, an amazing human being and you deserve the bounty of the universe.
Does this mean that expensive things are better than cheap things? As a lifelong thrifter, I can comfortably say “no” to that one. Does this mean that self-worth should be equated to high prices? Also no. Does this mean that people who have always had good things and never had to work to earn them don’t deserve them? Big piles of no. Does this mean that you should run out and spend your life savings on a pair of YSL platforms? No, it most certainly does not. Does it mean that you deserve the pair of YSL platforms that you’ve been coveting for two years, and that saving patiently for them and eventually buying them for yourself is a worthwhile endeavor? Quite possibly.
Material objects are part of life. The objects that we choose to use affect our comfort, self-image, and overall happiness. The process we use to select and obtain objects reflects our views about ourselves. When we choose objects that make us feel indifferent, we are slighting ourselves. When we choose objects that make us feel joy, we are honoring ourselves. And that holds true regardless of brand, cachet, and price.
We deserve good things. And we should let them into our lives as often as we can.
Image via weheartit.