Label and Celebrity Obsession

I was having a phone conversation with a friend the other day, in which we talked about what I call "label whores". The people who can't pay rent, but is wearing the latest and greatest name brands and labels. The ones who scour magazines and try to replicate looks of celebrities. My friend, who is black like me made a statement that I'm having an inner conflict with: Black people seem label and celebrity obsessed.

You know I can definitely say other races of people are the same way, and I can say it with confidence. But I understand where she is coming from with her statement. I think celebrity obsession would explain why Hollywood uses the same five black actors for everything, even in movies and shows geared towards "black people". I will give Tyler Perry kudos for the fact, he hires a lot of black actors, and not all of them well known names. From what I understand, his shows on TBS use actors from his plays. That's pretty awesome. More black people acting can't be a bad thing right? Their not shucking and jiving I hope. One can hope, but then I think about Madea.

I also have known many a broke black woman with $300 shoes, a $500 purse, and not a damn thing in their savings account. I've met black men who felt it was important to know what kind of car they drive, or what kind of clothes they like. Don't get me wrong, I've met white folks like this too, but it seems a bit more important for the black folks I've met to share such information with me. Again, don't get me wrong, I've known white people to forgo an electric bill so they can take a trip to Cancun.

If this stereotype or assumption is true, do you think it comes from black media, in particular hip hop, where people love to shout out the names of what they wear, drive, or drink? It seems most other genres of music try to avoid such things. Of course if I was shouting out the names of labels and products, I would make sure I was getting paid to do such things. For the right amount of money, I would give a shout out to Kmart or Wal Mart in a song. I have no shame.

So do you think that blacks are more label and celebrity conscious than other races of people? If so, why?