As if we didn’t have enough surreal behavior flying around in our lives, the Internet channels have spit out the irrelevant five-minute star of the week, who even made it to the front page of the New York Post. Rachael Sacks, a chronically angry privileged college girl who thinks of herself as being super cool rich, wrote a post about how she felt disregarded by a cashier at the Gristedes store in the West Village. She was freshly armed with shopping bags from a Mulberry sample sale, and the attitude to match. Her essay on the experience, “I’m Not Going to Pretend That I’m Poor to Be Accepted by You” on the Thought Catalog blog, went viral.
More important than Rachael’s words, actions and reactions is to understand when and where all this insanity began, not only in her case, but in general. It is sad to accept the reality that people like Rachael terrorize others in high school — and by “others” I meant the students who don’t have the means to have the newest fashion trends promoted by style vehicles like Seventeen or Teen Vogue. Yes, I am very aware that she went to a private school, but regardless, school hallways are always filled with Rachael Sacks types pretending to be a mean-spirited Cher Horowitz (of “Clueless”), flaunting her wealth through fashion. Mean girls from the social cliques of teenage years then are brought to the eyes of social media now.
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You might be wondering how I can go from Rachael’s celebrated brat behavior in the news to the suggestion of implementing mandatory uniforms in schools in the blink of an eye, but it is all very simple to me: fashion should not be in schools. Kids should not be carrying labels, they should only be carrying books. In my opinion, equality and respect for others is created in a school environment where values aren’t formed by one’s ability to possess luxury items. That’s the perfect recipe for segregation, which promotes an environment for bullying. I went to a private school where school uniforms were mandatory, and on those grounds there was no space for personal expression through fashion and style. We were there for other reasons; it was not a fashion show. No Rachaels were allowed to flourish.
Kids will be kids no matter what, and in some cases they will become adults who never grew up. Well, this Rachael Sacks girl is the perfect example of that. She is bullying the world, perhaps as the result of her early surroundings, because certainly such rampant reaction didn’t start at the line of a grocery store. In a very untactful and sad way, Rachael brought to the table a valid point to be discussed: one shouldn’t be ashamed of being rich, just like one shouldn’t be ashamed of being poor.
People are who they are, and one can’t be blamed for being born into wealth, although my definition of being born rich in New York is very different from her naive definition of being rich — she is from Maryland. What matters is the education you receive at home. Perhaps if her father, Dr. Preston Sacks, had given her a better moral guidance in life, she wouldn’t be so unaware of how privileged she is in a world where people are struggling everywhere. Again, it is OK to be rich, but it’s sad to upgrade from “Rachael Sacks of Cash” to “Rachael Sacks of Clueless,” even if your Mulberry bag is real.