Fake candlelight, real ambiance?

05 Oct

A stroll through a large store, and you will likely find at least as many substitutes for real things as I did yesterday. The sets of fake battery-powered candles got me started noticing these things. Some substitutions make more sense (safety issues, conservation, cost for equal beauty or utility, etc.) than others (things that look like they function, but don’t, things that remove important qualities such as health value or durability). The reason they exist is that people buy them. Here’s a sample list of items that are meant to deceive our senses:

Fashion section:

  • fake animal skin
  • faux fur
  • fake wear and tear (extra washes, strategic bleaches, rips and holes)
  • fake pockets (only an inch or less in depth)
  • fake buckles, zippers, buttons, for appearance only (art?)
  • fake drawstrings
  • fake precious stones and metals

Food section:

  • fake color
  • fake flavor
  • fake sugar
  • fake fat
  • fake meat
  • fake dairy

Home dec section:

  • fake candles
  • fake wood (furniture)
  • fake leather
  • fake natural fibers
  • fake fireplace
  • fake flowers
  • fake wear and tear (“distressed” furniture)

Babies & toddlers section

  • fake nipples
  • fake breastmilk
  • fake heartbeat

Beauty section

  • fake hair color
  • fake hair
  • fake nails
  • fake eyelashes
  • fake skin and lip color

If one stretches the definition of “fake,” many more items could be listed.

Which substitutions of fake for real do you think make the most sense, and which the least? Do you have strong feelings about any of these?


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