Style Week: Become more poverty chic

According to the New York Times, the “Culture of Poverty” is back as an official force in the way Americans live.  This goes beyond the pseudo-working-class flannel donning adventurous Half Price Books employee you met at your poetry reading, it’s about real poverty.  Designers’ Spring lines are seriously trashed out.  Step ahead of the curve and take a few steps to toward your new fashionable life.

Get TB.

Send a bold statement this fall by infecting yourself with this tried and true bacterial lung infection.  All the starving Victorian artsists had it, most died.  It’s a bold move, but you will definitely stand out at parties.

-Join a temp agency

Quit your job at Whole Foods and join a temp agency.  Now you’re not only poor, but you’re poor and work in a place that doesn’t smell like heaven.  They’ll assign you somewhere where you can lick envolopes all day until your lips start to bleed and you are deemed unsuitable for work and forced into retirement.  A great way to one-up oh-man-my-job-sucks-but-I’m-a-poet types at parties


Go find some stray dogs and rub them all up and down yourself till you know you are infested.  The constant scratching in public will add a certain mystique to your persona.  “Is he on meth?  His teeth still look good… He must just be kinda cool.”


Give it all up and go out to the streets.  Make sure to wear your worst clothes- you don’t want to seem inauthentic.  When your buddies in a Prius roll by on their way to the farmer’s market, they’ll know you take your image seriously.  No one can take it as far as you.  You are poverty.

-Injure a limb in an automatic manufacturing mechanism

“Oh yeah… my bloody hand?  I was in the shoe factory this morning and they needed my nimble fingers.  Since I’m not a child I was like whatever and stuck my hand up in there.  Didn’t lose any digits but since I gave up my health insurance to get this lower class job, they’ll probably get infected.  It’s cool.  I’m happy.  I choose to live this way.  Better than wasting my life away in a square office listening to some 45 year old woman rant about her children, right?  Let’s go get some tall boys.”

-Get some really poor friends

Spend time in the government housing projects and meet some new friends.  Introduce them to your middle class friends to that prove you’re connecting with real people.  “They don’t have blogs, they don’t read, they just live man.  You can learn a lot from them, man.”


Trade in those gluten free flax crackers for some fruit rollups.  Not only will making the switch to processed food make you seem cool, it will rot your insides giving you a ghostly complexion, which is really cool.  All your friends who still hang out at Whole Foods just don’t get it.  You’re gonna camp out next to the Shell station and eat gas-station hot dogs and drink Big Red all night.  For the truly daring: put on an extra 30 pounds to give yourself a little extra edge.

-Get a homeless significant other

Sooner or later your friends will get poor friends too and you’ll have to one up them.  Take poverty chic to the next level and get a homeless lover.  Find the most attractive one and chances are they’d love a date, especially if it includes food.  “Woah, check out that chick, she’s like… homeless.  Jeez man, that’s so hott, wish I had a homeless girlfriend.”  Your new lover will inspire fashion trends all over the scene.  Cardboard hats, sewage dipped vans, pet rats, the list goes on.


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