Angus Abranson (angusabranson) wrote,
Angus Abranson

An explanation about Chavs and Council Estate Barbie's for our Naive American Cousins

Because an explanation of 'Chav' was asked for....

Chav was a local term which is slowly going nationwide here in the UK. Variations of 'Chav' have always existed and will always be with us. In other areas Chavs are/were known as Townies, Casuals, Becks, Neds and countless more terms. Some people would also quite rightly call them Cunts, because generally they are.

(the following has been taken from The Guardians 'This Week' column by Laura Barton on Saturday 2nd October 2004)

"The term chav seeped into the language late last year, and comes from the town of Chatham, Kent. A new book, published next week, and winningly entitled Chav! provides a rudimentary guide to the term: "Chavs are the non-respectable working classes," the blurb explains, "the dole scroungers, petty criminals, football hooligans and teenage pram-pushers for whom fake Burberry was invented." One might well suggest that the term chav could also embrace anyone who, to the undiscerning middle-class eye, resembled how they imagined a dole scrounger, petty criminal, football hooligan or teenage pram-pusher to look, whether they happened to be sporting Burberry or not.

Key chav characteristics apparently include being called Jasmine, Tiffany or Wayne, driving a souped-up Vauxhall Nova and wearing "prison-white" trainers and FCUK zip-up tops. Chav is, in short, the Essex girl and the beshellsuited scouser, all rolled into one great Burberry-patterned beast.

Naturally, the phrase and the riveting pastime of "chav-spotting" is spreading like dry-rot - Chav! is brought to you by the same people who launched the still-popular website, where fans could send in photos of real-life chavs. A couple of months ago, I was informed of a new invention: Council Estate Barbie, in which the buxom blonde is pictured heavily pregnant in a velour tracksuit, with a toddler at her ankle, and this very week I was forwarded an email encouraging me to visit and type the word "chav" into its search engine - the "hilarious" result being an array of gold necklaces for gentlemen.

And while I'm sure it's all deeply hilarious to some, one can't help but feel that all this chav stuff achieves is making the working class into a cartoon, whose poverty is a subject to be mocked. Ha, ha, ha! Look at the people who have to live on council estates! They can't even buy their own houses! Can't afford your own school lunch? How hysterical! But why is buying an Argos sovereign ring any different from purchasing a necklace from Asprey, say? Why is putting a spoiler on the back of your Nova any more absurd than having a mahogany-trim on your BMW? Maybe I'm a po-faced party pooper. But to my mind, all this chav business seems little more than poking poor people with sticks. And then laughing."

Whilst searching for a good explanation I was also amused to find this following article from earlier in the year: Storm As Football Holligan Doll Launched (IC Wales; The National Website of Wales; 29th February 2004)</font>


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