The majority of haul videos are made by women in their teens and early 20s, and their favorite stores are the ones you might expect for that age: Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Forever 21. In the two dozen videos I watched, there was hardly any mention of upscale brands, except perhaps a perfume bought at a discounter, and indeed girls are called out by followers if they seem to brag.
Alice Marwick, a doctoral candidate in culture and media studies at New York University, has been looking at haul videos as part of a research project, and she admits that watching a teenager show off six new T-shirts can be mind-numbing. “But most of the videos have 200,000 views,” she said. “And the girls all comment on them. That’s a fascinating idea of consumption.”
Gotta love it all. The blond chick with the glittery pale blue eyeshadow in her sterile white suburban bedroom with the — bien sur! — requisite taste-signifier, a giclee print of Paris over her bed. The camera zooming in. Her Chiclet teeth. Her preternatural comfort with the camera. Her utter conviction that boasting about all the crap she’s just bought is really interesting.
Am I alone in finding this really depressing?