Status Symbols

Posted by Rich on July 31, 2005 in Life |

An article in the Sunday Styles section of today’s NY Times reports on the now-ubiquitous “euro” stickers (and other trinkets) signifying (to those in the know) that you vacation in some trendy exclusive place – “MV” for Martha’s Vineyard, “ACK” Nantucket, “BH” Bridgehampton and so on.

Why? – to show that you belong to an exclusive club of sorts. And if those not in the know don’t get it, all the better.

For some reason, I find this highly amusing, although I’m probably at least somewhat guilty of the same behavior. I suppose anyone who goes to an expensive or exclusive vacation spot and buys a t-shirt or trinket is.

I’ve certainly seen examples of this sort of behavior on the Vineyard. The most obvious is the SUV with beach stickers from the past half dozen years, all in a row on the back bumper. This signifies not only that the owner has a certain status, but also that (s)he’s no johnny-come-lately. This is important once a status icon like the Vineyard becomes mainstream. (Thanks Bill & Hillary!)

Of course, once a status icon does get out to the masses, it’s all over. Witness the now familiar Black Dog t-shirt:

“The Black Dog T-shirt is so beyond over,” said Alexandra Styron, a writer and longtime summer resident of the Vineyard. “It’s something you wouldn’t be caught dead in if you actually live here.” (The new cool Vineyard T-shirt these days, old island hands say, is from Aboveground Records and features the letter A and an asterisk, but you probably knew that.)
[NY Times]

I must confess to owning a bunch of Black Dog swag. In my defense though, most of it was aquired back when the BD still had at least some cachet. Of course, now that the Aboveground Records t-shirt had been declared “cool”, there will be a run on them and they will instantly become not cool.

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