YouTube videos document the purchase and "unboxing"of status goods, highlighting the intense emotional fervor that follows. Commenters respond with praise while expressing envy for the goods on their person. Taken together, online videos and the comments that attend them raise a number of questions about how we evaluate fashion purchases and the boundaries and inequalities these purchases bring to light. Using a sample of 10 widely viewed online videos and over 2,700 public comments in reply to these, I provide an analysis of boundary work in a context of extreme privilege. I do this with a critical eye towards the ways in which commenters leverage envy and aspiration to both bridge boundaries and draw distinctions online.
Foster, J. (2021). “My Money and My Heart”: Buying a Birkin and Boundary Work Online. Communication, Culture and Critique, 14(4), 639–656. https://doi.org/10.1093/ccc/tcab033