University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Class of Coachella

In Elizabeth Bullen’s keyword essay on “class” she writes that class was developed from “increasing consciousness that particular social systems actually created social divisions.” We live in a classist, materialistic world, especially in the United States of America where it is the “American Dream” to become rich. In today’s society where we have social media at our disposal, it is easier and more common to show the world what you can afford to buy or do. A couple weeks ago a popular music festival called Coachella happened in the desert of Coachella Valley, California. This popular music festival is the place to be for every social media influencer, celebrity, and especially every successful musician. It is also the place for everyone to “flex”, or in other words, buy the most expensive designer outfit to the most expensive music festival and hire a photographer to take high quality pictures to show everyone that you were at Coachella. Coachella is the music festival every teen wants to go to, not only for the music and atmosphere, but for the purpose of showing your instagram followers that you went. Class does play an important role here considering there is nothing cheap about going to Coachella. It is perhaps the most advertised music festival in the world due to the “star quality” aspects of this event. Models, actors, musicians, YouTubers, even athletes all go to Coachella. You will find people of the highest “class” attending Coachella. This class aspect of it excludes working class people, who can’t afford a designer outfit to wear let alone a ticket to Coachella. If wearing designer clothes and listening to live music with your friends just to gain more likes and followers on social media was a sport, Coachella is the olympics. This idea of class can also be seen in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Pecola came from a lower class family and was treated poorly because of this among a number of other reasons. Pecola wanted blue eyes in the story because she believed it would make her beautiful and people would treat her with more respect. The celebrities that attend Coachella spend hours on their hair, makeup, and outfit so people will accept them and praise them more. The more expensive your outfit is, the more respect you get from people. If Pecola did not come from a poor family and would’ve came from a wealthy family, would her story be any different?

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