New Tumblr: Rich White People

Digital style omnivore Derek Guy recently spotted a tumblr loosely entitled Rich White People, which consists of a potpourri of vintage photos, contemporary advertising images, movie stills, and snapshots of British royals. It’s all very pleasant on the eyes, and most germane to tradly types are the various vintage Ralph Lauren ads scattered pell-mell among the tumblr’s current 45 pages. — CC

Addendum: Having looked at all 45 pages, I was left with a curious impression of tumblr, which offers a new kind of visual experience in which random images are collected under the loose guideline of an “aesthetic” or whim of an anonymous curator.

Rich White People randomly juxtaposes three things that bear little relation to each other beyond their surface style: Real people, such as royals and athletes; movie stills of actors pretending to be real people; and lifestyle fashion advertisements attempting an even further watered-down simulacrum of real life.

The randomness and lack of exposition of tumblrs is surely a sign of the bottomless slide into shallowness and the dumbing down of American culture.

Last year I read a book by George WS Trow. I don’t remember much of it beyond the title, which seems strangely fitting to the Rich White People tumblr: “Within the Context of No Context.”

20 Comments on "New Tumblr: Rich White People"

  1. These leave me cold. They look more like what middle class white people think rich white people look like. I’d rather browse the old Men’s Club photos on Heavy Tweed Jacket’s blog (assuming he ever puts it back up…).

  2. Richard Meyer | July 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

    Sartre is precisely correct; pretentious nouvaue riche crap. For the real thing, try old photos from Corbis etc., or the Anthony Edgeworth Ralph Lauren ads from the 80’s.

  3. Jonathan Mitchell | July 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm |

    Why do some readers of this blog find it so hard to admit that we fantasize about looking like/being with such beautiful people?

  4. Calling out the troll are we? Come out, come out wherever you are.

  5. Anonymous | July 20, 2011 at 7:05 am |

    Models posing as Rich White People.

  6. Jonathan Mitchell | July 20, 2011 at 8:33 am |


    Since when is telling the truth the same as trolling?

  7. It’s the faux “Rich White” of advertising (it’s all advertising) that make the clothing we follow/wear carry so much baggage at times. Where I had the fortune of growing up (Grosse Pointe) the real rich, like a family member of the Ford motor company – William Clay Ford, drove a hammered Country Squire and wore paint splattered khakis and a crumb covered La Coste. The posers make the whole thing off-putting. Give me Bill Cosby in Spy vs. Spy rocking the desert boots and tweed any day…. at least he can walk with soul in his soles.

  8. @Jonathan, perhaps you missunderstood my Admiral Cod ref. If you think he tells truth, then nevermind, you got it.

  9. It seems that “trolling” is now defined as “posting anything that the troll-caller disagrees with.”

  10. Um, Richard, mon ami. If you’re going to deride something as being “nouveau riche,” you need to spell it right. Certainly l’ancien régime know their French, even if les nouveaux riches do not. The Internets ain’t rendered spelling irrelevant, y’know.

  11. @Henry

    Once again, you fail to grasp the obvious.

    “Trolling” means deliberately baiting naive people with comments specifically designed to irritate them. And then enjoying their freak out when they take the bait.

    You know, like how Teabaggers like yourself fall for it every time.

  12. “The randomness and lack of exposition of tumblrs is surely a sign of the bottomless slide into shallowness and the dumbing down of American culture.”

    Insightful comment into a sad situation.

    The only positive thing I can say is that all trends change. The pendulum must reach its extreme at some point, and we will return to a happy medium; I only wonder when.

  13. Robert Burton | July 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm |

    Re: tumblrs and their lack of exposition:

    A picture is worth a thousand words

  14. Christian-
    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Tumblr. It certainly isn’t curated in the same way as a good museum exhibition is, or even the way The Sartorialist is, but some of the good ones do manage to evoke something wistfully inspiring. I don’t think of Tumblrs as trying to replace magazines so much as they replace that situation from decades passed in which teenage girls talk over the telephone while reading the same magazine: “Oh, Linda, look at that dress on page 33! Isn’t it just divine?”
    Tumblr is for sharing thoughts and impulses rather than for publishing.

  15. I rather thought it was all an extended ad for Ralph Lauren and Polo. The few sports celebrities thrown in for recognition purposes help to “anchor” the title which indicates that here are persons of consequence. One can’t count the royals who, after all, were born that way (no pun to Lady Gaga).

  16. The RWP blog must surely be intended as a parody

  17. Actually, as for trolling, J. Ivy has given us excellent examples, both here and elsewhere on this blog.

    I’m sure he’ll give us many more fine examples from here on out.

  18. Using the “White People” tag line as bait is getting most tiresome…well, except for the non-white, I suppose; and even then drawing only a certain subset, I’d wager. Played out, IMO.

  19. @J.Ivy

    I’ve never grasped the attraction of using the confrontational pejorative, “teabagger.” Kindly share, what’s the draw?

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