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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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OPINION: The wastefulness of restocking video culture

KentWired Illustration by Gabby Lutz

Recently, I have gone down the rabbit hole of influencer restocking videos. I have seen fridge and kitchen restocking videos, closet restocking videos and, yes, even ice and junk drawer restocking videos. 

Mostly, I have just been happy watching them because the influencers were just doing their own thing organizing items, and it was oddly satisfying, but one category that irked me greatly was the bathroom restocking videos.

Yes. The bathroom restocking videos.

Restocking videos have gained traction in the media for a bit now, displaying products in a satisfying way for their audience mostly using neat, clear, plastic containers. These videos get millions of views and likes because of the way they are appealingly designed, sucking people into watching and scrolling for more. 

One YouTube video I watched in full was a compilation of videos from TikTok of these bathroom restocking videos.

One thing that bothered me about bathroom restocking videos by influencers was the obscene amount of single-use and non-reusable products. This can lead to so much waste. I saw so many packages of single-use makeup wipes and dozens of single-use face and hair masks.

That is so much plastic being wasted when you can just buy conditioning hair masks that come in a larger sized container. They are usually a cream based product and you can get many uses out of one purchase. Plus, chemicals in these face cloths can be very harsh on your skin and the environment.

Another clip showed a woman restocking five packages of flushable cleansing wipes. No one needs to restock that many packages at one time. Even though they are flushable, it still doesn’t mean they are good for the environment.

Instead of getting so many makeup remover cotton swabs or wipes, try purchasing one of the makeup eraser cloths. Even though they can possibly be $15 to $20, they can keep being used and just washed in the washer. It saves on single-use waste and in the long run, saves you a lot more money. I have been using one daily for over two years and I love mine.

Another common theme in these restocking videos is the use of travel size products, which are unnecessary and take up more space. If you are keeping these in your vanity drawers and cabinets in your bathroom, then they are meant to stay in your own home.

So, why not get a full sized product of it? 

I saw one clip where a woman was restocking her deodorant drawer with 10 more miniature-sized Native deodorants. That is such an excessive amount of plastic packaging and space wasted when she could have just gotten two full-sized items of this product, saving more room, using less plastic and probably saving more money.

The idea of restocking things can also lead to overstocking, so you can buy more than what you actually need. This can become extremely expensive, and if the product is not fully finished in enough time, it can become expired and therefore wasteful. 

Many of these short videos had an extreme amount of brand new products bought and displayed all at once, just for the video. I feel like we are in a more consumerist culture, too, buying more and more brand new things instead of just using what we already have. This method can be damaging for the consumer.

When analyzing these bathroom restocking videos from a viewer’s position, I think it can cause them to have a negative view of themselves, too.

This can possibly be because they cannot afford these items being presented by the influencer themselves, and they may feel like their lifestyle is not “as good” because of it, or that they are “not good enough” to attain these nicer things at a higher consumption rate.

I admit, these videos are very appealing to the eye and can help motivate some to clean or get organized in their own lives, but you need to remember it is all just for these influencers to promote “attractive” or “cute” looking products. 

They are getting paid to show these in a satisfying way and will gain profit from how much they sell from the partnership they are working with. Many average people do not use these products.

These influencers just make you think you need these in your life to feel better about yourself or make you feel more accomplished in your life because you have these items.

In reality, they are just things. 

I’m here to tell you that you do not need to live up to these unrealistic expectations of the overconsumption culture presented to you on social media today.

Ella Katona is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].

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