People Are Sharing Things That Once Signaled You Were Upper Class And Now Signal That You're Lower Class

·3 min read

Last week, I wrote a post about people answering the question "What used to mean you were rich but now means you’re poor?" Our BuzzFeed Community commented some examples of how small/big things that used to be signs of status and wealth have, well, changed to mean something else (and vice versa).

A man looking at the stock market
Alistair Berg / Getty Images

Here's what they said:

Note: BuzzFeed is not referring to anyone or any objects as denoting "poor"; it is solely meant to highlight this Reddit thread depicting how certain signs of status and/or wealth have shifted over time.

1."Hair with visible roots/balayage used to mean you couldn’t afford your hair dye and were poor. Now, people pay big money for what used to be trashy when I was a kid."


2."Lobster. My grandmother would not be caught dead with lobster as a child. It was easy to catch and easy to cook. People would catch them for a fun Sunday afternoon and then give their extras away — that easy. If you came to school with lobster and bread for lunch, it was a huge sign that you were poor. Now I regularly see it as one of the most expensive things you can eat on a menu. People will pay $50 just to eat the tail."


a girl and a woman eating lobster
Pollyana Ventura / Getty Images

3."Having a ton of kids. Poor farmers had five-plus kids for labor. Now, if you see someone with that many, usually they have money. No one can afford kids anymore."


4."Having a minimal home used to mean you couldn’t afford to have things. Now it’s a privilege that money can give you."


a minimalistic room
Wachirawut Priamphimai / Getty Images/EyeEm

5."Thrifting used to be a sign of being lower class, but is now something upper-class people do."


6."Bathtubs and showers. It used to be having a shower was a sign of wealth, and poor people could only have bathtubs. Now it’s cheaper places that only have showers, and more expensive places have a bathtub."


a shower in a bathroom
Jacek Kadaj / Getty Images

7."I saw a map of how people get around in London. The richest walk or ride bikes because they don’t have to go very far for everything. That used to never be the case. Now, the further out you get from the middle, the more you rely on motorized transport. Also, the fact the richest people have moved back into cities."


a person in a suit riding a bike
Blend Images - Peathegee Inc / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

8."When I was a kid in the late '60s and '70s, a lot of rich kids had Camaros and Mustangs. Now, even driving a new one is a sign one is sort of tacky — even if they aren’t particularly cheap."


9."In the '70s/'80s, glass-top electric stoves were all the rage. No self-respecting upscale kitchen had a gas stove. Now, of course, gas is generally preferred in high-end kitchens."


a man cooking and holding a baby
Pm Images / Getty Images

10."Jello. Aspic was a pain in the ass to make before industrial boiling methods, so a gelatin-based salad or meat dish was extra fancy."


11."Chicken dinner was a fancy diner back in the '50s, and now it's just Tuesday Taco meat."


a plate of chicken
Claudia Totir / Getty Images

12."Napoleon had a special set of aluminum utensils for his formal dinner guests. It was the epitome of a display of wealth and scientific industrial progress. Now we've been throwing aluminum beer cans in the trash for 50 years."


13."Sugar-rotted teeth. The rich aristocracy in England used to brush their teeth, with honey which made them slowly rot."


And lastly:

14."Showing off your wealth — it’s typically a good sign that people aren’t wealthy."


Did they miss any examples? Let me know in the comments below!

Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.