100 thoughts on “The Dark Sides of Flex Culture

  1. Don’t forget to check out Smokey Glow!! Hannah’s video on flex culture: https://youtu.be/6QTQnNY4yLQ
    TIME STAMPS BELOW ✨
    0:00 – intro
    0:35 – what is flexing?
    2:30 – flexing on youtube
    2:57 – “new money” vs “old money”
    4:19 – the excessiveness of flexing
    5:45 – my opinions on designer/luxury items
    7:30 – the normalization of luxury clothing (Smokey Glow)
    8:24 – why are luxury brands all over youtube now?
    8:59 – luxury brands’ low wages and bad working conditions
    10:26 – overconsumption
    11:09 – the environmental impact of flex culture
    12:03 – the glorification of flying in private planes
    14:01 – bad influences for children
    17:49 – we are taught to desire luxury items, but are they worth it??
    19:26 – the unrealistic expectations of the influencer lifestyle
    20:18 – you don’t need new clothes constantly to be stylish
    20:50 – fake flexing
    22:37 – the illusion of a perfect appearance
    23:18 – the cost of trying to become an influencer
    24:08 – influencers can rent “aesthetic” apartments just for photos
    25:22 – Lil Tay
    26:13 – rent a private jet just for photos
    26:40 – some youtubers buy tons of clothes just for hauls, then return it
    27:25 – flex culture encourages the counterfeit market

  2. Hip-hop’s “flexin” is equivalent, I argue, to mainstream America’s “conspicuous consumption.” Both versions are exploitative, classist, and, in some cases, dangerous. The other part is that much of the display is a fabricated facade, the illusion of opulence and affluence. They clearly are promoting the items to get views; however, this doesn’t make the behavior any less dangerous.

  3. The ONLY person I've seen pull off those designer track suits is Amanda Seales. She fucking owns the hell out of a Gucci track suit. But otherwise… yes I agree lol.

  4. It’s impossible to buy completely ethical items yes but it is not impossible to buy only what you need and limit consumption. Everyone can do that and should.

  5. if you want fancy designer items, buy used/vintage!!! I know you don't get the 'experience' of unboxing a brand new item like when you order it new and directly from the brand, but buying used is much more sustainable and not to mention cheaper!!! Also personally I think vintage Louis Vuitton looks a lot cooler than new.

  6. Ha Interesting… Never tought about it but while you were talking about how meaningful would be to save the money and buy that one luxury brand item you really wanted and so on, I was thinking "If I had the chance to buy one luxury brand item what would it be?" I can't think of a single thing. The most expensive clothing item I've got is a R$300 ( aproximately $75) pair of boots, no particular brand, from 3 years ago. I've got it on sale and just cause I really needed a pair of boots since my previous one gave up on life. I only got that one cause I'm really particullar on shoes, I need confortable and durable ones. I'll wear them till they fall apart and I paid that price almost crying.

  7. The funny thing is you can buy so many designer brands at hugely reduced prices at Thredup, and you aren't burning that planet while you're at it 😂

  8. I don't repeat outfits but that's because I switch up the way I style the same things or accessorize, it's not hard to do if you've collected jewelry since childhood. I've always felt super pressured to look a certain way growing up as a child of immigrants in America. I've become so turned away from consumer culture and certain brands that I just buy what I like and people still love my style. They don't realize 50% is thrifted lol.

  9. Learn this about real money and those of us who don't care, we have it: MONEY TALKS….WEALTH WHISPERS….shut up and be dignified.

  10. This obsession the youth has with James Charles and Jeffree Star is disturbing to say the least.

    I swear that YouTube is an awful place in general for the whopping majority of kids to just freeroam to their hearts' content. The interface has only become easier for kids to navigate and communicate with strangers.

    I remember seeing my young gen z cousin at a Christmas party around 5 years ago, watching adult YouTube videos on autoplay. From how she was describing them to me, she obviously didn't understand what she was watching.

    Unfortunately, parents are just either not internet savvy enough to understand its dangers and how it works, or carelessly apply the overused, "you do you" culture to kids. Which is pretty infuriating to say the least.

    Closely monitoring your child's activity on the internet in general is one of the best things you can do as a parent.

  11. I don’t think Jefferee is too bad he is well aware that he is rich and he’s actually pretty generous. Idk he’s just not as annoying as rice gum lol

  12. i hate flex culture. it's not that i hate rich people, i hate how people act with their money. and treating places like walmart, mcdonald's, etc. like it's the plague and shopping there for jokes, it's gross. my family has been at points where we need to shop at dollar tree, you know? it's just as if these people have no self awareness.
    often times, you can get something that looks the same as designer for cheap

  13. can you make a video on retail workers? I know this isn’t social media related, but lots of us have had a retail job at some point, and perhaps you could link it onto this ‘equality’ stuff on social media, which is ironic as retail workers get treated like absolute shit?

    Thanks! Btw I quit my retail job

  14. I think there's almost no excuse for flying commercially in the current climate crisis, let alone flying privately. 🤮🤮 We all, and especially the rich, have an obligation to future generations (and to other species) to leave behind a habitable Earth. If you're rich, it's THAT much easier to make more ethical choices. To choose more expensive climate friendly brands, to choose the train in stead of plane, to eat plant-based..

  15. People in foreign countries see YTers flexing utter opulence and then they think that level of over-abundance is the norm in America.

  16. I have some cousins that are teens and have this luxury obsession. They'll ask me where I got stuff and I'll say it's vintage or it's from Goodwill and I'm met with disgust? Like no Karen I'm not paying 60$ for Hollister jeans when I can save money. They complain about the logos coming off their clothes and not being able to get genuine supreme. It's disgusting, frankly, considering the youngest is ten and the oldest is seventeen. It's an insane financial burden on their parents too

  17. Tiffany: [explains rich vs. wealth and the potential concept of rich-passing]
    Me: oh my god this is The Great Gatsby isn't it

  18. I just want to live in a nice small house or condo/apartment with an open floor plan. That’s all I want 😂😭 so I love watching videos of room or house/apartment tours bc a lot are so open and roomy. Watching Love it or List it and people have a huge house with so much space, but bc they have so many things, they need “more” space. Just size down and donate /give stuff away or sell it. I love buying things esp something I’ve been wanting for a long while, but buying things for hauls or filming a crap ton of haul videos is just wasteful. On clothes and money.

  19. you should do a kpop related video, me as a kpoper myself I’d love to hear your opinion or point of view about it😅

  20. Can you talk about toy channels on YouTube, the addictive nature of their videos, the impacts of them advertising to very young children, and the phenomenon that is blind bag/box toys and how that ties into their promotion of rampant consumerism to very young children?

  21. I was a fan of the British crew during my pre-teen/teen years and I honestly felt so bad all the time because no matter how many hacks or DIYs I tried my bedroom and my items would never look as good as theirs and I felt like that was my fault somehow because they just did it so easily. And that's cause the British crew back then wasn't HALF as bad as all this flexing is now. I can't imagine what goes through the mind of the kids watching these.

    The most disgusting thing tho, is that because I was a fan of these people and a huge part of their personalities surrounded their houses and items and traveling, I became super sympathetic of rich people. I couldn't criticize them at all because I felt close to them and because things always worked out for them and not for me I just felt they were better somehow. Looking back at it now it's just so gross to me how that works as propaganda.

  22. Did you see Smokey glows Christmas haul. You need a doormat that says hello my dudes like hers that says hi friends 😂😍

  23. The counterfit makeup is also almost definitely tested on animals. While Kylie Cosmetics doesn't test on animals, a counterfit version probably does.

  24. In regards to flights… YES. If they even do a little research they’ll see most airports give private screenings and escort you privately to your flight so you don’t deal with anyone except for the ones that pass you going to coach/business. Just wear glasses and a hood if you’re that worried lol. I’ve even seen so many major celebs while working in the airport flying on normal flights and walking through normally so I know it’s possible… do betterrrrr

  25. Gosh, flex culture is old as civilization or even complex life. Humans – in prehistoric times we collected things, made necklaces made of bones, ancient times more gold, medieval French court "Look I've got these shoes from Master Domenico from Firenze!". Other animals have this kind of behaviour aswell. Seriously, we are made that way.

  26. I know this is an overly used point but, when I was growing up my family was on the poorer side so we shopped at thrift stores and got incredibly nice, well made clothing. So I’m just saying, you don’t have to buy from like romwe to get very affordable clothes :))

  27. There’s a Youtuber I follow and basically his manager started dating this Instagram model and so I followed her and some other fans of the youtuber did as-well and this youtuber is a daily vlogger and he’s very open about things and so basically he travels a lot to the uk and Dubai and Australia for work or shows and the insta model literally flexes so much by making it seem like she does all this on her own when in reality she’s just there because she’s dating his manager and I remember one vlog where he said he was renting a red rolls Royce and all of his friends pitched in to rent it and then I go to her insta and she’s flexing with the car like it’s hers and 85% of her followers aren’t fans from his vlogs so they believe that the stuff is hers lol and that’s when I realized that Instagram is an illusion

  28. This was an interesting video and I really do agree that the fast fashion industry has gotten out of hand, but could you do a video looking into the limited ethical shops and their price. As a child in a welfare state, it seems impossible to escape these products as it is mostly the only thing to afford on hand. Also, the difference between low-class "supporting" unethical companies vs people who can afford to buy sustainable clothing is outrageous in my opinion. If I was able to afford it, I would only buy ethical clothes and products

  29. I have been thinking of getting airpads for a year now and I’m still not sure because the idea of throwing all this money on something that I might or might not like is really something I would put as priority especially that I need to save money for a few months to afford them however I don’t understand why people love the idea of presenting themselves as rich even tho they are not like really what is the point?

  30. Omg I’m the same way with the whole tacky thing. I personally feel like having the logo printed everywhere looks tacky and lazy as hell to me.

  31. Tiffany, "… I know you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back, but what you don't know is that sweater is not just blue , is not turquoise, is not lapis: it's actually cerulean … “.

  32. I’ll never forget I was about 16 and was dying for these Jessica Simpson wedges from DSW. They were 50$ (US) we are Canadian and live just across the border- so they were even more expensive in Canadian currency. After a month of wanting them I finally got my dad to drive me to get them.. I bought them.. tried them on again in the car and realized they were so uncomfortable I returned them a few minutes later the same day hahaha .. flexing in the early 2000’s

  33. as someone who does buy from websites like shein and romwe because i'm dirt poor and feels extremely horrible over it, i would kill to have the money these creators have so that i could buy sustainable fashion.

  34. How about buy 0 Louis Vuitton bags because they're tacky, overplayed and here's a big one, bad for the environment. Take that to the bank Emma Chamberlain you sellout!

  35. lmao *immm gettin heatedddd.* autotune.
    Did you see some of the viral 'Christmas wishlists' to Santa, with children ages 6-9.. asking for Gucci And Chanel bags, new Macbooks and AirPods.. its honestly disgusting that its gone so far that young children are now being deeply reached by all of this normalization of luxury items. Kind of how the makeup community has reached so far that 6 year old boys are doing full glam faces of makeup and posting them online, and ACTUAL brands are profiting off of this. ughhhhh.

  36. TIFFANY! I just started the book, Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton that explores the anxiety an individual feels from how society perceives them based on contemporary metrics of success, and how to overcome that anxiety. The book feeds directly into why individuals feel the need to flex. You should definitely read it!

  37. Ive been working in a luxury / designer department store for the last few months and ive learned a LOT tbh. Really rich people and I mean super super rich people wont flex things like gucci because to them its really not that special, people that aren't ' new money' are used to designer brands. So many customers come in, try stuff on, take pictures and then never buy it

  38. I think items from a lot of smaller designers that don't have the same name recognition are really fashionable and show a sense of true style. They may be too expensive for the average person yet I think if people with money want to be stylish they should stray a little from the norm and use their huge shopping budgets on something more creative and meaningful.

  39. You say you don’t understand why people would dress in logos, how they don’t have a sense of style, etc etc and you’re right. You wouldn’t understand bc you have NEVER HAD MONEY. There is a whole fashion world you wouldn’t understand bc you don’t. So you’re the judgmental, small minded person.

  40. Last year I decided to stop buying new clothes made in sweatshops (for someone who is 2000 euros in death, never had a credit card or has the ability to open one, recent drop out with no outlook on work and failure at life) this means only buying second hand. Except for underpants and socks, because I cannot afford to buy the domestically eco-friendly ones. Oh and the pair of pants my mum got me before she knew I was not buying new things. So I cannot understand how you would actually have enough money to buy at zero waste stores, buy ethically made clothing, etc and then not do it. No one can be 100% ethical. However, it is a shit load easier if you have more (or a lot) of money

  41. Here is a documentary about how these brands exploit their workers and put them through the harshest conditions
    https://youtu.be/n7hzomuDEIk
    Never looked at these brands the same ever since.

  42. It should be illegal for someone to have so many resources that they are outsourcing other people. This culture is demonic and toxic to humans.

  43. I'm sorry but your taste in bedding is really horrible. Looks like something a teenager on a Nickelodeon show would sleep in and do algebra homework on. I don't mean to offend you but I just had to get that off my chest because I was distracted by it for the whole entire video.

  44. "I gotta stop throwing baby onto everything it doesn't work" * hozier n his album shuffle away shamefully *
    Also that sweater is actually great, where did u find it?

  45. Was that Ashley, one of my favorite you tubers, featured on one of my other favourite you tubers channels? What is this, a cross over episode

  46. I’m 25 and the older I get, the farther I keep straying from anything g having to do with influencer culture. It’s so toxic

  47. Not even kidding, I bought a $30 mini backpack for my 3yo from Justice and at least 8 people in my social circle gave me grief over "spending too much on a baby". imma show these fools this nonsense right here. good grief.

  48. I've unsubscribed from so many beauty vloggers because of this. On their first videos they actually posted nice makeup tutorials, affordable lookbooks or whatever, then they started getting some money and all they ever posted were hauls and hauls of brands that were paying them to promote them. So many good YouTube channels became so boring and insufferable because of this. Sometimes the YouTuber even changed their personality and became really fake. It's sad.

  49. OH  – used to work at a portrait studio. people 1000% buy clothes for photos then return them. I can't tell you the number of times I had to hid tags in photos so people didn't have to remove them.

  50. I agree with you so much on all your points. I can't wait till I can get to the point where I can afford really sustainable brands and clothing that may have a higher price. But designer brands are so dumb to me.

  51. Whats the point of being rich if you cant spend your money without being judged. Like yes rich people should use their money for good but at the end of the day its theirs to spend

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