Let’s have a chat about THAT Alfie Deyes video shall we?
*Edited: yes, the video is down and the earnings will apparently be sent to charity and Alfie owning up to making an error. Fair play to him owning up without trying to make excuses but this really still stands… the fact that anyone should have to point out the error of mocking those below the poverty line to a 24 year old MAN in Brighton is beyond me.
If you’re not aware of what video I’m talking about then it is the “
Living Spending £1 in 24hrs” video on Alfie Deyes youtube channel: Pointless blog. Just in case you weren’t aware, Alfie Deyes is a youtube with the apt name “pointless blog” for his channel which is both as pointless and vacuous as it appears he is. I’ve done a little strikethrough on “Living” because the vlog was originally titled that instead of spending but he changed it to seem less of an out of touch fuck muppet. Oh and, in case these first few sentences hadn’t alluded to the fact that there was a bit of a sweary, ranty undercurrent to this post then here is your fair warning.
So, the video: basically a 24 year old multimillionaire youtube sensation decided that he would undertake a challenge to only spend £1 on his food and drink for 24hrs. It sounds like something that could be a REALLY awesome insight into the realities for thousands of people in the UK right now doesn’t it? It sounds like something that should be accompanied with a “let’s change this”. It sounds like something that could be a way to educate the 4.something or other million followers he has who are mostly aged between 13-18 on the horrendous reality of living below the poverty line.
It wasn’t any of those things. It was a shit show of privilege, ignorance and the apathy that shapes society’s elite who refuse to acknowledge their privilege. Let me say this loud and clear for the people in the back, there is nothing wrong with being wealthy or privileged but there is something hugely wrong with refusing to acknowledge your privilege or the luxury that is having that wealth. Sure, you might have worked your arse off for it, you might have grafted and you deserve every penny of your wealth, but when you become so out of touch with the reality of those who maybe haven’t had that lucky break, haven’t been able to land the job that they would have worked hard in if they had been able to, well then you need a wake up.
The reality of life for people living on £1 isn’t moaning about the fact that they have to go without ice in their *shock* tap water – where is their purified water at? Tap water is so… ugh – because it’s a touch too pricey, or being undecided over which capsule of Nespresso to have in the morning and then remembering that it might be a little bit expensive so they have to go without. Oh and Alfie honey, the capsules are 47p each. You fucking twit.
Life for people with £1 to spend in 24 hrs on food and drink is in a food bank, it’s hoping to god that you can keep the gas and electric on, it’s crying at night because you have eaten anything so that the kids could have the pasta or the beans on toast. It’s not shopping in waitrose or having 4 take aways a week. We’re also not talking about the gas and electric in your £1.7 million house in Brighton by the way, no, in your council flat which would be a fraction of the price to maintain in comparison to that mansion, but since Alfie Deyes seems to be under the illusion that tap water is FREE, I’m guessing it’s not him who pays the bills. Having a video where someone doesn’t just miss the point but flies so fast past the point it’s like he’s in a fucking concord just highlights everything that is wrong with the divide in our country. We, my family and I, are privileged. I’ve never tried to hide this or make any bones about it. There have been points when we have been with only a couple of pounds in the account, when we’ve had to endure that sickening feeling at the checkout when the cashier has to hand your card back and tell you that your card has been rejected and there will be no extra food tonight. That isn’t our reality now – now we live a lifestyle where we don’t want for much, where budgeting is a thing of the past to most degrees and where we can have the things that we not only need but want too. Never, ever, will I forget the days of being poorer. Never. Never will I forget the budgeting and still having the realisation that no matter what I do, what I sell, this month it won’t be enough to pay all of the bills and still fill up the cupboard. We were still privileged then, still to a degree – we could afford our bills, we kept a roof over our heads because we had help from my mum and we were lucky enough that my mum helped me get my blog started.
The fact that Alfie Deyes is a young man who shot to stardom when living with his parents speaks volumes. He has never been, and probably never will be, a poor adult. He had the privilege of his parents buying his camera and computer equipment to help him create those youtube videos, to help him earn the money that he now uses to create content belitting masses of people who live day in, day out, below the poverty line.
Let me say as an instagrammer/blogger myself (not anywhere near the scale of the likes of Alfie Deyes) the parts of the video where he talks about having a Snog card gifted to him where he can get whatever he wants and uses his celeb status to get himself free donuts and the like really, REALLY didn’t sit well with me. Yes, we get “free” stuff – it’s not free, we have to have built up a platform, we have to work for it but it doesn’t cost us money – but that is never something that should be rubbed in someone else’s face, and something that should be received with gratitude and humility. It’s a wonderful part of this weird career of influencer marketing, but its not a given. No one owes it to the Alfie Deyes of the world and if youtube was deleted tomorrow, where would that leave him?
When I posted on Instagram stories about the vlog I had so many messages, ranging from agreeing with my sentiments (which were: what a little fuckmuppet) to the downright unfair “This made me cry today. Is that what I am to these people? A joke?”
No, if you’re living below the poverty line you are not a joke, the way you live isn’t there for people of privilege to mock. Please remember: one day your situation will get better, but people like Alfie Deyes seldom become better people.