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Keeping Up with the Joneses and “Nem”

By Kaylah Mack, Staff Writer

“I just sent my b*tch to Bora Bora cost me 80 racks,” or in other words, I just spent thousands of dollars to send my girl overseas, what are you doing? What’s your money looking like? I’m sure many of our bank accounts aren’t as long as Lil Durk’s with enough to send ourselves or even someone else on an $80,000 trip to Bora Bora but are we fully aware of that? The impact that celebrities and their relationships have on this generation is truly deranged and confused.

The concentration on “blowing a bag,” spending money we don’t have just for a subtle flex, the hype of happiness and the association of celebrity relationships, expensive bae-cations, extravagant birthdays, and the excitement behind bearing children at an early age or before marriage while buying babies a Birkin bag before they can talk. With social media, we constantly feel so determined to wear ourselves thin just to Keep up with the Joneses and “Nem.” Which leaves me with the question, is it still all about the Benjamin’s in 2020?

One day, someone asked if I could take a picture of them with their brand-new designer bag. Ten photos later, I caught them fully analyzing the pictures to ensure that they fit a certain “Instagram aesthetic” and that their new bag was showing in its entirety. We’ve all been guilty of overanalyzing photos with our followers in mind. Social media will easily allow us to believe that if we aren’t emulating our neighbor, we simply aren’t doing enough. If you aren’t living a certain way, if you don’t have this job, if you don’t have this body, if you don’t conduct yourself this way, and if you aren’t in this type of relationship – give it up, you aren’t enough. We have so many superficial standards that we feel pressured to live up to. It gives us false hope, brainwashing us to think money comes first and that would then bring satisfaction.

Often times we hold celebrities on such an unrealistic pedestal. We don’t know these people yet we give them so much power over our lives and way of living. I look at our inspirations and our examples, and how many replicas of them I see in others. I see many duplicates of celebrity relationships as well. One of the hottest couples right now, Atlanta native rapper, Lil Baby, and his entrepreneur girlfriend and mother of his second child, Jayda Cheaves are one of the ‘it couples’ that this generation looks to today for inspiration. Earlier this month, Cheaves tweeted,

“Y’all [Lil Baby] send me a million things a day like ‘you want that’ or ‘you like this’ like boy NO I am GOOD!!! Lmfao it be the most craziest sh*t ever sh*t I do not need at that. He’s the cutest.”

Not long after this tweet was broadcasted on “The Shaderoom”  I see this tweet reposted on many of my peer’s Instagram stories captioned, “relationship goals,” idealizing the idea of their significant other showering them with top tier designer gifts for no reason at all.  Memphis rapper, Moneybagg Yo, and his girlfriend, Ari Fletcher are another “it couple.”  Moneybagg Yo surprised Fletcher with an all-white Lamborghini truck for her birthday. This is an additional “relationship goals” post that quickly surfaced this summer. Somehow these are the expectations of loving relationships in this generation. This is what we are expected to bring to the table; this is what we are supposed to use our 9-5 jobs to intimate.

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