"Eighteen-year-old high school student's shopping haul at Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Thom Browne!" "Fifteen-year-old girl unboxing cosmetics from Dior and Prada bags."
These are just two video titles among hundreds posted on YouTube in which teenagers "flex" their newly bought luxury items worth millions of won. Other social media channels such as Instagram or TikTok are also flooded with similar posts.
"Flex," a term widely used among teenagers to boast outwardly about one's extravagant lifestyle by showing off expensive clothing, cars or homes, has settled as a trend. Videos and photos of teens showing off their fashion and beauty products of high-end brands gain thousands of likes.
"There are some students in my school wearing expensive sneakers from Gucci or Balenciaga, which I think their parents must have bought them," said a 15-year-old student surnamed Park.
"I don't see a problem in them buying what they want with their own pocket money or the money earned through part-time jobs," said a 17-year-old surnamed Yoon who attends high school in Seoul.
A recent survey conducted in September by Alba Cheonguk, a job recruiting site, showed that teenagers are more willing to buy high-end brand products than people in their 20s.
When asked whether they had plans to buy luxury items after the Chuseok holidays, 33 percent of teens replied they would, followed by 26 percent of people over 20.
The mains reason why adolescents are attracted to designer brands were, "fear of falling behind a trend" chosen by 28 percent of respondents, and "it feels I'm the only one without them" chosen by 17 percent.
The average amount of money they were willing to spend was approximately 1.6 million won, and 67 percent of teenagers said they would get the money from their parents.
Lee Eun-hee, a professor of consumer science at Inha University, explained the background of this phenomenon to be desire of self-expression and peer pressure.
"For adolescents, uploading videos or photos of fancy items is simply a way of expressing that they are superior to others by showing off expensive products that their peers can't afford. Other teenagers who are influenced by those posts on social media follow suit out of peer pressure," Lee said.
"But in most cases they end up overspending way above their budget, which may lead to bad consumption habits in the future. It is important to guide them to make rational decisions on shopping through social campaigns or education in school."
I wonder if this is a somewhat new thing in Korean social media? I don't follow any Korean influencers so I don't know? I feel like people elsewhere have been putting up luxury hauls on YouTube for a while now.
source: The Korea Times