i was at the mall a few weeks ago and saw a sign on the front entrance that listed rules for the upcoming purchase of the nike lebron 9. the fact that rules are necessary to purchase a pair of sneakers is outrageous, but what was most concerning was the bold print stating patrons would not be allowed to stay in the mall overnight. huh? people camp out, overnight, to purchase a pair of overpriced shoes?
we all hear the stories of late night/early morning black friday shoppers and the assaults that happen at malls around the country when buyers go mad over low-priced goods. the bruh-hah over sneakers, lebrons and jordans alike, is the direct opposite, as both styles cost well over $100 and are some of the most expensive sneakers known to man. unfortunately, those with limited resources typically predominate the winding lines to purchase these shoes, embodying a well-known socioeconomic contradiction. the poorest people often yearn for the most expensive things. to quote kanye, “they made us hate ourselves and love their wealth.”
to be clear, i’m not throwing shade because the new lebron’s are a pair of sneakers–they could be those popular studded valentino pumps; however, my position is still the same: as long as i only have 2 feet, and am therefore forced to only wear one pair of shoes at a time, i will not wait in line for hours to buy a pair of shoes nor will i spend more than i can afford to purchase them. as consumers in a capitalist society, we often conflate price with quality and owning material goods with self-esteem. this fallacy is insidious.
i’ve developed a short questionnaire for those who are debating whether or not to purchase a pair of expensive shoes:
1. is your name harriet tubman?
2. is part of your daily job to traverse the underground railroad?
3. have you ever freed a slave?
if your answer is no to one or more of these questions, then i posit you do not deserve to own a pair of $600 sneakers. your feet aren’t that special.