July 24, 2002


FROM KITTY TO KARYN: To the list of wacky internet phenomena of the past like PsychoExGirlfriend and "All Your Base Are Belongs to Us," we can now add SaveKaryn.com. It's the self-produced website of a 20-something New Yorker who ran up something like $20,000 in credit card debt in just over two years, money spent almost entirely on clothes, purses, hair care, bikini waxes, and other such accessories considered "necessary" for today's young women. In a bizarre, one-woman collolary to the campaign for Third World debt relief, Karyn uses the site to solicit contributions in order to pay down her bills, and to her credit (no pun intended), she is auctioning off a lot of those items in an effort to bring the debt down.
But more disturbingly, Karyn's excuse for her predicament is that "credit cards are evil!" I wouldn't say it's necessarily credit that's the problem (really, it's Karyn's own gross irresponsibility); while the credit card companies clearly prey on irresponsible college-aged students (and have virtually their entire profit margin to thank for it), what we have most to learn from SaveKaryn.com is the damage that beauty addiction can do to young, impressionable people- and this problem isn't necessarily confined to women. Now even magazines geared towards men cater to the viewpoint that males ought to be obsessed with looks, hair care, clothes, and body image as well. The maxim (again, no pun intended) that "men are the new women" has never been more true. How long until a male Karyn copycat arrives on the scene?

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 24, 2002 12:48 AM
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