Monthly Archives: October 2012

Does this look like a compulsive shoppers closet to you?

While its maybe a but larger than Gabbys closet, Alis closet doesn’t look all that packed out with clothes here. She does have a large dresser, but even with that it’s not that much.

Now THIS looks like the closet of a compulsive shopper. It may be slightly smaller, but I think there are actually way more clothes in there. Plus not all of Gabbys clothes are in there.


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“It’s definitely a high for me….”

“… shopping definitely stimulates for me the same things a drug would… it’s definitely a high for me….  ”

Boy can I relate to her here. The high… the feeling that I get not just from spending, but the anticipation of spending. I’m still getting a rush in anticipation of putting on acrylic nails again and getting spray tans.

I’m not kidding either. I read a transcript from an interview that Ali had with Joyce Behar and Ali asked Joyce if she thought about getting a pedicure weeks in advance… this is exactly how it is. It’s definitely a part of the “rush”.

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Stephanie (Gabby’s Friend)

I love Steph. She’s so chill about everything going on in the show and she doesn’t judge.


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That when Kyle was handing Ali money that she was spending his money.

He was holding her money for her.


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Article about Ali Owen

Local woman talks cost of spending on MTV
The Eagle-Gazette staff

FAIRFIELD COUNTY [Ohio] – Amanda native Alicia Owen got addicted to spending money after graduating from high school.

But today, the 21-year-old Columbus resident is trying to encourage others not to make the same mistakes she did.

Owen’s story was featured on the MTV series, True Life: I’m a compulsive shopper, which aired earlier this month.

The series follows young people and the unique sub-cultural issues they deal with in their daily lives, according to MTV’s Web site.

“I don’t blame my parents, but growing up I would be spending money right along with them,” said Owen, an Amanda-Clearcreek High School graduate.

Owen said when she began living independently in Columbus her spending continued, leaving her deeply in debt.

In the True Life episode, Owen comes to terms with her debt and her illness, sees a therapist, and begins going to Central Ohio Debtors Anonymous meetings in Columbus. She meets her mother at Texas Roadhouse in Lancaster for a serious conversation about her spending issues.

“The biggest problem with what I was doing was that I was dealing with emotional issues like feeling down, by spending and going shopping,” Owen said. “Supporting the habit cost a lot. I couldn’t control it anymore.”

With or without MTV’s cameras, Owen knew she needed help, and being filmed for two months made her face the issue head-on.

“My family and friends were interviewed. The cameras were there on my 21st birthday. It was difficult, but nothing good comes easy,” she said.

Owen now recognizes her issue as an illness, and she is taking the steps to do something about it.

“Being in recovery is a daily process,” she said.

Her goal is to raise awareness about this illness in Ohio because it is often difficult to recognize and find treatment. Owen continues to attend the Debtors Anonymous group in Columbus, works at a bar as a waitress to pay off her debt and has begun writing a book about her experiences.

“It’s about being an adult, about money and being aware of choices,” she said. “What I was doing was just like someone abusing alcohol or shooting a needle in their arm. The consequences are just as bad.”

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Alis Shoulder Bag

Anyone know what shoulderbag this is? Its really cute and I like that it seems to carry a lot of stuff.


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Battle of the Cell Phones

I noticed that when Ali went to the T-Mobile store that she had one phone and near the end of the program she had another.

I *think* the last silver one is a Treo.


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High quality or quantity?

I spend more like Gabby than Ali.

I prefer designer or designer quality over quantity. Gabby went for the $$$ (at the time) Juicy Couture and True Religion stuff, while Ali went for the costume jewelry and Wet Seal stuff.

One comment that someone made about me awhile back was “everything you have is nice”. I took that as a personal compliment. I think its a part of the rush for me in shopping compulsively. The compliments are a part of the “rush” after the initial purchase.

They both also had acrylics. I noticed that Gabby didn’t have hers in the beginning when her dad first confronted her about therapy. It seems like acrylics are a part of the compulsive shoppers “wardrobe”.

Its pretty obvious here she has a spray tan, and isn’t tanning by laying out in the sun like a lot of people seem to think that she does.

I’m getting “high” just thinking about getting my acrylics back on and being able to spray tan.

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MTV True Life: I’m a compulsive shopper

Anyone know what this purple stuff is that Ali is making? For some reason it looks delicious to me.

I see a stick sitting in  one of the “blobs” … so maybe candy of some kind?


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MTV True Life I’m a Compulsive Shopper Ali Owen & Gabriela Schwartz

I have to admit that I don’t watch True Life very often, but from the episodes that I have watched, the compulsive shopper episode is my favorite. If you haven’t yet seen it, you can view it here.

It’s tempting to rake them over the coals for their addiction, and I’m a bit surprised at exactly how concerned over fashion that Gabby is, but it’s not just teenagers with a clothes addiction that have this sort of problem! I’ve read blogs that have called both of them shallow, but how is what they do any different from expensive cars and houses? No, they cannot afford spending at the level that they do, but apparently many people in this economy couldn’t as evidenced by the numerous people that lost their homes. What’s the difference between accruing credit card debt to buy things you cannot afford and buying a home you can’t afford? I realize that’s not the entirety of the problem with the mortgage industry crisis, but it’s a chunk of it.

I could relate to Ali more than Gabby because Gabby felt she didn’t have a problem. Ali knows that her debt and spending is taking her in a direction she didn’t want to go. I could SO relate to the emotions that she expressed about spending. She mentioned that it helped to alleviate hostility when she would go out and spend. It did exactly the same thing for me too. I just felt an overwhelming relief after I would spend that would be carried over when I would get home with my purchases. The problem is that it wouldn’t last long.

I could also relate to her midnight CVS runs! Even haircare, skincare and makeup purchases can relieve a little stress. Yes, I know the feeling well.

I’ve watched this episode many times, and I find Ali’s shopping and story to be triggering to my own spending issues, but I like it. How messed up is that?

Virtually everything that she expresses about shopping is relateable within my own “addiction”. When Alicia comes out of the mall with the two bags and talks about what she purchased and how she has a “weight off of” her shoulders, I just thought about how many times I would get back from shopping and feel that way. As an interesting side note, online shopping is not as satisfying! There is something about walking through the mall and handling merchandise. I’m convinced that it’s the shopping addicts of the world that will keep what malls we have left open. Shopping online is convenient, but it doesn’t carry equal satisfaction.

Ali and Gabby are/were (the show aired in July 2009) representative of a lot more of the population in the U.S. than we probably care to admit. I’m not a superficial person. I care about what is going on in this world. I’ve been somewhat of an activist on issues that were important to me. I’m not of the belief that someone has to sacrifice in service to all as a part of their life. People have a right to live for themselves. It’s not a matter of either/or, but of striking a balance. We got a glimpse into one aspect of their lives. It’s not fair to call them superficial because they aren’t sending their extra dollars to feed and help educate the poor in Africa.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned as a result of my spending is that it’s better to spend on experiences than it is to spend on things. Have good friends and good times. Worth more than all the clothes and accessories in the world.

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