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By Pearl Bullivant on August 21, 2017 in People

This kid lined up for hours to pay $755 for a f**king t-shirt.

A philosophical Pearl often questions whether she is living in an altered state of reality. One day I’m assisting pensioners to balance a budget while I’m placating a yummy mummy who cannot cope with her children despite the live-in nanny, the following week I’m waging a war with Abstudy and listening to my great-nephew whinge about a school kid whose father has a helicopter. I might be at a dinner party and upset the host by suggesting that the wealthy should be living within their means instead of complaining that they are doing it tough, or walking back to my apartment past Range Rovers that could double as luxury beds for the homeless.

Affluent Australians live in an altered reality, a reality that lacks resilience, where every setback is a major disappointment and a reason to throw a tantrum. Take, for instance, the bizarre reaction of a fashionista who had stupidly lined up at 3am to purchase a $1400 hoodie from the LV pop-up store in Bondi, complaining that his kidneys, back, and ankles hurt from prolonged exposure, and that he had been “violated” and “disrespected” by the store. There’s definitely no sign of an Australia that is supposedly in recession when 100 people are prepared to pay $445 for a bandana; all I see is stupidity and a lack of empathy for those who have no alternative but to sleep rough.

Then there’s the ‘news’ that 30 per cent of 1000 Australian women believed that posting the same outfit twice on social media was “an unthinkable fashion faux pas” forcing “fashion forward women” and “influencers” to spend $10,920 annually on clothes. $10,920! There are women who barely have $10.92 remaining from their Centrelink benefits each fortnight, yet we have a bunch of wusses whinging about the pressure from social media to keep up with the latest trends, claiming that this is a “societal norm”. Oh my, how devastatingly pathetic.

Do these whingers and wusses sit back and reflect, or is self-reflection reserved only for the realms of the yoga room and meditation retreat? The intense 30-somethings who are so determined to build their ‘dream home’ (reflecting their pre-kiddy life in New York), throwing their LL.Bs in the face of any neighbour who dares challenges their DA and their ‘right’ to possess a bathroom that transports them back to their luxury honeymoon in Marrakech – do they ever pause and consider how people survive in fibro constructs along the railway line in Mount Druitt?

Affluent Australia has gone beyond ‘middle class’ issues. Instead, our issues are vanity, a drive for perfection, and slavery to ridiculous food and fashion trends. Reality TV programmes like ‘Yummy Mummies’ and ‘The Real Housewives of Sydney’ are sterling examples of the pathetic and weak among us; those who cannot tolerate less than perfect, while the masses are keeping it real on low incomes in the ‘burbs and travelling on trains. In society we all have needs and wants, but to the affluent every want is a need.

Love ‘Influencer’ Pearl



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