the uncontrollable urge of the rich to cosplay poverty

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Discussing poor core, also known as the poverty chic aesthetic, how it’s appeared in many forms throughout fashion history and the phenomenon of the rich paying exorbitant amounts of money for distressed, dirty clothing in their desperation to look cool. Talking about the online cancellation of the fashion brand Magnolia Pearl for their hobo inspired clothing and looking into their ethics and sustainability practices as a company.

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00:00 – intro
00:34 – Magnolia Pearl tiktok roast
02:56 – Skillshare
04:16 – what do “the poors” even wear?
08:14 – Balenciaga’s cry for attention
08:49 – the issue of art censorship
09:43 – why tech bros are the worst
10:24 – the true (fashion) crime nobody is talking about
13:12 – how should “the rich” spend their money?
15:11 – visual class segregation…?
16:52 – the evolution of “roasts”

Alice Cappelle: the working class aesthetic is cool now…?
The Ultimate Fashion History: THE ULTIMATE FASHION HISTORY: The 1830s & 1840s
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41 thoughts on “the uncontrollable urge of the rich to cosplay poverty

  1. Does anyone wears their Truth…. What’s the difference when a poor ( low wages) person buys $200 to $500 sneakers, & designer labels… to look rich! designer’s retail value is always Expensive… Rich people can do whatever they want… create jobs 😅 🪡🧵🥻👘👔👖dress well people!

  2. Looking "poor" is not the problem. The problem is ECONOMIC SEGREGATION, this is rich/wealthy people exist and only exist because they marginalize and impoverish millions of other people. So rich people cosplaying like working class or homeless people is an insult. No one is saying they look ugly or that the aesthetic is ugly. Get an Economy 101 book for dummies.

  3. I think the problem is more on how society looks at each class, if someone rich is wearing Balenciaga they won't reject them, but if a poor person wears unbrand clothes they would rejected.

    I would put my hair as an example i have curly hair that can get straighted easily, i recieve compliments weather my hair is straight or curly bc is the standard, meanwhile people with afro hair are made fun of.

    Now at the end of the day is upon us to not let society divide/judge us for what we wear or look, i'm the kind of person who loves when i see inspirations of cultures, but it would be nice if those brands do something to help the people they take inspirations from.

  4. what makes me furious is the rich appropriating the aesthetics of the working class, and then making the clothing inaccessible to people who relied on them (for example insanely driving up the prices of carhartt, dickies, etc. remember when champion suddenly skyrocketed a few years ago?). when talking about the rich cosplaying the poor, that's what came to my mind first, rather than someone not liking purposefully disheveled pieces. but of course there is a distinction to be made between cosplaying homelessness vs the working class. great video!

  5. A great example of poorcore is the music video for meet me at our spot by Willow. They meet under a bridge with graffiti and she’s dressed in tattered broken clothing lol. I don’t know why rich people feel the urge to buy and wear distressed clothing.. I get so sad when my favorite pair of jeans gets ripped, I try to mend them, patch them, but at some point I have to recycle them into something else. I get sad knowing that I have one less pairs of jeans. That now I have to go on the endless hunt of finding affordable jeans that fit me. Meanwhile rich people are out here buying 200$ jeans with holes in them 🥲

  6. ‘Balenciaga are posers’ she says about a house helmed by a creative director who as a child fled with his family from their home country as WAR REFUGEES something that majorly influences his work. There are so many legitimate critiques you can make of Demna and co – and none of you commentary channels manage ONE. Lol anyway its real annoying but no hard feelings

  7. Even for hobo looks this shit trash 😂😂like at least the death metal font shit was alright looking but some of this shit gives the “live laugh love” but homeless like y 😂

  8. This is an ice cold take that is really removed from reality if you think that "visual class segregation" should be solved by letting rich people play pretend as homelss people vs, Idk, everyone shopping at JCPENNEY instead to remove that "visual segregation" 🙃 Like girl go outside and idk maybe ask some "visually" homeless people their take on this instead of giving your weird opinion

  9. The issue isn't if it looks good or bad… it's that they're basically putting on a costume (down to the dirt??? On the face??) of people who CAN'T take care of themselves because of their circumstances, but those same wealthy people don't do anything to uplift that unhomed person from their bad circumstances (which no, dressing like them does not put food on the plate of someone who isn't designing and selling those clothes themselves, which if they look like these women are portraying, that homeless person wouldn't have the means to design and sell their own lines of clothes.) It's just gross; I don't know how to explain that it makes a mockery of the poor and that you should inherently care about other people like that, far beyond if it "looks good or bad" that's… a very weirdly unempathetic way to frame this arguement and is and has never been the point of people's distaste of "poor core" as you put it. I think Boho Hobo for the rich can be put to rest, because no one who is actually poor dresses like that on purpose and it's an insult to call it "Art" unless the intention is to call attention to the horrible conditions homeless people face. It isn't "Art" if the pieces of "poor core" clothes aren't ACTIVELY funding the people who don't have any other choice but to dress and look like that. If it isn't helping the community you are mimicking then it is harming them, full stop.

  10. If I were rich, I would just spend all day making clothing myself and send myself to fashion school and start my own slow fashion children's designer brand featuring classic high southern society fashions (The south in the U.S. they were so freaking extra) and I would bring back ruffles for little boys 🎉

  11. I don't find most arguments presented here particularly convincing. I haven't followed the original discourse much but it does seem like you are oversimplifying some takes that would be more nuanced and more worthy of discussion because it makes it easier to disagree:

    – I would agree that calling anything problematic simply because we don't like it is not exactly rare and is counter-productive and disingenuous. But to me it seems like you are taking an extreme position that you could not follow consistently: So if [some] people are exaggerating, nothing can be problematic about the rich dressing like hobos? There's no point that that might cross the line for you? Besides, it's not about some "hobo culture", but it might well be about how insulting it can be for marginalized groups that their oppression is worn like a badge of coolness. This doesn't make homeless people suddenly look cool and stylish; miraculously, it only works the other way around. And we already knew that, for example from black peoples' style being appropriated by white people. It's not like we needed the example of the untouchables of every society to find out. I didn't expect to feel the need to say that poverty only feels cool on rich people. I could go on, but the point is that frowning on this can be totally different to simply not liking it. I for one don't like even ripped jeans and anything similar that simulates "lived in" but is anything but. I much prefer clothes that seem like a genuine reflection of the person who wears them from this aspect. I never felt the need to write any rant against that though, let alone on similar terms to this. I'm not the kind of person who thinks white people wearing dreads is "problematic". I think that some cultural police shouting "appropriation" on every chance would only succeed in providing the markedly worse alternative of cultural isolation. But come on, this is more like trivialization and rich playing the cool persons with other peoples' source of suffering, which is a direct consequence of the power they hold. It does seem just a little bit annoying. At least we should be able to criticize it and not be treated like woke puritans or something.

    – As a working class person whose politics are geared more towards anarcho-communism, it would be totally inconsistent for me to think that ultra-rich should not exist, then be ok with the fact that clothes are made to be affordable only to the ultra-rich, making their designers also rich in the process, because they enable some people to flaunt how much more stylish they can be compared to us peasants. Following your logic, why would it not be equally ok that rich people can obtain all things that are generally better and thus more expensive than the rest of us can afford? In all cases, other people who make money off what rich people buy so it must always be ok? Elsewhere you are making the point of respecting bodily autonomy as a counter-argument for those who criticize hobocore. But why does it seem to you that it's less ok than hobo chic when rich people – or anyone else, for that matter – like wearing simple clothes because if anything, they might want to express themselves through minimalism/total absence of styling cues? Why should they not do this and hire a stylist instead? Other than self-serving reasons, obviously.
    – Edit: I should also mention that at various points of my life I have hung out with anarchist/queers/lefties that dressed and acted as if they were far poorer even than my unemployed self, only for the fact to slip slowly around cracks on their narratives that they were actually well-off. I couldn't even speak about my experiences around people who seemed to do everything poor people do for survival. On second thought, hobocore is relatively harmless; there's people out there who would even appropriate your forced lifestyle for social points.

  12. I saw a magnolia pearl video and didn’t know anything about “poor core”. I immediately fell in love with these beautiful clothes but was sad to find out they were generally $500.00 a piece. I’ve never seen a poor person wearing clothes like that

  13. It feels like mocking tbh. They're tourists who get to return to their rich lives whenever they feel like it. Poor people don't have options, rich people have unlimited options. I don't care what they wear I guess but I do think they look dumb as hell.

  14. Even if it's tacky, in poor taste, or just ridiculous, I think calling this cultural appropriation is a misstep, and patronizing. Are we calling ripped dirty clothes the culture of the poor, which should be protected?

  15. I clicked on this video because I personally dress very earthy and bohemian.. I never knew the rich were trying to dress like the poor.. I always thought the more expensive boho clothes were for people who want the same shabby chic or hippie look but with higher quality construction? This is very interesting!

  16. When this trend ends and it’s unfashionable, poor people will still have this aesthetic. We can have this conversation, but it fails to address the trends apparent growth in popularity, while the number of homeless people is on the rise. Reading the room has its benefits. Wear whatever and spend your money on what you like, but poor core is problematic no matter how you try to dismiss it. I was once homeless and believe you, the people dressed like these two in dress up was humiliating, shameful,and dehumanizing.

    The idea that we even have a poor core shows that we have a problem greater than one community of people who lack the creativity to imagine a new fashion trend. It speaks to the greater problem of how capitalism creates a class system based on the have and have not, and how the have nots are exploited in order to benefit the haves. If we’re the most wealthy society in history then this fashion trend wouldn’t even be a thing.

    This trend also highlights the on going desire to cosplay marginalized groups. It’s giving fetish tea. Nope. But you outfit is cute AF and at least I can see that you took time to do this. Respect even if I don’t agree fully.

  17. I think it's the same response that the black community has to the rich upper class wearing hairstyles that were deemed "inappropriate" in the work place. A working class person can't show up to a business interview in jeans and a tshirt. I think it's the expression of privilege that elicits this response especially in comparison to the actual homeless and working class population who are STILL unfairly judged and excluded from certain societal places simply because of the clothing they have access to.

  18. Hi, sorry me again, just found you and commented on another one of your videos. Towards the end of this video (all of which was again Very Interesting) you stated words to the effect that: if you don't like what they're wearing then just say so, but don't make comments to the effect that the clothing is too expensive or appropriating 'hobo culture'.. I am a bit bemused by this intellectually (suggestive that I an idiot consider myself intellectual) because a strong counter argument would be that: you don't have a point to make / argument if you cannot articulate that argument i.e. give reasons to back up a conclusion. Every Essay / Dissertation / Thesis / Argument must surely be Supported by Evidence and or an Opinion which can then be countered / picked apart / disproved / or synthesized i.e. built upon / expanded or improved.. Opinion Without Evidence is of course the harder to Prove, but not necessarily Incorrect. My point is you seemed to err on the side of expressing a Conclusion Without giving Either: Opinion or Evidence.. or Evidence for an Opinion even.. am I way off?.. sorry i'm not trying to be a thorn in your side. I find your videos very nuanced and in depth. Also you raised another important philosophical question about spending and the justification of extravagant spending, but I won't open that Pandoras Box until you perhaps answer my question. Thanks for the videos 🙂

  19. As someone who grew up in extreme poverty with a disabled mother, a lot of my life was about sustainability. That hasn't changed as I used loan and scholarships to get a degree and move into the middle class.

  20. I'm not against a loose, relaxed style but I'm highly against the price and glamorization. Poor people are laughed at and shamed for looking disheveled but when wealthy people do it, it's quirky and fun. People should be able to dress however and it not be judged for it.

    This reminds me of boho. Boho was taken from romani clothing and poor creatives in france. The full circle skirts, head scarves, and bell sleeves are roma and the tattered thin layers are from poor people only being able to get old, moth eaten clothes.

  21. Its weird that they're making the argument that all poor people core and making the argument that all poor people have a common culture and that tattered clothes is representative of a poor persons culture is mad. Its feels very much like consumption laws except its coming from the bottom second and third raw of the pyramid. Its fascinating how we police each other into upholding the status quo that's oppressing us.

  22. What I don’t like is when brands catch up to this and make their clothes expensive forgetting a bulk of their buyers buy from them cos they don’t have enough money…like brands like Fila were cheap when I was little now that I’m an adult it could go head to head with some of the big brands…it’s just a little unfair imo

  23. It’s the distressed factor that will always be an eye roll to me. The already ripped jeans. The raw hems and frayed wools or knits.

    I grew up poor in a practical, one new pair of cheap sneakers and jeans per year for the first day of school, kind of way. And after that you wore them every day with different tops. Then laundry every weekend and start again. The goal was always to try and make them last as long as possible. The bottom of the sneaker comes off you glue. Holes start in the knees of your jeans, you try to keep them from getting too big and hopefully not till spring cause winter is cold. It’s a mindset. Clothes have a practical purpose and when your resources are few, you start with the practical (good quality, useful in different seasons and situations) and THEN have fun with the rest (like cut or color/ pattern or embroidery/ beading/ decoration.)

    So affordable clothes being made from cheaper and cheaper material that doesn’t last is bad. But everyone from rich to lower middle class purposely buying clothes that are ALREADY falling apart when brand new, (because it looks “cool”) is just a sign of how ridiculous and bored human beings can be to me. They’re expressing themselves? What, exactly, are they expressing? If you want to buy worn down clothes (because why again? Lol) then buy actual used worn down clothes. Or buy new and wear them till they become worn down naturally.

    (And FYI before they sold already ripped/ worn down jeans, what made them cool, was that they were YOURS. The longer you had a pair the more they became personalized. The rips and white patches were based on YOUR body, your exact curves. They became a second skin and therefore a prized possession. If you crashed somewhere and borrowed someone else’s jeans they felt SO weird. Even if it was your size, the rips and white spots were off. In the wrong spots. You could immediately tell they weren’t yours.)

    And I’m not picking on the rich. I’m talking to everyone. Wear all the distressed clothing you want, but don’t buy distressed brand new. Don’t MAKE and manufacture distressed brand new. It’s so weird and frivolous. (And if you really want to think try looking up videos about HOW fast fashion clothes are made to BE distressed in factories. What it takes/ costs workers. It’s not good.)

    It all reminds me of this one moment in the hunger games, at the capital. Where they have too much good food so they drink something to make them throw up, so they can keep eating/ tasting more. I always thought it was a great scenario/ example. Food is eaten for real, practical reasons. Making it taste good is a bonus. But wasting food so you can JUST enjoy the taste is the sign of privilege gone awry.

    And I know that sounds mean, but I won’t feel too guilty calling people silly. 😂

  24. This isn't appropriation. It's PREDICTIVE PROGRAMMING It's a PREVIEW of what's Coming with the Impending Economic Crash. There is MUCH going on behind the scenes. The country & it's resources are being PURPOSELY DESTROYED. This is the VISION the Elites have for the Future. And the celebrities; their job is to MODEL it.

  25. the thing that bothers me is how from experience the people that would discriminate and belittle me for my clothes and over all life styles are now the ones spending thousands to replicate it then post a photo in it then throw it away once the trend is over. for a lot of us that is literally not an option and that pisses me the fuck off

  26. Honestly I wouldn't dress like a rich person if I was rich (Im moderately wealthy, but not enough to be considered rich, I couldn't buy a house without loan for example), but also wouldn't go out of my way to look as poor as possible either. I worry it could make you a bigger target for criminals if people think you have a lot of money, and its actually astounding how many go out of their way to appear rich (whether they are or not). Wanting to appear poor for that reason actually makes sense to me, but doing it because its trendy seems pretty stupid and also disrespectful to actually poor people

  27. I think the issue is that they also cosplay poverty in how they act, they’ll align themselves with our values and needs in a college setting but once they go home theyre completely agaisnt us again (this is at least very common where I live)

  28. Y'know I've always been too poor to buy clothes, style was something I had to get super creative with, having a non-standard body shape limited what would even fit me so fashion has always been a really important form of self expression to me. I see things I've worn/altered/resorted too out of poverty come in and out of fashion trends all the time, mostly I find it funny, a little sad and move on in my life. Sometimes it's nice when aspects of my normal style become popular, but I draw the line at "hobo" as a fashion statement. I concider that to be a word used cruelly against someone living precariously or on the street. Distressed fashion is just a style choice, an aesthetic that can evoke a variety of working class signifiers, but to explicitly call it "hobo" is pretty gross to me personally. I've been homeless, it's not stylish, and I've not been in the kind of long term situation where I was sleeping rough. It feels like the same to me as "prison outfit" as a fashion choice, this isn't a chosen style for those people, and the systemic discrimination and inequality that forces a person into having little to no choice in how they dress tends to be privileging the people who decide where the latest fashion trend should go. Not every individual consumer is going to even think about it too deeply but fashion trends don't come out of nowhere. Makes me feel sick to think of extremely wealthy fashion brands perpetuating inequality in their labour practices and registering in a tax haven where the owners have one of there mega-yatchs berthed just thinking for even a second that the next trend should be the aesthetics of homelessness and revolve around the word "hobo".
    I haven't even got into the issues where this intersects with gender, mental health, and other minorities who suffer the sharpest edge here. I would absolutely give the benifit of the doubt to an individual choosing to adopt this style no matter there income bracket. Just being able to choose your clothes is a privilege under capitalism, which is of course the real problem, I reserve all my judgment and condemnation to the people who oppress with one hand and take "style tips to monetize" from minorities with the other.

  29. So my sister is weather than me, and she's learned to thrift over the past few years. Her biggest hurdle to get over was to get past the disappointment of finding a garment she liked but then discover that it was the wrong size or too worn for her taste. She came from the mindset of clothes always coming in her size and new, so the only issue would be the fit.
    Luckily she's become more accustomed to thrifting and very into sustainable fashion, so now she buys as much as possible trifted.

  30. I don’t think anyone would confuse these outfits with how homeless people actually look. There is an obvious difference between so-called “poor people,” usually meaning the young service industry (especially the young labor aristocracy, temporarily working the service industry), and the homeless. The rich and their children have long been taking great pains to disguise themselves as fashionably poor, but these outfits are overt parodies. Much like a rainbow headdress or pre-distressed jeans, there is no mistaking this for the thing itself. “Appropriation” is technically a value-neutral term: it does not automatically mean “immoral.” But there is no question that poorcore is appropriative, and if people choose to use their freedom to judge that negatively, I’m certainly not going to impinge upon their freedom to do so.