Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ostentatious relative asceticism

What are we calling the genre of, outlandish rich-person behavior exposed, with the express purpose of eliciting comments from readers who are all in a race to announce how not-fancy and not-schmancy they are, unlike some people? Exhibit A: this Jezebel post about expensive prom dresses. (No, I did not watch the video. I was already aware that some girls spend this much on prom, I think from reading about it before, not even that long ago, on Gawker or Jezebel.) The commenters are all delighted with themselves for having spent less than $3,000 on prom. Bonus points if thrift stores, part-time jobs, or DIY sewing projects are mentioned, but even just having spent $300 on a dress from the mall is cause for celebration. The entire thread is just this list of $80, $100, $10 and we have a winner!

So I came up with CCOA, YPIS, and scrappiness oneupmanship, but on this I'm drawing a blank. What do we call this phenomenon? ORA is an option, but it's not exactly "asceticism." "Frugality" doesn't quite get at it, either, because it needs to be not that you chose not to spend thousands of dollars on your prom experience, but that you couldn't afford to do so. This needs to be presented in such a way as to suggest that the norm is to be able to afford the $3,000 prom prep, but that you, scrappy, unique, could not. But I do like the sound of ORF.

5 comments:

PG said...

Why is it not just of a piece with scrappiness one-upmanship?

Phoebe said...

Because the question is more what we call this genre of article, not how we classify the behavior of the commenters. Scrappiness-oneupmanship-bait? SOB is, alas, taken.

Britta said...

What's wrong with ORA? Or, SOUB (Scrappiness-OneUpmanship-bait)?

PG said...

I like SOUB.

Phoebe said...

SOUB it is.