This I Believe

joanna - washington, District of Columbia
Entered on January 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe shopping is essential for human development. Shopping teaches a person, like my self, responsibility and self discipline. I often must understand the value of a dollar when I look at a pair of jeans that is as much as a person’s monthly mortgage payment. For me, shopping feels like an instinct, I just know where to shop and what to shop for. I know which store has the best jewelry and which store has the best dresses. One of the first times I remember shopping with my mother, we went to Talbot’s kids and Gap Kids. I stumbled around the store, rapidly ripping off various articles of clothing from the different racks. I grabbed jeans three sizes to big, tie-dye shirts, and endless strands of beads. After trying on the clothing I picked, I looked at the pile of shirts on the floor that I had tried on and said “I want it all”. My mother looked at me with a stern face and said “no, you can only have one pair of pants and one shirt”. After I heard the news I sat down on the pile of clothes and began to cry. My mother’s face turned pink and as she tried to calm me down, I screamed louder. My mom did not give in and I only got one pair of pants and one shirt. After this temper tantrum, my father took me shopping. He is the one that never gives in. If I scream, he pretends like he cannot hear me. He taught me to conserve my money and resist impulse buying. It was not until I was fifteen and earning my own money that I truly realized that I had to understand how not to be selfish. I had to learn how to choose the best piece of clothing and love it.

When I started high school, I really cared about my appearance. I spent an infinite number hours at the gym trying to conform to the thin society. After trying on shirt after shirt that was not flattering, I learned to not fret about my body not being the “correct” shape. I learned to just continue looking for a shirt that I would not feel self-conscious in. I stopped focusing on being a certain size and was content with just being healthy for me. Shopping taught me how to appreciate my body and look for clothes that were made to fit me. Essentially, shopping taught me some perspective on the different body types a girl can have. Shopping teaches girls, that there is more than one body type and different clothes are going to fit different people. I believe shopping shows a person to allow the hardships of the world to enable their creativity, and make the best of the situation at hand.