Monday, May 23, 2011

Does Money REALLY Talk?

Ok, I went to a Fashion Mall on a Saturday to shop, then meet friends and hubby for dinner later at our favorite restaurant. I had on one of my favorite white Chanel suits, Christian Louboutin shoes and a Christian Louboutin handbag. 
No big deal. 
I was on a mission to shop, look and see what the new fashions are for today and for the upcoming  Summer Season (I have a HUGE  June wedding to attend and several gala events and need to find the perfect outfit for each)  so I brought along my bright pink camera and took off. 
I strolled into MAC Cosmetics, Bebe, several small boutiques and lastly Saks 5th Avenue. (I even saw two adorable YouTube subscribers and had my camera rolling for most of it.)
I touched the Gucci bags, the Chanel suits and jewelry,  I saw a dog. I was treated well and even complimented by Sales Assistants galore. Department heads spoke to me and said a cheery "Hello" everywhere I went. It was a fun happy day. My little flip cam only has an hour memory so I filmed and then seriously shopped but when the memory and the cash ran out, I left. 
No big deal.
A week later after editing and time allowed, I posted the video as so many of my lovely subscribers enjoy "window shopping" as much as I do. 
In the comment section of my video I was told many times... 
"They were nice to you because money talks and you were dressed up."
Could that be true? Does looking and acting like you have MONEY make that big of a difference? Do retailers treat you differently if you are in designer clothes than if you are   wearing jeans and a sweatshirt? Surely NO!
I told my husband that I was going to conduct an experiment and see if that could possibly be true. I set out to do just that.
I first did my hair and makeup as I normally would. Wore a Chanel skirt, Boston Proper Blazer and Red lizard Christian Louboutin shoes and carried a Prada handbag. 
I set out for the local mall 20 minutes away.
I strolled into Macy's like I owned the place with my little bright pink camera at arms length as I had done the week prior. I spoke to every sales clerk I could find.  I was not shopping, I was experimenting.  I practically shoved the camera into their faces, not to skew the experiment but to make it as obvious as possible that I was filming and to say 
"Hey, look at me!" Everyone was friendly, helpful, and again, very complimentary. I went into The Gap, Kohl's, even a high end jewelry store and all were so pleasant and gushed their sweet "hellos"to me.
I saw two male security guards on Segways who waved at me and said a flirty "Hi There."
I spent a good hour or more at the mall without incident. 
I drove back home.
I tousled my hair and changed my clothes into cut off sweat pants and a matching sweatshirt. White Walmart ballet flats covered my toes.  Back to the mall I drove, bright pink camera in tow.
I first went into JC Penny. I saw a friend. 
I was said hello to but nothing was said good or bad. Next I ventured out further. Would I be rejected? Surely not!
It all went so wrong very soon. 
I was told to stop filming and no cameras by each and every  store I walked in to. What? I was just there an hour prior and was allowed to film and was treated so nicely. 
What the hell happened? 
In most stores, I was kicked out almost as soon as I entered. I was shocked and felt like a criminal! Store after store I was told to turn off the camera and asked to leave. (I  really didn't look THAT bad, did I?) Some were rude about it. Some were not but I got the message. Did I really look like a thug out casing the place with my bright pink camera?
The last store I entered, same response. No Pictures! 
I left quietly. Rejection isn't fun let me tell you. My fabulousness was fading FAST and it all left me with a sad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I kept walking and was about to enter the Kohl's Department Store I had been in earlier when I was dressed up.....
I passed a security guard. His face told the story. He looked at me like I had a BOMB!
I didn't. I was only armed in bad clothes and a camera.
Do I hear SIRENS????
Sirens wailing and my camera rolling, I was converged upon not by ONE but SEVEN security guards and told to hand over my camera. 
I was questioned. They took my name and phone number.
I tried to explain. I was conducting an experiment. 
Not listening.... 
I told these officers of the law that I have a YouTube channel and was just doing a test to see if Money Talks.
Not winning....
They told me to delete my film and footage.
I did for some but not all. (Too bad I had to delete the parts where I was questioned by them) Priceless.
Luckily there was one female officer. When I explained myself for the 3rd time, her eyes locked with mine and she said... "Ok, I get it. I see what she was doing." 
I wasn't arrested or given a citation. I was given a Code of Conduct brochure and told to leave the mall.
I did just that in my Victorias Secret sweatpants and shirt and Walmart shoes.  I have never felt so ugly and beat down as I did at that moment.  
I was the Jeffery Dahmer of the mall.
I called my husband who was mad.
I called my daughter in law who was sympathetic. 
I actually felt depressed about the entire ordeal. ( I am never depressed or down)
My little "experiment" told the story. 
How many young mothers go the mall or out for the day that do not have the TIME to dress up?  It wasn't fun to be treated that way. Granted, I was wrong filming but what happened to all the love I was given when I was dressed up and filming? Huh?
To be honest, I feel mad and disgusted. 
Money does talk and it's just WRONG what it says. Shut Up Money... You're Lame.

Now, where's my bright pink camera? 
Watch the video complete with sirens on YouTube here:

Famous Quotes about money:

~ I like my money where I can see it... Hanging in my closet.  -- Carrie Bradshaw
Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward. — George Carlin
Someone stole all my credit cards, but I won’t be reporting it. The thief spends less than my wife did. — Henny Youngman
No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money, too. — Margaret Thatcher
~ I finally know what distinguishes man from other beasts: financial worries. — Jules Renard
Don’t marry for money. You can borrow it cheaper. — Scottish proverb
~ Money can’t buy happiness; it can, however, rent it. — Author unknown


  1. Wow Lana! Unbelievable! Stacie xo

  2. Wow, I cant believe it, but Im sorry you wound up depressed, and yes I have noticed the difference in treatments depending on how Im dressed when I got out, it is way lame, srsly what are we supposed to do??

  3. Thats horrible! I totally notice the difference too when I'm wearing something more casual to the mall- its really sad how people get treated.
    Thanks for doing the experiment though & letting us know about it! :)

  4. Lana that is crazy!! But everything is so true they do treat you differently. I cant believe it went that far though!!

  5. Lana: Oh my dear, the Pretty Women effect. I thought this about your outfit and compliments when you were filming (not negatively on you of course, I just love you!). I noticed every person saying how nice you looked and how nice they were being. I've tried before to take a camera into stores for scavenger hunts, or other fun things and been shunned right out of the store. I don't have money, but even my cheap walmart clothes can look nice ENOUGH if they're in good shape. I'm so sorry this happened to you, you are the nicest person in the world and you shouldn't feel like this, ever.

  6. wow... just wow. Reading this kind of made me sick to my stomach. The feeling that you've been made out to be some criminal when you aren't...not even by a long shot. Its really horrible that by looking fancy and expensive you get treated differently... society has made it that way. Its a shame. KUDOS to you for being brave and doing this experiment. Many would talk about it, few would follow through with actually doing it and being the test subject themselves.

  7. I knew that ... so I try to dress up as possible when I go to a mall. It is obvious at Bebe stores ...

  8. Not surprised you felt depressed after that! Brave lady... I would have been scared LOL!

  9. I was so scared for you lol! Who called them to stop you? Or did they just see you passing? I don't know if I could shop at that mall again! I'm such a wimp!

  10. Lana you were so brave to do that and the outcome is sad ...Money does talk...and Good Looks talk as well ...I honestly got so nervous when the guards came out ...I am glad you are okay....I hate that Money Talks it is sad. My husband use to do construction (he had his own business) and went into a fine department store to buy me some nice perfume dressed in his work clothes boots and all and he stood at that counter being ignored and finally someone ask if he needed something ....he had enough credit on his cards to buy 100 bottles or more of perfume but because he was dressed the way he was he was ignored I felt so bad for me when he told me this ....Just another case where money talks. Much Love ..Susie ~

  11. i know it makes a huge difference bt wow! that's amazing! you should sell your story to a tv channel... that's the kind of thing people would buy, seriously!

  12. That's an unbelievable story. However, I do believe how you dress and present yourself sets the tone of how you'll be treated. A friend of mine, a male and very well off went to Tiffany's dressed in sweats and wasn't given the time of day. He was just given up and down looks. He went back in his best suit a couple of hours later with a pure bread pup in tow and had people falling all over him. He couldn't believe it. It just goes to show you. The funny thing is, in my opinion, most of the sales staff probably can't afford to purchase the merchandise in the high end stores they work. Yet they will sit in judgement of people they think don't belong.

  13. I'm sorry you went through this. It's really crappy! I've experienced it as well and I don't go to those stores anymore.


  14. I think you made a valid point, however, I have a few thoughts about the types of stores used in the experiments. The places you visited in an earlier shopping video in which you used your camera seemed much more exclusive and not the kind of place where the majority of non - monied women would ever venture into. Even though they have every reason to be more security minded they seemed to be more geared to catering to the wealthier shoppers. I wonder how many people try to steal things there as opposed to a store that has things in broader price ranges? I lean to thinking that if you had been all dressed up you still would have had the same reaction at the those stores in the mall that were not totally high end because they are constantly dealing with theft. Was it Sak's ( spelling?)? It seemed like a different land altogether with its own rules and ways. I haven't been to an exclusive floor or area of a store since... I don't remember - many years, so I am not sure I got the store right. I hope you don't think I am critical; I think you are a kind and concerned person.

  15. I was looking for an email addy and couldn't find it. I didn't want to write too much here. It is humorous that i would be commenting on your shopping or looking at a site about dressing up etc... because I am Plain. Wasn't always and, in fact, was raised in Indianapolis, went to Ritter High, and am only a couple of years younger than you. I was teasingly referred to by my husband when I met him as a "fluff ball" because I always dressed up - even in a factory job. So, becoming a plain woman was a big transition and I sometimes have withdrawals! I do work hard to take care of myself, though, and look neat and feminine. I have come to feel that much of how we look has to do with our attitude, too. How we talk and carry ourselves? By the way, I thought that you sounded less confident and bubbly when you were dressed informally. I have noticed that when I am confident and sure of myself people tend to not question me in circunmstances that could be be perceived as questionable.
    Joanie ( fellow Hoosier from Rush County)

  16. I am not surprised by this. Whenever I go to shop at the more expensive mall in my area that has mostly designer stores I always try to dress up a bit more and wear better labels because I know that they treat me better than if I am just in jeans and flip flops. Sad but true. The fact that they ignored your filming because of your appearance is appalling though!

  17. Lana - you are a looked super cute even in your "ratty" clothes!
    This whole issue just highlights our sin nature - treating people differently based on externals. I do it too! (to my shame!). Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart! xxoo

  18. i really love that you did this :)
    can i ask, why is it wrong to use a camera in a mall?
    i have to say, i have known this for a long time, and i purposely go out dressed scruffily if i intend to make a large purchase from someone who is paid comission. if they believe purely that how someone is dressed makes them not worth talking to, then they will not make money out of me.
    the same goes for high end make up, i am not spending all that money if the service is bad.i once spoke to the guerlain lady looking really terrible and got the best service of my life, i will only buy guerlain from her.

  19. I posted it to FB with a shame on security for only enforcing policies when people don't appear to have money.

    There is no expectation of privacy in a mall, so what's the problem?

  20. Had this happen just a few months ago in one of my favorite stores. They lost a valued customer.

  21. Hi Lana,
    I love you and your videos and think you are brave for doing this as others have said. However, I think you should take down the videos you recorded in the mall, you might get in trouble for having them as you saw it was illegal to record. Yes, it was an experiment, but you could get in trouble for posting videos of other people and places when you had no permission. Also, it would be more credible to go in the exact same stores. While the way you dress definitely does make a difference (and it's happened to me plenty of times), you really need to go to the same stores. Kohls is a bigger department stores and it seems definitely easier to record there than a smaller store like victorias secret.

    Thanks for all your videos and blogs and thanks for being a great personaliity!

  22. I don't believe there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place, therefore I don't believe there is anything illegal about it. They may have a private policy, but illegal? Don't think so!

  23. To the above poster that says the experiment seemed less valid because Lana didn't go into the same stores dressed in different clothes, go back and watch her earlier videos in a Saks 5th ave etc when she was wearing a Chanel. They were literally kissing her ass. I know that as sure as I am sitting here typing this, she would have been told to leave in those stores had she been wearing cut off sweats. Clothes, appearance, weight, race, age all affect how we are treated and it's not only sad it's not right.
    As for her deleting the videos because they are illegal... please!
    95% of all YouTube videos have a face or faces of someone not knowing they are being filmed. That's just asinine to suggest. She filmed in public places. You leave your home and it's all fair game. Now had she gone into a strangers home and filmed them unawares, she may have a problem but even then I doubt it. You are just being nit picky.
    I thought the experiment was genius and applaud you for putting yourself out there to prove it to us all. I am a woman of color and deal with this daily. I don't have the luxury of changing my skin color or my accent then go out of my house. Bravo Lana! I found this to be one of the best videos I have ever watched on Youtube. It was a human experiment.
    The creep in the 2nd part jewelry store was disgusting. I could see how he looked you up and down and wow, he needs a reality check. What a jerk.

  24. I looked around a bit to find out if there is a law against taking photos in stores. The law regarding this is complex, but apparently a store has the right to ask people not to take photos of their displays and products. This is an issue of "protecting trade secrets".


  25. You are so brave. I was very nervous when I watched your video. But yes, you proved that moeny talks. That is so sad that every body is looking at others from the surface only.

  26. Now imagine dressing down, and on top of that speaking a different language because you have an out of country guest. I normally dress well, hair done, make-up done, etc. A friend from Spain was visiting, and we decided to go to the mall. We were both dressed rather casual, because we were hitting the beach after the mall. Well we received major stink eye, it tripled when we spoke Spanish. We were followed around in the store. Someone even had the nerve to stand next to us in line and say to their friend, "If these people only knew how to speak our language they'd be much better off! Not so many of them would be on welfare." Serious. No joke.

    My response to her? I turned around and said, "Oh, I know English, it's my native tongue. however, I also know Spanish, German, and some Japanese. Do you know what happens when you 'assume' things?" lol


  27. That's truly awful! They were basically criminalizing your "activity", yet you did nothing legally wrong! The mall brochure is not a legal document!

    Money and appearance does count! Those sales associates in the last half of your last video were rude bordering on viscious!

    Keep up the good work Lana!! If you get arrested and thrown in the po-po, have someone twitter it and we'll send money pronto to you to bail you out! [Though I know your hubby would bail out in an instant!]

    ~ Louise

  28. I absolutly love watching your videos! It almost makes me mad at how the security guards treated you. I would say there nothing more than a rent-a-cop or a wanna-b-cop. I thought the sales people were rude as well & if you dont have money to spend then they dont care if your there or not. If you do have money then they dont care what you do just as long as your spending the mula!I was nervous for you & really commend you for doing what you did! Keep up the great work & videos!

  29. I would not want to ever shop there again! They could have politely informed you about the "no filming rule" but instead they were trying to intimidate you & basically bully you! I would have been extremely offended when they asked me to leave the mall!!!! Theres no need for all of that, but I guess it makes them feel supieor & gives them a little bit of excitement to discuss among themselves! You didnt get a citation or arrested because they couldnt prosicute you for it! You did nothing criminal!

  30. OMG! I cannot believe what I saw on your video, those security people did look like you as if you were a major criminal! OMG! WOW! I mean this just proves to show that no matter how good of heart people have, humans are very judgemental and it truly shows that people judge the book by its cover, unfortunately...great expirement Lana and im happy to know that you did not get a citation or go to jail for it. Props to you!!!!

  31. How could anyone be so mean to you! Your personallity & looks are just stunning! Im so sorry that you went through all this just for us, but it was a very interesting experiment for sure. Now i know for sure that the way people look will surely affect everything such as even getting a job,writing checks,pulled over by the police,finding a mate,ect. Very very sad what the world has come to!!

  32. Thanks for this video, it really shows the reality. Whay a difference between you and the ¨Gurus¨ girls on youtube, you are smart, beautiful and honest... You really showed with this big risk, how humans are less and less seinsitive towards real important thigs, as compassion, love and tolerance... Good Job, and you are truly and inspiration...!!!

  33. Definitely an overreaction by mall security. Most mall shoppers will undoubtedly never have heard of the "Code of Conduct" you were presented with. Also most shoppers will be dressed casually as you were the second time. Your treatment presents a PR dilemma. I'd be interested in what the executives at this mall would have to say. Also in the comments of the executives at some of the mall's major stores. Your video documents your experience very well in terms of your own behavior and appearance. As a YouTube viewer, I'd like to see you take this farther with some interviews with CEO's or top PR executives who have a say in formulating this policy. You, as a law-abiding person and good customer, are entitled to a full and considerate explanation. In this poor economy, mall executives should be making every effort to keep (not lose) their faithful shoppers. You pose some tough questions, and I, for one, would like to see them explored in greater depth.

  34. Lana, sorry this happened to you. :( These things happen all the time. People treat everyone differently depending on many factors... :/

  35. It will make you think twice about where you do choose to shop from now on. I really do believe that this video should be sent to all the stores you did go to, along with the Mall administration. They need to smarten up and stop making people feel bad for wanting to take a picture of a product. After all, you never did commit any offences. They just chose to make you feel embarrassed. Imagine all the people they do that to all the time. It's not right Lana. And if anyone should report it, it's you. Cause hey...Money Talks and you've got it girl!

  36. What a fantastic but very sad experiment on the power of money! Same, but different experience happens when you economy you are now given plastic knives and forks..sometimes a metal fork but always a plastic a safety precaution in case you get air rage and stab someone!! In Club, business or first class tho...they assume you have too much money for such behaviour and immediately hand you the metal knives! Assumptions based on money and/or class, etc!

  37. I do the same as Vivacia Dreams said above. When I know I'm going to be making a major purchase, I deliberately dress down. I want those commision dollars to go to a sales person who knows their business and deserves them. Retail sales ppl need to get a clue. I learned quickly when I worked sales in a gold jewelry store...most of the ppl who came in dressed to the nines were either cheap shoppers or left empty handed. The ones who came in looking the crappiest were usually my most pleasant, mannered customers, and consistently, my biggest spenders.
    Well done on your experiment. I will agree with someone else lost some of your spark in your second outfit. I think it was nerves and the expectation of being shot down. Either way, a great sociological experiment! Great job!

  38. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post.Thanks,buydesigner clothes

  39. Oh my goodness ! You are super brave for doing this experiment. It really is sad that people judge us by what we wear. I think you are absolutely adorable and down to earth:) keep up the great videos!

  40. Sadly there are more people in this world that can't afford the cloths you wear then there are that can. So if you put that perspective on it the larger majority of people in this world are treated like shit just because they don't have money. Our society has determined that a persons self worth is not based on what type of person they are on what they are like on the inside but on how much money you have. It breaks my heart to see this more and more every day but I say F*** those people I'm a wonderful person and I choose to donate my money to the poor instead of buying the high end cloths and if I am looked down on it's their loss because they don't know how kind and giving I am. I would rather wear walmart cloths and give money to the family living on the street any day of the week.

  41. I didn't mean any of the above comment mean, was just saying. Hope I didn't offend you in anyway, if I did please forgive me.

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