Our Obsession with Wealth and Youth is Making Us Insane


In this interview for Broadly, Lauren Greenfield speaks about her new documentary, “Generation Wealth,” which takes a sobering look at our societal addiction to the pursuit of wealth, fame, and youth.

“For me, and why I started probing with my mother [in a first for Greenfield, she also trains the camera on her own career and family] is that addiction comes from having a trauma, having a hole you’re trying to fill. In the case of beauty or fame, we’re trying to fill it with something that can’t satisfy and doesn’t actually fix the problem, so we always want more and more. [There are] insecurities, anxiety. For me, I think my parents’ divorce made me feel insecure in a way that drove me to work. Insecurity is part of our machine of capitalism.

Capitalism thrives on finding fear, finding insecurity: You can fix this if I sell you this diet or sell you this pair of jeans. That’s a great way to sell things. And yet the way it works on the side of the consumer is once we have that, we need something else.”

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