On Thursday, Buzzfeed published an article that sought to reveal the kind of 'poverty' that is pretty much hiding in plain sight. They called this phenomenon, specifically social group, the 'urban poor'. The article titled, 'The Urban Poor You Haven’t Noticed: Millennials Who’re Broke, Hungry, But On Trend', introduced us to young professionals, who, according to the writer, would starve themselves if that is what it would take to afford the things they need to be seen as cool, hip and trendy.
"What we’re left with is a flood of twenty-somethings running hard to leave behind roti-sabzi for a perception of burger-coke. From there, they sprint with equal abandon toward the cheese-champagne," writer Gayatri Jayaraman writes. Prior to that, she adds that media houses insist that people be dressed in a certain way, what they need to eat and even what they need to smell like, to make it big.
The broader message of the article, that young professionals overspend and land themselves in a soup, struck a chord with several people. At the same time, the writer and publication's decision to use the word 'urban poor' to describe this social group rankled a lot of people. Because what the writer described, was hardly 'poverty', commenters on Twitter said. In fact, it seemed to trivialise issues of real poverty, it was argued.
However, 'on trend', Twitter couldn't have enough of 'urban poor' jokes - the word even started trending.
Following are the funniest jokes on the word that surfaced on Twitter today.
An Urban poor man being thrown out of a Village for recommending Odd-Even policy in the region.(2016) pic.twitter.com/GsOVX6Utqm— History of India (@RealHistoryPic) May 6, 2016
Urban Rich and Urban Poor pic.twitter.com/JSG218q4EQ— The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) May 6, 2016
When d CCD attendant questions loudly 'ur cold coffee with or without ice cream?' my inner urban poor cries and whispers without ice cream.— Rofl Gandhi Degree (@RoflGandhi_) May 6, 2016
I am so Urban Poor that I can't afford an Ant Repellent so I killed all ants with an Iphone 6s.— Godman Chikna (@Madan_Chikna) May 6, 2016
An Urban Poor man cleaning the Pavement of Mumbai after driving his bullock Cart over it.(2002) pic.twitter.com/XUSisAr4JM— History of India (@RealHistoryPic) May 6, 2016
I'm Urban Poor. pic.twitter.com/NjRc7gLK7l— Sahil Shah (@SahilBulla) May 6, 2016
The 'urban poor' article reminded me of that age-old Hindi proverb – "chaadar jitni lambi ho, utna hi Starbucks ka flat white peena chahiye"— Akshar (@AksharPathak) May 6, 2016
Urban Poor: Week 1 - Black Dog at HRC. Week 2 - Old Monk at Janta Bar.— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) May 6, 2016
You are urban poor if your girlfriend buys Victoria Secret and then you have to buy Young India Commander because of the financial crunch.— Pakchikpak Raja Babu (@HaramiParindey) May 6, 2016
The 'Urban poor' could've just done fake check-ins on Swarm rather than starve to keep appearances.— amrtsh (@floydimus) May 6, 2016
Urban Poor pic.twitter.com/Sk7ffeXOAb— dorku (@Dorkstar) May 6, 2016
Urban Poor. pic.twitter.com/I7frmWhwxP— Aisi Taisi Democracy (@AisiTaisiDemo) May 6, 2016
Torrents is the urban poor man's netflix.— scaryhairyman (@scaryhairyman) May 6, 2016
One 'Urban Poor' article is going crazy viral.— SMV (@poisonaavi) May 6, 2016
I want to afford 2G to read it on my phone, but I spent my data money on a Rs. 300 burger.
Meanwhile, at Sequoia Capital's office:— Anuradha (@anuradha_kush) May 6, 2016
What is this 'Urban Poor' everyone's talking about? A new startup? Why haven't we funded it yet?
And this conversation.
@RegaJha I WANT TO WRITE BUT NO LAPTOP BECAUSE I AM URBAN POOR— Sahil Shah (@SahilBulla) May 6, 2016
Actually, we're all urban poor.
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