The millennial generation is all about ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’. Armed with memes and a very fragile constitution that might result in a mental breakdown any second of any day, we are obsessed with making sure we impress and at the same time become the object of envy of everyone around us.
A while ago, I read this article about the so called “Urban Poor” of our country.
These are adults who made the decision to leave their homes to try and make a name for themselves (Kudos!) and in the process of climbing up the career ladder, they internalise the pressures that surround them and start spending money they don’t have to make it look they have money. (Wait, what?)
“Urban poor”: People who starve themselves so that they can buy that 300 rupee sandwich and impress their colleagues.
“Urban Poor”: A woman who bought a car but then had to live in it because she couldn’t afford to pay rent anymore.
(Ah. The sweet sound of first-world problems in a third world country. )
We are supposed to sympathise and feel sorry for these people. Pity them and their (non-existent) hardships. These are the modern tales of perseverance that we will all share and remember.
After all, we would rather keep our pretences than admit we are in no position to afford the luxury we currently possess. Right? But “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have” is a sound advice only so far as when you dress to impress, not when you dress to keep up with your vanity and poor decision making skills.
Urban Poor V. urban poor
The “Urban Poor” have choices and numerous opportunities on their side separating them from the actual urban poor who are homeless and have to sleep on the streets; with their belongings, that fit easily inside a small polythene bag and to which they clutch while sleeping in fear of losing the only things they can call “theirs”.
Choice. And opportunity. That is what separates them.
They hide under the façade of being poor in an urban setting when their poverty was actually self-induced and honestly, could be done away with, if only they made more rational choices.
The Haves And The Have-Nots Of Society
Where the “Urban Poor” disguise themselves for the sake of those they interact with on a daily basis in real life, your fashion bloggers and food bloggers and your local Instagram models do the exact same thing, but for an online social media audience.
Have you ever seen those makeup review videos on YouTube? To keep up constant traffic to their channel, they have to upload at a minimum of two videos a week. And they have to review a different product in each of their videos to keep fans interested.
Do you have any idea how expensive cosmetic products are??
It’s not as if the cosmetic brand is sending them free goodie bags so that they can promote their products. That doesn’t happen till you have at least half a million subscribers routinely tuning in to your channel.
Till that happens, you just buy the products. With your own money.
Or is it your parents’ money?
Because, the only way any of these people they feel comfortable enough to pursue their dreams is because they have a solid safety net in place and can run along to their parents in the event something goes wrong.
You think the have-nots of the society could make a bold enough decision? You think they even have that choice?
These “jobs” sound very fancy and inviting, till you realise they aren’t open to the general population; to Regular Ol’ Joes like you and me.
But then again, it’s like any other entrepreneurial decision, I guess. And in this case, the product you’re selling is yourself. The only person you can depend on is yourself. And the more you promote yourself, the more money you’ll make.
Image Credits: Google and Buzzfeed