Remember the good ol’ days when people lacked actual homes and furniture so they used stuff like crates and burlap to create some kind of structure to help them out along the way of pursuing the “American Dream?” Ah, the Great Depression. What a time.
With each old trend going into hiding, another one appears. For quite some time, there has been a trending lifestyle that is actually a mockery of living in poverty.
There are two sides to the trending phenomenon. One that chooses to live a lifestyle similar to poverty, let’s call them the “new-age simple folk.” It’s the tiny houses and pickled food without the lack of money just to subtly say “screw you!” to capitalism (all while feeding it).
The other that rejects the material poverty but chooses to turn poverty into an art form, let’s call them “dada’s rejects.” It’s the decrepit car with a splash of glitter and a more vocal “screw you.”
Either side is an attempt to reject gentrification while gentrifying, and the most confusing part of it is that it is all a choice. People are choosing to have nothing and glamorize trash as an aesthetic.
The “new-age simple folk” have delved into the world of simplicity while finding solace in material objects that might make them seem poor. That handcrafted coffee table from Arizona with wood imported from the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake was actually a few grand, but it looks simple right?
It has become trendy for coffee shops and bars to be styled with wooden crates and edison lights that seem to be celebrating the charm of the Great Depression.
The Great Depression was literally depressing, yet the style is somehow appealing. Man, if the “new-age simple folk” lived through it, there could have been some great coffee shops in those tent cities.
“Dada’s rejects” get off on seeing anything what could be trash and turn it into art. Newer pop-up art shows are saturated with a collection of dumpster-diving remnants that have been painted over and plastered onto the ceiling.
This art form lacks any actual depth as it recycles trash, adds some millennial pizzaz with some pretentious quote, and is perceived as mind blowing.
See a penny, pick it up, cover it in glitter, attach it to a string and bam! You have a statement necklace that somehow represents the decline of currency and the irony of capitalism in some obscure way.
It’s a world where anything can be turned into some type of rebellious outcry when it is really a privileged joke.
This pretentious trend is offensive to people who don’t have a choice. Not only is it mocking those without a choice, it doesn’t reflect anything productive.
If this generation is so progressive, then why don’t we move on from trying to find the appeal in the haute version of trailer parks and using any attempt to glamorize trash just to label it edgy.
This is of course just a trend, but it’s incredibly pretentious, and sooner or later this will be another one that will diminish and rise again after Generation Alpha considers it a worthy transition from loop earrings.