Being Privileged May Not Be a Choice, But Acting Human Is

A response to Thought Catalog’s piece on the social challenges of affluence.


A Thought Catalog story titled “Being Privileged is Not a Choice So Stop Hating Me For It” was brought to my attention this morning. Before reading it, I thought it may have been the seeds of a brand new genre of blogs dedicated to the parodic hardships of being “privileged.” Much to the entire Internet’s dismay, it was an earnestly written piece I think we can call The 1% Blues or as Amelia eloquently put it, the article equivalent of an #OMG #NoMakeup #SoUgly Instagram #selfie.

When did the humble brag lose its humble?

The story spawned two notable parodies–one care of Jezebel titled, “Being Stupid Is Not A Choice, So Stop Hating Me For It,” and another from The Atlantic Wire titled “Mastering the Art of The Thought Catalog Troll.”

Frankly, I think I understand where the author wants to be coming from but she lost me after attempting to cull favor with her part-time and baby sitting jobs. The consternation she describes seems trivial at best; cataloging the hardships inherent to life inspires far less empathy when they stem from a person’s affluence.

It could be argued, however, that success sprouted after a previous generation’s stint with it, and the subsequent perks, are a hindrance for some.

Take Lena Dunham. She’s written, directed and starred in a TV show that became the zeitgeist of our generation in two pithy seasons. This issue of her parents’ achievements is a favorite topic of killjoys; so what if her parents are famous artists? Shouldn’t that be further fodder to—no matter how much you may hate her or like her—commend her for not relying on their legacy and instead to pursue her own?

Of course, the problem with Thought Catalog’s story is really with the author herself. Her essay is bleeding self-consciousness and equal parts curious and obvious urgency to feel accepted.

Though I’m confounded by the silly assumption that everyone of less-than-privilege judges her because of her financial status, I’m mostly intrigued by the examples she draws. I didn’t have student loans either, however the conversation about them has never bothered or embarrassed me. And when they do come up, the response is always the same, an internal: thank you baby Jesus and Joseph and the donkey on which they gallop sense of gratitude.

It doesn’t seem entirely necessary to lie about the state of her suits’ newness, either—a “thank you, I appreciate it” would probably fare just as well—and I’d be hard-pressed to assume that her doorman (who is clearly dealing with many more ladies of privilege by virtue of his occupation) gawks at her J. Crew packages. But I also understand that lamenting about life in New York is part of a role that many try out as kids in young adult bodies.

Ultimately, the author is seeing the world through a unilaterally critical, albeit delusional lens that is likely incredibly different from what is actually happening to and around her. If I had to guess, no one gives a shit about what she does or does not have. Her problem seems rooted in something far more personal. Maybe in reversing the topic tethered to the young New Yorker’s lament about her bank account that always harbors “enough money,” she is, just like the rest of us, trying to trek on.

The thing of it is, no one likes a brat.

Get more Brain Massage ?
  • Sars

    Growing up privileged only gives you the cushion to explore your creativity– ie; if THIS doesn’t work out, my parents can/will support me. So many are stifled by the pressure to support themselves, spending their time and energy only on things that are guaranteed to be lucrative.

    But what do I know, I don’t have student loans either…

    • Kirsten F

      True, but that’s a huge ONLY.

  • Greta Nolan

    I have a feeling that this article of hers actually comes from a much less self-conscious, and much more braggardy place than she’d like us to think- for starters, who writes an article about being privileged and feeling victimised because of it? Reality check needed perhaps? As a middle class, university education gen-y’er from Australia, in my relatively short life I’ve discovered that people only care/envy/judge you on being priveleged if you BEHAVE overtly “privileged” (read:brat).Most people don’t care how much your suits cost- I’ve found that generally you are more judged on your professional ability, your personal entertaining factor and yes, your physical appearance. But, that’s just my opinion…

  • CUlater….

    This post is an insult. Work on your content homegirl. You can’t tap dance around a sociological issue with the level of breadth that privilege has and write some shitty 500 word response to it and expect it to make some sort of impact or facilitate discourse. Try again.

    • poemaXX

      So you don’t link to your blog when you’re being an a**? Try again.

    • Charlotte

      Funny how you use the word insult. Try again.

    • Annalee

      The responce is a joke. Go write your sob story else where. Try again.

  • I get where she was coming from. I’m not “privileged” per say but I do take cause with people upset with offspring of wealthy/comfortable families.

    It’s the American dream to be struggle, work hard and become successful to provide for your children so they won’t have to endure the same strife.

    I always get mad at your own parents and not theirs. Yes the author may be a bit delusional but then again she was born into a-whole-nother tax bracket.

  • Molly

    Totally agree! I am quite sure no one is gawking at her J Crew deliveries, Chanel would be different story! No one cares about how much money you do or don’t have, what people care about is how you behave. Anyone who flaunts their wealth surely does not have much of it, and those who belittle people with less money than them are devoid of class entirely.

    • Kelly M

      Entirely true, those who have to talk about money clearly don’t have much..

    • ashley kilback

      Totally agree with you Molly, great point!

  • earlyholo_scene

    To a point, being privileged IS a choice. Even though my parents offered to pay for my Bachelor’s degree, I chose instead to work three jobs to support myself and pay my own tuition. I am now paying off student debt from my Doctorate after making the same decision for that degree. I thought having to work for it would make me appreciate it more and help me understand better the value of money and time. I was right. I remember the sense of satisfaction when counting tips at the end of a bartending shift, knowing I was supporting myself. I was doing it. Sure, it was tough a lot, and sometimes when I see my student loan debt now I think I should have gone the easier route, but nothing can replicate the drive, ambition, and sense of self-satisfaction created by doing it on your own.

    • d4divine

      I have student loan debt as well. I can say, without a doubt, that if my parents had had the money to pay for my education…I would have jumped on it with both feet. I feel no extra drive, ambition, or self-satisfaction for “doing it own my own”….because I had no choice. Lucky you for turning that frown upside down.

  • BlancheMeetsDorothy

    Leandra – I’m a long time fan of the blog, but I’m deeply disconcerted by what seems like a bit of a flip response to a deeply unsettling piece. It’s not just that the author is a brat. It’s that she (and frankly you) ignore the elephant in the room. That is, the massive socioeconomic shift that’s been underway for the past few decades in the US. The rich are getting dramatically richer, the poor are getting poorer and our once burgeoning middle class is disappearing at an alarming rate. Why is this happening? Because of focused and targeted spending by the ultra-wealthy (see: Koch Brothers) toward political campaigns and politicians that support policies that strip away support systems for the middle class while protecting the wealthy. In our post-Citizens United world, the wealthy can actually buy influence, and for some reason the scales always tip in their favor. No one gives a hoot about the author’s J. Crew packages, or how new her suit is. It’s her blatant ignorance about what’s happening politically in this country, and what it means to be wealthy and poor – and why people might take issue with the former – that’s really sickening.

    • Magda McCann


    • Kate Barnett

      There’s no question that those issues are far more important than whether or not a rich girl feels like she’s being judged. And that sentiment is integral to why Kate Menendez’s piece so galling. It’s that obliviousness that we’re reacting to, one that allows a girl to earnestly whine about possible sidelong glances as her main complaint with the current socioeconomic state. It’s absurd.

      We focused on the tone and content of the piece, and the sense that perhaps – given her self-victimization in the article – if people dislike her it’s not because of privilege. That being said, there’s nothing better than quality discourse, and the best possible outcome is if this spurs on a larger discussion.

    • Leandra Medine

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply! There’s no question that those issues are far more important than whether or not a rich girl feels like she’s being judged. That’s why we found kate menendez’s piece so galling. It’s that obliviousness that we’re reacting to. One that allows a girl to whine about possible sidelong glances as her main complaint with the state of socioeconomics.

      • BlancheMeetsDorothy

        Well said! Thank you for the reply, and your coverage of these kinds of stories. Good read and obviously conversation-provoking!

    • Poe

      Maybe you know something I don’t… from what I understand, the Koch Brothers support green energy, capitalism, and most importantly education… all of which I believe is better for this country. To break it down simply, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”… IMHO, grants for higher education is going to be much more effective at fixing the socioeconomic divide than handing out money for entitlement programs will.

    • Kim P.

      Great points. I appreciate you calling her out. Whether it’s done in the post, or done in the comments, this platform is a great tool to discuss and share ideas, perspectives, and thoughts.

      Leandra probably isn’t ignorant towards these issues either, she may have just simply wanted to present the topic at hand and get the input and thoughts of others, in that, it was successful.

      Though I do agree she could have addressed “the elephant in the room” in the post (even to some degree), writers are you and me…we fuck up sometimes, we forget things, or we act on impulse, or we simply don’t know it all, or think to write from different possible angles. It happens. I’m happy you said what you said, and I’m happy Leandra acknowledged you also. THIS IS WHAT IT’S ABOUT! So over people that are so over debating. Ugh. Amateurs.


    • Ashma John

      I agree with everything being said here and I’m glad you raised the issue about the elephant in the room. Even though you are very much right, there are sometimes one off people who judge you for being in a better position even when you’re voicing your opinion or trying to do something (just out of spite I feel) Where I come from,people sometimes dismiss you immediately because you may be in a more fortunate position which is very much unfortunate. I’ve seen this and experienced it. At my first show review i was called out for being a brat from a wealthy family after i gave my honest opinion. With that being said yeah I still agree with you and you should focus on the bigger picture ALWAYS.Thank You for raising such a brilliant point BlancheMeetsDorothy
      Here is the link to the article and my blog

  • Michaela Webb

    Well said. I also thank baby Jesus and his donkey every time student loans are brought up and I didn’t even grow up that “privileged.” This girl needs a little perspective.

  • Amatoria Clothing

    It’s sad that she’s spending time to complain about this rather than doing something usefull with this “extra money” she seems to have. Her discomfort may actually coming from a lack of self-satisfaction.

  • Stacey Freeman

    I don’t like Lena Dunham. Not because she is successful, but because that show is a ridiculous display of privilege (apathetic and seemingly ungrateful at that). But that is really besides the point. Its not very hard to score a run when you start at 3rd base. I would be much more impressed if she had to earn her spot on the team. I basically agree with everything BlancheMeetsDorthy said.

    • BlueBelle

      … you don’t like Lena Dunham or you don’t like Hannah Horvath?

      • Stacey Freeman

        Lena Dunham created the show (and writes and directs for it), thus, the characters are her voice (including the whiny Hannah she portrays). The show is a grotesque display of white privilege, in my opinion. I’m not questioning her talent, I simply stated its a lot easier to pursue your passions and be successful when you have famous and rich parents.

        • Freckles

          Personally, I wouldn’t call Lena’s character, Hannah, privileged (aren’t her parents only teachers?). She is trying to figure everything out in New York while trying to become an author. Her take on the current generation is spot on with the parents wanting to help but not wanting to help her. Marnie had her art gallery job. Shos was going to school. Jessa is the world traveler and living out of suitcase with her cousin. Lena is very aware of the display of privilege with the first episode: Hannah asking her parents for money to survive each month regardless of what her parents make or plan to do in the future. It’s very spot on. I also had not heard of Lena Dunham or her parents until I heard about the show. If this was white privilege, I would have heard about her a long time ago. A prime example would be the Hanna Montana show in which Billy Ray used his success to make his daughter successful. Lena Dunham started small and went big as well. Networking is also the word used to gain connections as well. Sure, her parents could have helped her along the way but did THEY direct and write an EMMY nominated show?

  • Affluence is a problem I wish I had. 😉

    Learning to be happy with what you have can be a hard lesson for anyone – whether you have a little or a lot. I’ve always been of the mindset that, whether rich or poor, you should try to be kind, understanding, and humble. Those things don’t take money to attain, and they don’t take growing up poor to get, either.

    I also know that assuming someone is affluent can be a dangerous game. My friends often give me shit because my father paid for my bachelor’s degree, while they’re still struggling to pay theirs off. It’s tough because I know I’m lucky…but I also know the only reason my dad could pay for it was that he spent 30+ years working every overtime shift he could get in his construction job. He missed a lot of softball games, band concerts, and playtime with me to be able to give me that gift in my young adulthood. It’s hard to explain that to my friends, who just think my parents “must have inherited it or something.”

    So whether the people in your life are affluent or not, don’t be a dick about it and I’m sure everything will be a lot better.

  • tory

    Although i don’t like the tone of the author i understand what she is saying about being judge for being privileged. i mean, i sometimes get comments from people i go to school with like ” are you filthy rich?” what kind of question is that??? And, i am very careful with what i say and often with what i wear to avoid looking like a spoiled little rich girl but people do judge you for what you have. Some judge me because i don’t have enough money others because a have more than enough. The thing is we have to understand that for a lot of people $40 for a shirt is expensive, and we have to understand that is hard to have money and be able to live comfortably. Also, i understand where everyone that is judging her is coming from, i often judge people, not precisely for what they have, but because they think that they are better than everyone else. Once i heard someone say something like “oh you are poor because you drive a mini cooper” i jut ask myself what do thse people have in their heads.

  • Jocqulene

    Nico Lang’s rebuttal is pretty choice. This part made me l-o-l in class:

    “I used to date a doctor whose parents lived in the Gold Coast, and when I
    walked into his house for the first time, I felt like Brittany Murphy
    in Clueless, overwhelmed by the way he grew up. I muttered to myself, “You guys got Coke here?”

    Here is the link:

  • Kelli

    Please, please! Let us not forget to thank the Virgin Mary. I mean, Jesus, Joseph, the DONKEY and….. the BVM. Come on!

  • Akilah

    I appreciate that you took the time to write this post, but if I may add perspective:
    1) No one hates rich people because they are rich. NO ONE HATES PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE RICH. No one hates people because they are rich.
    People get miffed by rich people who act as if it isn’t an advantage to be rich without hard work who cannot be humble about the silver spoon in their mouths. When those born into wealth talk to those self-made or self-making-it, they need to recognize that some/most people don’t have parents paying their cell phone bills, or their apartment bills, or their student loans–that they should thank their family every day and never begin to talk about how hard they have it. If you’re so embarrassed when people bring up being strapped for cash because of student loans, grow up and get over it or offer to help pay it. Don’t cry “woe is me” because you don’t relate to debt. I ain’t hearin it! We all have problems, but having “everyone problems” + “I’m broke and tired and don’t get to just “try things out”” problems are much harder.

    2) I think the problem with the original post is that it reeks of a delusional self-affirmation: “everyone else is the problem.” If you find that people are calling you out for being an entitled dbag, maybe step back and realize you’re probably being an entitled dbag.

    3) Pointing out Lena Dunham’s affluent artist parents is not rude and if you consider that to be killjoy behavior then kick off with that yeti whine. Lena Dunham is talented despite the fact that she grew up very comfortably with a lengthy list of connections that ensured her success. No one is saying she’s untalented, but come on. Look at the cast of Girls. They aren’t “forging their own path”–their riding their parents’ coattails all the way to the bank. I love Girls, I can’t wait for the next season, but I’m not going to sit here and feel bad for knowing what’s up.

    *drops mic*

    • Kate Barnett

      Ha! Well done. I also don’t think it’s rude to talk about where an artist comes from, but I’ve been in more than a couple conversations where that’s used to somehow take away from her talent or what she’s achieved. Which I imagine is frustrating, but probably does hugely impactful.

      The overarching thing for me about the article is that sure, everyone has annoyances. And if a person doesn’t have a larger context or realm of experience, those annoyances probably feel very significant, though trivial in the grand scheme of things (people feel what they feel). But to then write seriously about these annoyances – in this case, the plight of the affluent – more than anything shows a flagrant and almost unbelievable lack of awareness.

      • marie a

        I don’t think that to speak of Lena Dunham’s parents takes away from her talent at all- the ability to create what she does cannot be bought. Still, it is important to realize that there are so many talented young girls who just don’t have the financial security and the freedom that comes with it to pursue these talents. Though Lena’s talent isn’t owing to her affluence, much of her success probably is.

        • KF

          Agreed. And I’ve often said the same thing about Leandra and this here blog. I will be the first to say that I have been a die hard fan of Man Repeller from the very beginning but I also recognize that part of Leandra’s success is because she has access to and can actually afford to buy these high end designers goods. Don’t get me wrong, Leandra is an AMAZING writer. I think that she got this far in large part because of her witty, articulate and cunning sense of humor but I also can’t ignore the costly clothing that she has worn since the very beginning giving her an allure and real connection to high end fashion that most people will never experience. This access and monetary resources undoubtedly, gave her an advantage over other bloggers. If you look at the hugely successful fashion/style blogs today, I cannot name one that is strictly doing vintage wear or “no name” designers (only Karla’s Closet comes close and that still involves costly wear, especially as of late).
          That’s to say, there may be another blogger out there that has a site that is just as good if not better than Man Repeller and maybe we’re not paying attention to that other blog because she does not have the privilege of wearing the same high fashion clothes and thus is not buzzed about in magazines and/or by designers.

  • Masha Nova

    Leandra, I always looked up to your work and you truly inspire me. But this one… It is just I expected that you would be more professional while discussing other people’s work. You are a role model to many, don’t forget that respect is the key.

    • marie a

      Seems like a respectful critique to me?

  • Marina Harbor

    Very interesting article and comments… Im not from the US so I struggle with english and sometimes is hard to understand exactly every point of whats written. But being rich or not is the same in every country and teaching our kids to be appreciative, humble, respectful is our job no matter how much or less money we have.

    When I was reading the article a book I read sometime ago came into my mind…
    “living great is the best revenge” by Calvin Tomkins… Im sure you guys will enjoy it!

  • While I haven’t read the article discussed here, I’d just like to point out a significant difference between being affluent and its opposite: if people dislike you because of your cash, they may want to harm you and you may be able to escape easily or at least find some good distraction, new exciting things etc.

    If you belong to the other 99% and people have no reason to hate you because of your money, they might choose something else and may cause you to suffer for real (e.g. your boss hates your naturally lush hair and will do many evil things to make you feel bad or something – while I did construct that, I have many real life stories to tell about people being hated for who they are and having to deal with bad consequences, but I am not in a mood to klick and tell right now (my guess being most of you can come up with some examples, too).

    Now, as to the student loans: maybe you should strive for a society where at least the first course of study is, like, for free? (Says one who botched her economy exam today and is paying about 100 euros for her part-time bachelor studies per semester, that’s after having done diploma in Slovenia and magister artium in Germany, for a few coins, really, more or less)

    That doesn’t make me affluent, I’m afraid, it never has (I guess a linguist needs to sell her tongue and not her languages to get rich).

    But I don’t know much about my social status and the relative affluence, because I haven’t had time so far to think about it, do some research and to invite people who like to think and talk about it and have them assess me.

    I still got myself into trouble with a terribly jealous delivery guy who had to hand me over a package or two a week (H and M, eraser from the amazon because it’s cheaper, vegetarian food, because it is cheaper in bulk …) He really didn’t hide his hatred, even though I tried to explain I didn’t have time for shopping and needed to buy cheaper, which is often the case online … Nope, you can never escape, or so it seems to me. It is not too bad as long as a jealous delivery guy doesn’t start stealing your packages or something 🙁 (I invented that, but who knows 🙁 )

  • AFM

    “She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge/she studied sculpture at St. Martin’s college that’s where I…caught her eye…she told me that her dad was loaded, in that case, I said ‘I’ll have a rum and cola’ and then in 30 seconds time she said I WANT TO LIVE LIKE COMMON PEOPLE I WANT TO DO WHATEVER COMMON PEOPLE DO I WANT TO DANCE AND DRINK AND SCREW BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING ELSE TO DOOOOO-OOOO…”

  • am

    I have to admit I have only one burning question from the original article: since when is j.crew considered a good suit? I have a lot of student loans, and my j.crew suits are what I consider my bad work clothes.

    • coffeetoo

      lol dude, you killed it here 🙂

  • blerg

    I pretty much agree with all of this, but I would’ve been able to focus more on what you’re saying if not for sentences like “It could be argued, however, that success sprouted after a previous generation’s stint with it, and the subsequent perks, are a hindrance for some.” I’m sorry; I’m a writer/editor and just wanted to suggest you try writing more simply.

  • What really grinds my gears about the Thought Catalog article was the author’s attempt to shut down the discourse on privilege because it bothered her. She was basically saying, “hey, I want the privilege of not hearing anymore about privilege,” leveraging her privilege as a 1%er. It’s her self-centeredness and lack of self-awareness that led her to write the article that are much deeper issues than her net worth.

    • blerg

      Yes! The presumption that there couldn’t be any aspect of this situation that she doesn’t already understand is something I’ve noticed in most (probably all) young people with privilege. (Goes along with the belief that bad things only happen to other people and everyone deserves what they’ve got.) Maybe the response to her post will help her to grow out of it.

  • I know I don’t comment often here but pardon my french wtf??? I don’t have student loans either and I’ve never felt embarrassed about that, the author has “poor me little rich girl problems”. She is attention seeking and how the hell do you know what the doorman thinks of your J.Crew packages. Based on her article I think the doorman must not like her much because of her “I’m rich so I’m better than you” attitude. This girl needs to wake up and since she’s so privileged why not put it to good used instead of whining.

  • Anm

    You know the saying …Tell me what you boast about and I’ll tell you what you lack.

  • Alejandra

    I just wanted to leave a comment before i started reading this article to say i am so excited to read this…

  • Alexandra Pitocchi

    I am all too familiar with how a series of unforeseen events can destroy one’s financial stability. Growing up with two intelligent, hard-working parents who were stifled by debilitating disease and being given the role as caretaker immediately upon graduating from college at age 22, it is difficult to refrain from feeling resentment towards people surrounded by wealth and security who complain about all things trivial. The tone of this article comes across as defensive and whiney. If the author wants people to “lay off,” she may need to rethink her approach.

  • Lucy Brown

    yes try again. I’m half way through your book. It reeks of privilege, unacknowledged, taken for granted. all the problems described in it are laughable. you have no critical edge or awareness. your narrators ‘voice’ is a total rich girl, no matter how hard you attempted to hide it.

    • Leandra Medine

      Hey Lucy–so those stories and the problems outlined are supposed to be laughable. I’m upset it appears as though I’m trying to hide anything especially given the nature of the stories and I’m sorry if you don’t like the book /even more that this post irritated you, its just that I’m not so much commenting on the state of Mendez’s wealth as I am on her delivery and the positioning of herself as an underdog because of it. While you may be right that my capacity to be critical aware in some instances is flawed, the above doesn’t seem to take very much of it. Thanks for you comment

      • Anne V

        I really admire your ability to take critique and always respond in a thoughtful, respecting and humble manner!

  • Ilana

    Ok her post is ridiculous and her examples even worse. However, it is quite undeniable that people do judge those who come from a privileged family and become successful professionally. Most people assume that the reason you have a dream job is due to your rather rich connections. And we must admit, most of that time, that is the truth.

  • Well, looks like she has big problems in her life! This article is borderline insulting.

    Mafalda ❤

  • Pualana Lemelle

    You’re right. Not having loans means nothing. She IS a brat.

  • Francisc

    Your post is entirely true! NO ONE LIKES A BRAT!

  • Mari

    Love you repply, you text, as usual, is perfect. I totally agree with you and actually that the person who wrote the text stoping hate me should visit a shrink because she has some issues – I really can believe that people is so worried about her.

  • Alba B.

    WTF do you need a 6digits bank account to have the urgency to feel accepted? I don’t even believe that an article like this, will make the author’s the way easier, as far as the problem dwell inside her and the complexes of being incapable to achieve smth in life without the ready bread in her mouth!!!
    How far this girl can go without those money?!!
    Saing that, there are a lot of wealthy people (children & young generation who find themselves being rich without raising a finger) who still try to built smth of their own and try to come out from the crowd.
    I am not on the condition to blame or disrespect anyone being him rich or poor, but as part of this generation, I find myself that there is no level and space of being part of a way in the middle of these two realities, or be in a kind of equilibrium, where our parents use to be.
    And this is the most irritating part of our NEW MONETARY WORLD having only 2 faces (either be rich or be poor!!!)

  • joice oliveira

    Nowadays, people want to show to be something they are not, and sometimes decrease pessoas.Sem know, you are more than elas.Virou something kinda (survival) with the advancement of such technology.

  • CDJ

    I’m really glad you posted about this. I read the article when it came out and almost gagged. Beyond her extreme need and want for acceptance, I think she also watches too many movies. Perhaps she doesn’t feel she portrays the typical “twenty-something living in the big city” stereo-type and longs to be a squatter in alphabet city, breaking out into song when her bff gets diagnosed with AIDS. Being privileged is not a choice, but being grateful is. Here’s an idea: she should stop playing the victim and maybe send her parents a thank you card. ALSO, FOR THE RECORD: I am up to my neck in student loans AND I still wear JCREW. There is such thing as ballin’ on a budget.

  • veblenhigh23

    at the end, who cares what anyone has or has not….its sad that fashion has brainwashed us into believing we must own every new trend, or the latest seasons shoe, which happens to be my major addiction…until i became aware of green shopping, you know hand-me-downs, I’m talking vintage baby….it’s the most eco friendly shopping so you fell good about it when you buy it and long after you wear it….unlike those two thousand dollar Balenciagas i bought, but that’s neither her nor there… read my full article @

  • Sandy C

    It’s all narcissism, really. Why even write that article?

  • s

    Let’s keep it real: the issue is that someone so obsessed with what other people think can never be a legitimate man repeller.

  • Poe

    “Her problem seems rooted in something far more personal.”…you hit the nail on the head.
    The people that would fit the bill of “New Money” are always overly conscious about money and what other people think about what you have and don’t have, in the same way that an anorexic girl is overly cautious about what other people see or don’t see them eat.
    This article was more about the author’s unhealthy relationship with money than anything else.
    My grandma fits the bill of “new money” to the T is ostentatious, loves gaudy things, and will one day want to flaunt it all and another day will want to hide her wealth. She thinks people are paying attention, judging her, worrying about it – because *she* does, she would. She had undoubtedly in the past felt that way towards someone who had more than her.
    On the “humble brag” note… I am personally VERY guilty of making the most obnoxious “white whines” (e.g., “Flying across Patagonia in private air plane with broken air conditioner, feels like I’m in hell.’) but I know I’m a douchebag when I say it and… don’t say it to brag, more like saying it to point out – I’m a douchebag. haha.

  • Sarah

    I would have loved to have read a more personal response from you, given how many of your readers refer to your position of privilege (something I first noticed when you described a quick decision to drop upwards of $800 on the “perfect” leather jacket. That is rent and bills and food for a month, that is two weeks’ pay before tax, my mind was blown) when they comment. Do such comments make you rethink your lifestyle choices? You hardly seem self-conscious.

  • Mollie

    My name is Mollie and I do not have student loans. I also shop at J.Crew occasionally. I don’t have a doorman but I do have a dog that gives boxes funny looks. Does my dog hate me now because I have been deemed by Kate Menedez as “privileged”? I prefer the term “fortunate.” I am fortunate to have been semi-smart to get scholarships to college and fortunate for the sale rack at J.Crew. Suck it Koch Brothers.

  • pixiedust8

    Eh, whatever. She seems to take a certain pride in being “privileged.” Does the doorman care about J Crew? I doubt it. I had to work my way through college after growing up privileged (long story) and I never harbored resentment toward any of my friends who were loan-free. Sure, that would have been nice, but that’s not the way it worked out for me.

    I have some friends whose parents are VERY rich. I didn’t find out about it until I’d known them for a long time. Why? They didn’t feel the need to advertise. I suggest this woman follow that example.

  • Middle class Burbanite

    I recently traveled overseas with a wealthy friend and spent a lot of time with a number of her friends (also from very wealthy families). All of them were very into clothes and had some amazing items, but most couldnt “dress” IMO. I think the intersection between fashion and wealth is interesting. Many children of wealthy parents gravitate towards fashion and fancy themselves fashionistas (a term I hate) because they can afford to buy “it” pieces (another term I hate). A truly fashionable person has the ability to look amazing in less expensive clothes. If you have at least a little sense of style plus money, you have the holy grail.

    I think it’s interesting how money, luxury, and exclusiveness enter into our considerations of art and beauty. Is expensive art really better than street art? Is expensive food really better than grandma’s cookin? Ok, brace yourselves here…is Tom Ford really better than j.crew. If so, exactly why is that? (Full disclosure- I like high end brands too but is that because I’m told/trained to like them? ). Yes, the cut and materials are better, but are they 100x better (which the price tag would suggest) or are pusuits like fashion just a status-driven effort to differentiate yourself from the masses?

  • lmj

    and it’s j.crew…… no one is judging an household contemporary brand

  • Ya blah blah

    I’m surely not hated for being privileged. But I know i’m often not liked for being to low on the middle class part. Just one of these things this time around. the lord never wanted be to be rich or beautiful or for that matter….nevermind. Are you actually still reading this? thanks

  • Zoey Danielle

    After reading this article it is official- I love this blog.

  • Guest

    “My only question is..why are you complaining about this? If you are responsible with your money and know the value of a dollar and truly do work tirelessly as you say then why should you feel this persecuted for being rich? Your parents, as you said, worked very hard to get you a college education, did they not? And you do not take that in stride, and work hard to accomplish the goals you have to live up to them so that all of their work pays off, do you not? So, why, pray tell, are you complaining about how awful it is that you have to live your “privelaged” life in secret? If you are privelaged, it’s obviously not gone to your head, so what’s stopping you from just living your life?
    You know what you need to do? You need to stop lying to people about your finances and your background. You aren’t making yourself look better by lying to these people and not taking compliments, you are making yourself look worse. If I found out that a friend lied to me about their finances I would feel terrible! You have to accept the fact that some people will judge you, because it’s going to happen whether you are rich or poor. Then you have to learn to take a fucking compliment. I’m sorry for the language, but lying to people about where you get your clothes? You have no right to feel sorry for yourself that you are “over privelaged and harrassed about it”. There are people who sew in brand-named labels to their thrift shop clothes because they get harrassed about being poor. You have no idea what it is to struggle, honey. You are a privelaged girl who works hard for her future and if anyone says anything to you about it you can tell them to shove it up their ass. If you really feel this bad about being privelaged and having non-privelaged friends treat them. Buy them expensive gifts or pay for a girls night out, don’t lie to their faces about getting a few suits from J.Crew. That is my advice to you, sweetheart. Stop being the victim and be the hero.” – My responce to her article.

  • Camie

    The sad thing is young people now a days base everything of material possessions. I personally have been ignored and called ignorant because of my privileged background. People began to assume because you come from a family of wealth that you become impaired to what is happening in the world. Maybe this goes away as people grow up but for right now it’s very relevant