The Consumer Girlz
The Consumer Girlz is a project that mocks consumerism. This is very important to me as growing up in India, I was brought up with a notion of 'no waste', and taught to buy only what was needed. Coming to America, I discovered excess. Many people here have much more than they need and it is not about the things- but about the pleasure of having that thing. I find this really strange because its just an idea, and one can be happy without it too. One needs to realise its not in the thing that happiness lies, rather in them.
I focused on modern capitalism that governs our thoughts and emotions, all of which can be centred on money. The girls I have photographed have turned into obsessive, half-dead humans who solely rely on money and materialism to fuel their self-esteem and insecurities.
I photographed them lying on a bed, surrounded by fake money, that is a metaphor for money itself- that allows one to feel so much power and satisfaction when in reality money is just an idea of how many green papers can take you somewhere in life. I want the viewer to realise that in fact even though in our reality money is essential, it should not govern our lives. The only way we can feel on top of the world is through ourselves, we should not go after things outside of us to feel complete. We are complete by ourselves.
"The Consumer Girlz" video that I created is a spin-off of a TV show that shows the girls showing the audience how to become Consumer Girlz like them. It's meant to be light-hearted and funny, but also plays at a very real and deep-rooted problem in our society that affects all of us.
I created a mini-zine as well to supplement the video. The Consumer Girls were too cheap to spend money on their zine, thus representing the size.
Here are all the pages of the zine. It was folded with the 'zine-fold' technique- printed on one page, creased on every page, cut in the middle and then put together.
Consumer Girls is full of daft realities, 'Tips to look like you don't care', reflecting your feelings with the 'Refleektor' shades you can purchase, an option to join the Consumerism Club (a fake group therapy where nothing is resolved but you just gain more problems.