Appearance Complex

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 22 › view all entries
Something I've noticed daily here is the emphasis on appearance. First of all, there are very few obese people. Whether at dinner, in a store, or on a street, it's obvious that the average porteno(person from Buenos Aires) is much smaller than the average American. Why? The main reason that I have noticed is the small portion sizes. They also sell candy at kiosks(like at our gas stations), but they are in bite sized pieces rather than king sized. They also don't bring a side dish with your sandwhich(no french fries!). Furthermore, the streets here are lined with clothing boutiques, accessories stores, and even lingerie shops. The portenas adorn themselves with large earrings, fancy boots, and trendy hairstyles. Everyone dresses uniquely, and there is no American Eagle or Gap to set the norm. What has caused this appearance complex in Buenos Aires? I'm sure there is more than one answer to this question. However, I argue that the history of inflation and impact it has made are the main causes. How is inflation linked to appearance? Well, if you know that by tomorrow your $100 could quite possibly only be worth $10, you're more inclined to spend your money quickly (If you had 1billion Argentine pesos in 1960, in 1994 it would only be worth 1/13 of a penny). Therefore, people spend money on themselves. They spend their money right when they earn it. The piece of paper they earned yesterday might not be worth much soon, but an expensive watch will. This all increases teh focus on appearance, since people are buying fancy clothes and jewelry. The result: a society with an appearance complex.
MomDavis says:
Jill, You can feel free to bring back as much of those American dollars as you like -- I don't think they are losing value so fast. Love MOM
Posted on: Jun 14, 2007
A_J_Yeomans says:
Jill, I'm really enjoying your blogs! I had a good friend from Argentina when I lived in Peru. You're right about them being very into fashion. My friend's sister modelled the Marlboro clothing line (yes, like the cigarettes!) Are those still around?
Posted on: Jun 12, 2007
itsallison says:
Very interesting...Will they look down on you if you dress laid-back?
Posted on: Jun 10, 2007
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