by Erin Nam, Sunnyvale
Status symbols are used to portray someone’s social rank, and there are many reasons why these status symbols are attractive. To some people, status symbols may seem useless while to others, status symbols are very important. The main reason people would want status symbols is to show off their wealth because they would want to reveal that they can afford these status symbols. Until status symbols are advertised by influencers and companies, they are not status symbols. Three examples in today’s society that are being promoted by people are mansions, designer clothes, and luxury cars.
One example of a status symbol is mansions. They are considered status symbols because usually to purchase a mansion, the buyers need to be wealthy. But why do people want mansions? What about mansions is attractive? Well, because it is known that not everyone can afford mansions, people may want to show that they have more than others. Also, mansions are bigger than the average home, and people may want room for specific activities they enjoy such as watching movies, wine tasting, playing pool, or swimming. Because mansions have more space, people are able to bring their favorite hobbies to the comfort of their own homes. People like showing off these activities to their friends because these hobbies are not ones that anyone can do. Their home theaters are not just a couch and a tv, they have surround sound and their wine would not be any old cheap wine. They will use and show off the most expensive things which only those who are wealthier can afford. Mansions have a bigger purpose than just for living, and it is to announce to the public that they can afford such frills.
Designer clothes are another example of a status symbol. They are considered a status symbol because these brands are known to be expensive. People want to show off that they are wealthy to their friends and even to the people that they encounter on the street. The people who wear designer brands may want the attention of others or favoritism. These clothes may even be unwearable for everyday use because designer clothes are usually high fashion, which is more for fashion shows. These designer clothes are like art because of the shapes and colors of the clothing. But people want others to know that what they have has value, even their clothes. Other than that, people want higher quality clothes and so, because it is more expensive, the quality is nicer than the clothes of the average person. Because approval is so important to these people, it is possible that people wear designer clothes because they are insecure.
A third example of a status symbol is fancy and expensive cars. People may want these cars to display their wealth to the people driving on the street, their neighbors, and their friends. People would want to impress others with their wealth which can be shown by their car. These cars have more amenities than the average car, which would make it seem better. Some amenities of these cars include leather seating, better sound systems, smoother rides, and infotainment stations. Another reason people may want expensive cars is because they might have a hobby of buying cars, which only wealthier people can do. People may want to prove their status by showing that they can afford a certain type of car such as a Ferrari because people with more wealth tend to have that car. These luxury cars are a reflection of wealth and are often not bought for need and more for show. It is evident that the people that want these luxury cars think that status symbols are very important.
Mansions, designer clothes, and luxury cars are three status symbols. All three are commonly bought to show off the owner’s wealth, to enjoy additional amenities, and to receive the approval of others. Even though people purchase these status symbols with positive motives, people can often buy them for negative motives as well. It is important to think about the intention behind buying these status symbols. Next time people want to buy anything, whether it is a status symbol or not, people should think about what makes that item attractive, and whether or not they really need it.