In today's installment of LOLScience, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has deduced that, since Millennials are getting married later in life than any previous generation, Millennials will spend more money on diamonds for engagement rings.
This conclusion was drawn in response to the fast-declining rate of marriage among millennials and the subsequent tanking of diamond sales. But, according to BAML, it's all going to be fine, because we're just saving our pennies to have really big blowout weddings in our late-30s? Via Business Insider, BAML notes:
"Jewelry purchases often mark major life events, most notably engagement and marriage. Millennials are postponing marrying until later in life, leading to a decline in weddings over the last 15 years. However, a larger population of 20-39 year old people in upcoming years should serve as an offset to the wedding rate decline. Assuming the rate of weddings continues to fall by 0.7% over the next six years, weddings should remain relatively flat. People who opt to get engaged later in life often have greater disposable income to spend on engagement rings, providing a natural comp tailwind for jewelry retailers."
There are a handful of totally off-base assumptions at play here, demonstrating how hilariously out-of-touch big banks are with Millennial lifestyles.
Firstly, BAML seems to think that Millennials are postponing marriage, because we're seeing a decline in marriage rates. But what they're neglecting to consider is that Millennials are actually doing away with marriage altogether. As Liz Susong, editor-in-chief and co-founder of anti-wedding industrial complex mag Catalyst, points out, there is an incredibly problematic "inherently patriarchal, heteronormative history of marriage." Many Millennials can see it as an outdated, unnecessary, prohibitively expensive institution rooted in patriarchal traditions of subjugating women. Not only are weddings expensive, but so are divorces. Regular, non-contractually-binding breakups are free. Plus, government-subsidized monogamy just doesn't work for our increasingly polyamorous, openly relationshipping generation.
But let's assume there's still a substantial set of millennials who do plan on getting married later in life. The assertion that we're going to have a greater disposable income than our parents' generation later in life is laughable, patently false, and, in fact, the fault of big banks that caused the recession in the first place. We're on track, by all accounts, to be the first generation in modern time to make less money than our parents, and we're undoubtedly worse off economically, thanks to bulging student loan debt and pitiful job prospects. The idea that "people who opt to get engaged later in life often have greater disposable income to spend on engagement rings" fails to take our unique inherited economy into account.
Lastly, as BI notes, "this argument assumes that millennials' tastes are the same as their parents' tastes, which may not be the case. In fact, it's widely known in the retail world that millennials prefer 'experiences' to things." Millennials, thanks to our aforementioned dismal economic prospects, are more anti-capitalistic than previous generations, and more willing to hold the wedding industrial complex accountable for its harmful, myopic, and discriminatory pressures to have a Pinterest-worthy wedding to prove our love for one another.
Put simply: capitalism screwed us, and a lot of us know better than to keep funneling money into an advertising scam disguised as "tradition."
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