Saturday 10 April 2010
Dylan Jones: 'While we like to think of ourselves as egalitarian, we still care about class very deeply'
I like to think I am above filling out questionnaires in magazines and newspapers, but apparently I am not. Not at all. A few weeks ago I was idly working my way through the Sunday papers, when I came across the following quiz: "How posh are you?"
Well, as I'm obviously above such crass categorisations, I felt no need to try and define myself by circling a lot of trite multiple-choice answers.
Which is why I spent more time than I ought to have done doing exactly that. Sucking my Biro, I answered such questions as: "Is your favourite nursery food a) spotted dick, b) caviar or c) fish fingers?" I ticked a) and scored the most points, but then was unable to say my favourite drinking society was the Bullingdon (in a rare attack of honesty I opted for Nick Jones's Shoreditch House) so dropped a point away from home.
Our relatively recent obsession with craftily scaling the walls of society rather than smashing them to bits has made us rather more aware of our class than we like to admit. And while we like to think of ourselves as egalitarian and class-neutral and all the other phoney categorisations dreamt up by weekend supplements... we still care. Deeply.
Because one man's Cath Kidston is another man's Habitat, because one woman's Hunter is another woman's Le Chameau. Because one man's wife speaks like Samantha Cameron, and one man's Samantha Cameron speaks like another man's wife. Or so we're led to believe: all the fuss that was made about Samantha's supposed Estuarial accent was yet another example of media-driven inverted snobbery.
Oh, and seeing how you're so keen to know whether I'm posh or not, I feel I ought to tell you that it turns out I am. Well, not High Tory old posh – oh no, that would involve a certain amount of breeding – but "new posh", whatever that is. I have a bath before supper, but then I also holiday in Ibiza; I've got plenty of empty gun cartridges, but then my kitchen's from IKEA.
So there you have it. I am a nouv. A new nouv, but a nouv all the same.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'
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