Buy why? Not, why did I buy it; but why the satisfaction? So online, I found an article on “Why Are Women Obsessed With Shoes & Handbags?” This is very telling from a realistic prospective. I am going to paraphrase some it here and add to it just a little. It also helps us understand a little more about the female brain that we seem to be blessed with.
Retail-therapy is well understood to be shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer’s mood; the buyers engage in “comfort purchases” where the act of buying gives them a “buzz” or emotional high. The technical name for it is oniomania.
What is not so well understood is why this is such a female thing and I will put forward my own theory here as researching it has not left me with any answers that I buy 100%.
Through much of human history duties were divided along gender bounties. There were hunter gathers with the men bearing the brunt of the hunting duties due to men’s greater size, physical strength and speed and women bearing the brunt of the gathering duties; collecting fruits and vegetables. After a good day of hunting and gathering, food would be shared around the small tribe with everybody eating equally.
The tribe was the family unit and women felt good about being a skilled gatherer. Not only did gathering give them a sense of purpose in life but it satisfied their desire to be a nurturer towards those people that they loved; their fellow tribe members.
When people are evolved to struggle against nature some strange things happen when the struggle to survive in this sense is removed from them. They lose their sense of purpose and identity. With the arrival of modern convenience stores and supermarkets the need to gather became more or less a once a week ritual. So what to do with all that free time?
For women, gathering morphed into modern day shopping. Something they could indulge themselves in as a reliable pastime; a sure fire way of getting the reward center of their brains fired up and getting the dopamine fix that they so badly need; the neurotransmitter induced feel-good high. Sadly it is a fix that wears off within 24 hours....
Feelings which are often cured by… well, another bout of comfort shopping (gathering).