Clout Culture: A toxic phenomenon


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Supreme is famous for selling out almost immediately after released.

Marcela Ferrufino, Opinions Writer

People idolize a celebrity for different reasons. Perhaps it could be for their brilliant acting skills or how they sing beautifully. But others like to idolize certain celebrities for different reasons, reasons that revolve around something called clout. Clout can have many meanings, but usually, its main definition is popularity. 

Clout chasers are upcoming celebrities who often want to gain fame, popularity and money  through questionable actions on social media. They are known to act very rich, which is why they have a specific style called clout culture. It includes tattoos, jewelry and expensive clothing brands like Gucci or Ralph Lauren. But clout chasers’ ridiculous actions to gain power and influence others make people feel less valuable. 

“It is a problem when clout chasers put themselves in harm’s way just to get famous,” sophomore Jody Ye said. Clout chasers are widely known for performing dangerous stunts for likes. For example, in 2011, Tom Ryaboi took a picture of his feet dangling over the edge of a tall building in Toronto. 

The viral picture catapulted Ryaboi into fame but also promoted the dangerous act of “rooftopping,” in which people climb up buildings to take risky photos. These practices unnecessarily endanger lives. 

There are more clout chasers, particularly ones who display their success openly. Many people know the nine-year-old girl named Lil Tay, who is known to be the “youngest flexer of the century.”

She constantly “flexes”—shows off her wealth, flaunting stacks of money and wearing expensive clothing. Evidently, this creates a huge problem, since Lil Tay gains more popularity every day for being incredibly egotistical. Soon enough, more people could be doing the same, and it’s only to get a little bit of attention. 

Clout chasers can not only do ludicrous things for fame, but them and their clout culture can also give the wrong impression that they are superior to others. “It makes people feel like they’re less than the person just because of that their clothing, money and power,” freshman Alexandra Doncheva said. Their constant “flexing” plays with people’s mindsets and makes them question their worth. It also influences people to buy unnecessarily expensive clothing to emulate them.

“Materialism is very promoted among high schoolers. In our school, it’s already part of our culture,” Ye said. It is okay for celebrities to flaunt their success sometimes, but when it starts affecting millions of others, it becomes a problem.

In the future, clout will be essentially meaningless. The overpriced Supreme sweatshirt and hideous clout goggles will be forgotten as new voguish trends appear. It is better to spend money on clothes you actually like, rather than what is temporarily cool. Instead of becoming a problematic idol, there are many other ways to gain popularity, from sharing videos to creating comedy skits.

While desiring popularity is normal, clout chasers’ spending habits and questionable behavior are creating too many issues. Clout chasers should realize that they do not have to take extreme measures on social media just to get famous.