SThe lifestyles of the Rich has always been a popular topic in pop culture, from Les Liaisons Dangereuses to Annie and '80s shows like Dallas and Dynasty. And despite the flailing economy, obsession with the Mega-Rich is all the rage, reports Ruth La Ferla for today's New York Times. Especially for teens. New shows like Paris Hilton's My New BFF, 90210 and Privileged join Rich Kid TV hits Gossip Girl, The Hills and My Super Sweet 16. The number one movie in the country, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, stars pampered pooches! Plus, one of the best-selling novels for young adults is called Bratfest At Tiffany's.And today's teens don't just want to ogle the wealthy; they want in on the action: The new tween-friendly flagship Juicy Couture store in New York offers $328 rhinestone-encrusted cashmere hoodies. Are kids today learning that money makes everything better? Ms. La Ferla interviews Juliet B. Schor, a sociology professor at Boston College. She claims: "We are living in an era in which emulations and aspiration has upscaled very significantly. The media tells us, 'Anybody can succeed. You just have to have the right clothing, the right friends, the right décor.'" Cintra Wilson attempted to shop at the Juicy Couture store, which embodies the spoiled brattitude that is so hot right now. She writes: "Juicy is posing as disestablishment chic. It is putting food coloring in its blond hair and driving to the underage punk show in Dad’s Lexus. Juicy is de-punkinated punk that rarely verges into the naughty." Little girls have almost always dreamed of being princesses, but there's something disturbing about the ways they're going about it these days. Sleeping Beauty and Snow White were kind to animals and never flashed their crotches when getting out of a car; Little Orphan Annie was just as charming and popular when dressed in rags as she was when she became an heiress. She certainly never got carted away to jail by the cops. But these stories about the younger generation are worrying: If all of their idols shop for a living, they confuse expensive with stylish and think that money and happiness are the same, aren't they in for a rude awakening when they get old enough to pay the bills? Markets Stall But Spoiled Always Sells [NY Times] Rhinestones Are A Tween’s Best Friend [NY Times]
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