Shopping has been women’s first love probably since Homo sapiens came into being. I am fairly sure that when the caveman brought a deer home for food, the cave woman probably said, ‘But I already have a deer skin which I’m tired of wearing. Why didn’t you get a sabre tooth?’
If you survey women in all countries, religions, caste, class and age, the one thing that usually doesn’t change is their worship for shopping. Most women love being the first ones to wear the latest styles and look different from the crowd. ‘What’s the fun in wearing what everyone else is wearing? I like to shop ‘cause I love wearing the latest trends’, says Namrata Shah, a student.
Moreover, shopping for women is as relaxing as a luxurious spa. Many women pick up their purses and head to a mall when they are stressed out. A majority of women find this relaxing and calming. As Meeta Mehta, a homemaker puts it, ‘There’s something about shopping that just makes me so happy. Every shop has a riot of colours and so many styles to choose from. With new things turning up every day, how can you not get excited?’
Dr Kinjal Goyal, psychotherapist, says, ‘Woman feel a sense of power when they shop because this is something they do for themselves and have complete control over.’
A friend of mine had once said that at any given day, women hate 3/4th of the elements in their closet. Homemaker Sonal Parekh seconds this with, ‘I tend to get bored with my clothes after a while. Nowadays the fashion changes so fast and being in style is one thing I love. Also, the more often I shop, the more knowledgeable I get about the latest trends, prices, different shops, etc.’
While men can still bear shopping (although just barely) they simply hate the concept of window shopping. ‘How in the world does it make sense to just have a look around, when you aren’t even going to buy it?!’ says Raj Shah, a businessman.
His wife, Meera, shoots back, ‘It’s to gain knowledge! You get to know what styles are in, which shops have a good collection, which ones have good quality clothes, what are the current prices and also, it’s fun!’ But it’s highly doubtful if guys will ever understand this point of view.
With more and more women entering the corporate world, their spending power has increased considerably, which only fuels their favourite hobby. ‘I once splurged my entire month’s salary on a lot of shopping.’ shares Priyanka Talreja, a writer. ‘It was such a high! It gives a sense of accomplishment and independence to spend your money.’
Online shopping is another phenomenon which has given considerably boost to their shopping sprees. Says Dr Kinjal Goyal, ‘Women tend to overspend when they use credit cards, or shop online, simply because they are not seeing the physical money disappearing from their hands, which is why using hard money is always a better option if you want to avoid overspending.’
Although there are various reasons why shopping is universally women’s first love, Kajal Shrimankar, a teacher, sums it up nicely, ‘When you see people wearing pretty things, you want them too. It’s human nature. And we women have so much choice – we have a variety of clothes, accessories, clips, shoes, sandals and what not! Besides, shopping means new things, a new pleasant vibe! Is it really a wonder that we are never tired of it?’