Thursday, February 23, 2006

right hand ring bling

After watching an episode of The Modern Girl's Guide to Life with a segment on how to buy a ring for yourself, I couldn't get the thought out of my mind. I was smitten. As a girl who fully embraces self-care but also loves simplicity and lives somewhat frugally, I debated this indulgence. However, after a few weeks of discussing it with friends, I decided to take the plunge. It arrived yesterday and I am truly in love with this symbolic gesture.

I've since learned that De Beers, the diamond industry mega corporation, launched a successful right-hand ring advertising campaign with ads that state, "Your left hand says 'we.' Your right hand says 'me.' Your left hand rocks the cradle. Your right hand rules the world." Clearly their message is that the right-hand ring signifies independence and power, along with a token of love from you to you. What an amazing concept! Why am I just now learning about this grand message?

Am I just another follower buying into the latest marketing scheme for women? I don't think so since I've just found out about these ads after making my purchase decision. However, I did love the concept once I was exposed to it via the light and fun TV show. Hmmmm. Either way, I share this experience with you as encouragement to explore tradition, to make decisions that may be deemed trite or controversial, and to indulge yourself occasionally. Happy blinging baby.

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am usually a huge fan of your blog and the tranquiliT line because you have always seemed to be very conscientious and principled and you make a point of your garments being "sweatshop free". So, when I read your latest post, I felt compelled to speak up. Your "gift to yourself" is much worse than you simply being "a follower of a marketing scheme for women" (which you totally were, by the way, whether you ever saw the ad or not-- where do you think the "Modern Girl's Guide" got the idea? who do you think sponsored the segment?). More importantly, buying diamonds, even as an act of "self-care" is in complete contrast to the principle of Ahimsa. The diamond industry is an enormously violent and exploitive industry, and the diamond cartel De Beers is one of the absolute worst culprits of greed and cruelty. Please inform yourself and reconsider your support of this terrible industry. Diamonds are not glamorous, to wear one is to ignore the suffering of countless others for an "indulgence".

http://www.fguide.org/Bulletin/conflictdiamonds.htm

Carolee said...

I was going to post something similar to what the above poster said. Sadly, the beauty of diamonds comes at an amazing human price. I too love diamonds, but avoid them because of this issue. I'm trying to do more research into more cruelty-free bling however and if I find any, I'll be sure to share.

Anonymous said...

i agree w/ the posters...but have to admit i only recently became aware of the exploitative practices of the diamond industry myself. obviously, it's not going to get huge play here because the industry is symbolic and integral to many rituals. that said -- i think the message in the blog shouldn't be ignored, we can treat ourselves, what a powerful statement to bling yourself, it doesn't have to be a diamond...it can be anything. being kind to yourself is so important, and a necessary step in being kind to others.

Anonymous said...

While I think playing around with glamour is fun and fine, too, others might want to consider the the bigger picture- that being good to yourself has anything to do with a purchase like a ring. The whole idea of something like a ring worn on the "wrong" hand being a symbol of independence is problematic. It's taking advantage of something women probably want (a ring), but might not have, but the real message of independence, a truly empowering one, would be one that says you are 1) okay without that ring and 2) would stress financial independence and losing a reliability on material objects as part of creating our identity. A better symbol of commitment to oneself, and easily affordable, might just be maxing out your 401K instead of buying a ring or a pair of shoes.

Heather Larson said...

You can buy a more "conscious" piece of jewelry at greekarat.com, if I'm not mistaken. Look for fair trade gems and ditch the DeBeers if you're a fan of the shiny stuff...

Anonymous said...

Can I suggest that you address the issue of being a conscious consumer in a future podcast? I know that for me it can be a struggle to balance making choices that are socially and environmentally responsible and finding things that are fun and hip and more or less affordable. It seems hard to find a middle ground between feeling guilty about purchases and just giving up on trying to make responsible purchases.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see the thoughts flying around about the diamond industry et al... so if we stop wearing diamonds and stop drinking tea or coffee, or eating bananas (an industry that's been as riddled with violence as diamond industry) and chocolate (notorious industry for violating child labor laws) or for that matter wearing textiles woven in sweatshops? what would we do?... as socially responsible consumers, we all should consider purchases, absolutely! but not respond negatively to any purchase by another... i say we focus on positive changes in 'supply chain' and not blaming consumers for buying what's available in the market...

I've dedicated most of my life to socially responsible business, purchasing, and fair trade.. and think that nothing is as clear cut as divorcing one product from our spectrum of purchases... i, for one, wear lovely lucite jewelry because i don't choose diamonds, and i drink fair trade coffee, and try to be a good environmentalist, etc but that does not make a clean slate! we all need to be active consumers that affect companies actions!!!! diamonds will ALWAYS be in demand.. what we can do is make sure, as shareholders, companies mine them responsibly!!!! (as an aside, debeers is one of the more active companies in south africa in improving working conditions, providing health care to predominantly HIV+ workforce, etc...)