Saturday, August 13, 2005

dogs in clothes

Originally uploaded by cerasmus.
here i am, in a picture, wearing a wife beater. had you read this week's new york times magazine and the story "dog chic," you might think my mawma was branding me as an extension of herself. she is not, however, a jersey guy. therefore, i am not topping off my outfit with gold chains or a kangol hat. the shirt is actually for a good reason--to keep my new stitches clean and dry. that doesn't explain, though, why she got me another shirt that says "sassy" on it. that's just embarassing.

the nyt article is pretty interesting, though. it discusses the large market in selling stuff to dog owners, especially stuff that makes it seem like your dog likes the stuff you like. people who project messages onto their dogs are weird, eh? fortunately, my mawma doesn't foist all of her personality on me. she did buy me an "i pee on bushes" button (hee!) but does not make me be a vegan (like her), dress me in clothes, or buy me designer collars. it's a good thing because i like my eggs. and salmon. and raw turkey.

i found this part of the article especially interesting:

Perhaps pet lovers can be accused of treating their animals as mere props to be decorated as brand extensions of their owners. (Paris Hilton's outfitting of her Chihuahua is ''an expression of herself,'' an expert on these matters told Brandweek.) Then again, the same accusation can be leveled at many parents -- otherwise Ramones T-shirts and hiking boots for toddlers would not exist -- so maybe this treatment signals a kind of step up for our household beasts.

i don't find the comparison with little naked apes all that flattering. we're dogs, not naked apes, and while it would be nice to be thought of as more than "just" animals, we'd rather not be caught up in your yuppie parental guilt that leads you to lavish us with expensive gifts and overschedule us to compensate for your lack of "quality time" with us. and, quite frankly, there is some evidence that YOU become extensions of US--adapting much of your personality and behavior to us. evolution at its finest.

i suppose animals have long been commodified and i am certain we're much better off than some of our commodified cousins (including many naked apes.) so, in capitalism, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. but don't buy me spongebob t-shirts, go get me some frosty paws and a new squeaky.


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