Tuesday, November 24, 2009


"People of Walmart" is a website I think pretty much everyone has seen, and let's be honest, it's really funny. Mostly it has people at Walmart, either dressed trashy or looking completely insane. The things people are wearing go beyond the territory of faux-pas, and straight into ridiculous mockability. However, when surfing the site I can't help but notice that the majority of those presented do not look well off. In fact many of them appear dirty, unkempt, or to be wearing extremely old garments. Which begs the question, is it OK to mock the poor for bad clothing? I would hope the answer is no, but that brings us back to the website, which apparently says it is.

This in turn got me thinking about the problem that many people have with the fashion industry, which is that it is an elitist institution. Not only are the clothes expensive, but they change every season, meaning one has to toss out the old and buy buy buy the new. Not only does that make the lower class (and even the middle) exempt from current style, it's also completely unsustainable. One can always shop vintage or try one of these eco-friendly fashion groups, but the point still stands. I like to argue that fashion is an art form, and art has always been superfluous and ridiculous. However, I'm not sure if that still applies. Is fashion an art and thus exempt from our usual judgements? Is it an elitist intuition? And, is people of Walmart a hilarious blog or a cruel way to mock the less fortunate?


  1. i take your point about the people on the walmart blog being predominately poor, and i have wondered my self if it is morally dubious to laugh at their photos.

    however, i can't deny that the blog is very funny. it's not about mocking the poor, it's about a blatant disregard for acceptable behaviour.

    in no way is it acceptable to walk around public with your butt cheeks hanging out. in no way is it acceptable to walk around in public with vulgar messages and profane words dripped across your t-shirt. (as many of the people on the site do).

    it's funny because of the shock value. unfortunately, walmart is predominately filled with the poorer individuals of each neighborhood. it's a discount shop after all.

    however, in no way are people being mocked for having 'poor quality' clothing, or for wearing items that are from last season's collection. rather, the photos demonstrate a counter culture that has blatantly disregarded the values of decency and modesty that most people in society hold dear.

    on my blog i've got photos of people whose style i find slightly dubious. it's got nothing to do with people being poor, but rather simply having, what i perceive to be, a poor sense of styl

  2. Actually I pretty much agree with you, I just think the issue itself is interesting. And yeah, for the half-naked people? I feel no pity.