PSEUDO-INDIVIDUALITY.....

The idea of pseudo-individuality is paired with part interchangeability (this thesis started with Theodor Adorno; see Bernard Gendron, 1986). Most products in the same categories are made in the same ways and act in basically the same ways...(lipstick is lipstick whether it is made by mabyline or wet 'n wild). The ideal of pseudo-individuality hides this truth. Through different images, meanings are injected into the product to make it seem unique (whereas Marlboro is rough and rugged, Camel is cool and urbane). By differentiating products through images, we come to accept that consuming such products will, in turn, separate us from the crowd, highlighting our special individuality. Because we can define our uniqueness and individuality through commodities, we rarely yearn to define it in other ways. We are given the illusion of choice through the illusion that we have a range of products to choose from, and that in that range of choices we will find ourselves. Why is it that we rarely question the ways in which we are positioned vis-a-vis the world of commodities?