‘Chav’ themed socials are a middle class disgrace

Stop attacking the working class


Dressing up in crop tops, trackies and big hoop earrings has become the go-to costume for socials – and it’s really not okay. 

It’s Thursday morning and your Facebook newsfeeds are filled with photos of sports teams wearing tracksuit bottoms, gold chains and big earrings. Snapchat stories abound with videos of people privileged enough to get a higher education trying to speak “street slang,” or resting their drink on a fake baby bump. 

This was the scene north of the border this month. Students in Edinburgh provoked outrage by dressing up as “neds” – Scottish slang for the uneducated, marginalised and nominally poor.

Those who take part claim it may be “just a joke” and an “easy” dress code. But in reality it’s just a distasteful attempt to laugh at the perceived characteristics of the less privileged.

Stuffing a jumper up your top is belittling the harsh realities of teenage pregnancy. A top most likely picked by someone born into a more fortunate life as the sort of clothing a “poorer” person would wear.

People on Twitter declared their disgust after the Edinburgh social, but elsewhere everyone just turns a blind eye to this sort of “banter.” Chav-themed socials take place without comment across campus on a weekly basis. 

The term “chav” has been coined by people who, by design or not and in the comfort of their own privilege, demonise the working class. Being privileged doesn’t make you a bad person. You didn’t choose which family you were born into anymore than the working classes.

However when those more fortunate decide pretending to be a “chav” would be fun for a night out, they start to lose their innocence. They are endorsing a system that marginalises those less well off – not only that, but they are making fun of a vast swathe of society.

Sorry it’s not a castle

Anyone hoping for a future in political life may regret taking part in such mockery if these photos are unearthed, sneering at a class of people who haven’t been born with their privileges. While racism and homophobia are rightly denounced across campus, it’s somehow acceptable to make fun of those who are less well off.

Theming a night around the social and economic situation of the working class isn’t “banter” – it’s classist, it’s bullying and you should be ashamed.