Objects’ Appearances and How They Affect Culture and the Economy


In “Lawn People” the author, Paul Robbins, reveals the American lawn’s importance by arguing that aside from its aesthetic it plays a symbolic role in our economy and a staple in American culture. For example, he asserts that homeowners with lawns, or “lawn people,” spend an “enormous battery of consumer goods and services,” on lawn treatments which impact economic growth in the United States (48). By stating this, Robbins suggests that since many Americans spend so much time, energy, and money on maintaining the appearance of their lawn it must be prominent part of American culture along with a significant part of our economy. In conclusion, Robbin’s belief is that maintaining a beautiful lawn has great impacts on American culture and the economy.

Similarly, the argument presented in this infographic, The Art of Deception in Advertising, is that companies use numerous tactics to uphold their image and convince consumers to buy their product, thus influencing the economy and American culture. The creators of the infographic, FinanceOnline, make that argument through the use of photos of an actual product next to the same product in an advertisement. In the photos we can clearly see the difference in appearance since the photo in the ad always looks more attractive due to strategic cropping, color adjustments, or skillful photo editing, all of which require a significant amount of time, energy, and money. Therefore, FinanceOnline suggests that in order for a company to preserve a respectable public image and be successful, the company must invest in means to improve the images they broadcast.

As we can see, Robbins and FinanceOnline both address how America’s obsession with improving and editing appearances is related to success. They are similar in the way that both texts acknowledge the fact that Americans rarely leave items in their natural state because it has been ingrained in American culture that an edited version is better. Furthermore, both authors assert that in order to improve objects, Americans often opt for expensive treatments which consequently affects the economy.

In my view, Robbins and FinanceOnline are right. It appears as if everywhere in American culture we see seemingly “perfect” images of items which entice us to spend money which over time has become a fundamental part of our economy and culture. More specifically, I believe that there is a strong correlation between the amount of time and money spent on appearances and the impact the object has on economy and culture.

Would you agree that the amount of time and money spent on the appearance of an object is correlated to the amount of cultural and financial success it attains?


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