Don’t judge me for wearing a tracksuit, it’s part of my culture

Why are you afraid of the working class?

I was out at my local bar in Hackney Central, and told I wasn't allowed entry because I was wearing a full tracksuit.

If you are proud to be living in a historically working class borough of London, then please don't be offended by something which has iconically always been working class. It's a well known fact, that even in 2017, people in tracksuits are very often stereotyped. For me, this should have been eradicated a long time ago. This is the same stereotype that labelled people in hoodies as having an ASBO, or looking like Vicky Pollard. This has spread to what used to be the working-class boroughs of our central cities, to the point that I can't seem to get into my local bar anymore, all under the name of gentrification.

Whether you pay for a flat in Dalston with your parents' money, or work honestly on a minimum wage to rent a flat in Peckham, do not move here to experience the culture, without ever actually experiencing it. Tracksuits are a definitive icon of working-class London, and if you are going to revel in the joy of living here, you shouldn't feel at all scared or threatened by this choice of clothing. Tracksuits are culturally symbolic to every single working-class group in every British city, and to be offended by tracksuits, is to be offended by the working class. If you are offended by the working class, you shouldn't be here.

Some of my more privileged friends had even referred to me as a "chav" for my choice of clothing. I had to pleasantly remind them that this was an acronym for "council housed and violent". The funny thing was, they were the ones going around the local council houses, taking edge pictures of the blocks with the hashtags "home" and "block life".

It becomes problematic when working-class culture is appropriated by those who do not wish to properly understand its roots. A lot of sacrifice has been made so that those blocks of flats to be rented privately: thinking of the former occupants as "roadmen", or "chavs" is by no means acceptable.

A lot of my other friends have been moved out of their homes in order to make room for those more privileged. The threat is not the working class, it is those pushing them out who should be feared. Before you lived in your trendy new flat in Brixton, there could have been a whole family living under that roof. If you are going to move to London, try to understand and appreciate the original culture.

People should not be embarrassed by gentrification. Instead, I feel as if people shouldn't be ostracised in the place they have always called home, because of what they might choose to wear on a night out. Getting turned away at my local bar was only a minor incident, but it gives insight into a much wider issue in this city.