Mimetic Desire Examples

Mimetic desire can be understood as an abstract concept, but it doesn’t really hit home until we see it in concrete events in the world around us—and in our own life.

  • A young girl posts a selfie to Instagram. She’s beaming next to her new boyfriend at a sushi restaurant. Her ex, who she hasn’t heard from in months, ex starts texting her the next day.
  • A college guy with a new girlfriend introduces her to every guy he knows, secretly hoping that they’ll want her, too. When he senses that they don’t, he begins to doubt that he made the right choice.
  • Five year-old Caleb finds a shiny red toy dump truck in the corner of his classroom that none of the other kids seemed to care about. As soon he expresses an interest in it, there’s an all-out war. Everyone wants to play with the cool new toy.
  • A university freshman chooses to major in accounting because his friend (who seems like he has it all together) really wants to be an accountant. For the job security, of course.