It’s no secret that people love to flex on Instagram; your social media are really just a collection of your highlights, your “best self” that you wish to present to the world. This “best self” has become synonymous with luxurious vacations, parties, expensive cars and designer fashions. Supposedly.
Urban Dictionary defines “flex” as a verb, meaning “[to show] off your valuables in a non-humble way.” It is all about perception, folks. Flexing has everything to do with the impression you give people and the way they see you, by any means necessary. It may take form in a decade-old BMW 328i with well over 100,000 miles on the odometer, or maybe it is something more innocent like a counterfeit pair of Gucci slippers. People are enamored with brand names, not products.
One might argue that luxury brands are made with higher quality materials and last longer. While this may be true in some cases, it is not the rule. The majority of items produced by more affordable brands have the same longevity as their more costly counterparts, if not a longer lifespan.
Recovering hype-beast and Georgia State sophomore Matthew Morgan admits that knock-off designer items are improving in quality.
“Everything is so good, like, with such tiny details that I wouldn’t be able to tell if something’s fake,” Morgan said.
Designer clothing is often very trendy, as well. I cannot justify spending hundreds of dollars on items that will only be in fashion for a season or two. However, Morgan recognizes a certain appeal of these trends that not everyone acknowledges.
“You spend $400 on a hoodie and it’s either going to resell for more money, or you resell for just a little bit less and you still have like 300 something dollars back,” he said, implying that these high-end fads are not a complete waste of money.
Science suggests that people do not wear designer clothing for their own amusement. According to a study in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, individuals wearing designer clothing were generally perceived to be of higher status, greater wealth and greater trustworthiness. Despite being taught not to judge people based on the way that they look, it is a habit of which we are all guilty.
These characteristics are relevant when it comes to finding friends, but they are even more important when it comes to finding a mate. It is more common in males than females, as they are the ones obliged to prove themselves to be worthy suitors. By wearing brand-name clothing and accessories, a man says to the world that he is able to provide for himself and, therefore, his mate. Remember, the peacocks are the ones with the pretty feathers, not the peahens.
Regardless of your belief, looks matter. The clothes you wear and your material possessions are all speaking for you before you even introduce yourself.
Whether you dress to impress or dress for your own comfort, you are presenting yourself to the world through your appearance. For those of you who dress luxuriously, I realize that you may believe that you are dressing for yourself. But can you admit that you are dressing that way to prove something to the world?