‘Pravs’ in – ‘Chavs’ out
There is a new addiction sweeping Britain‘s high streets. The number of enthusiasts is in the thousands and growing.
- a compulsion to tell friends (and enemies) how little money they have spent on their latest bargains – a condition psychologists term as ‘compulsive prices disclosure’
- feeling triumphant that an item cost less than a similar item bought by a friend
- a realisation that expensive is not necessarily better
- snubbing of designer labels
‘Pravs’The enthusiasts themselves are known as ‘pravs’. The ‘proud realisers of added value’ are thought to be a backlash against the popular ‘bling bling’ or ‘chav’ culture. The ‘chav’ phenomenon has turned many people off buying designer clothes and instead they are opting for the opposite end of the market.
High street shops It is no longer cool to be a label snob but it is cool to spend as little as possible. Popular places to do this are the high street shops, Primark, Matalan and TK Maxx. These shops have always been popular with those on lower incomes but now they are filled with high earners and owners of platinum credit cards. They can be seen stuffing as many garments as possible into their shopping bags and gloating over the prices.
Supermarket own brands are also popular. Comparisons made on how much a T-shirt from ASDA costs compared to a T-shirt from Matalan are common place. Snippets of overheard conversations are likely to include, ‘don’t buy it from there, you can save 75 pence buying it from there instead‘.
Cheap clothing Chioma, an artist from Bristol, shops in Primark. ‘I go there when I am fed up and I know that I am able to buy something to cheer me up. I could get a new top for ￡3 and an entire new outfit for ￡15.’
The ‘prav’ expects to buy a pair of jeans for less than a takeaway meal. Concerns about the longevity of the items are pushed aside. They are so cheap that another one can always be purchased and anyway, fashion may have changed by next month!
Definitions of 'chav' and 'bling bling'
‘Chav’ is a derogatory slang term currently in popular usage throughout the UK. It refers to a subculture negatively stereotyped as being uneducated, uncultured and prone to antisocial or immoral behaviour. The label is typically (although not exclusively) applied to teenagers and young adults of white working class or lower-middle class origin. A male ‘chav’ is sometimes referred to as a ‘chavster’ and a female as a ‘chavette’, although ‘chav’ is typically used to refer to both sexes.
‘Bling Bling’ is a 1999 hit hip-hop song by The B.G., featuring his Cash Money Records labelmates Juvenile, Lil' Wayne, Turk, Baby, and Mannie Fresh. The song, and its many follow-ups from the label, popularised a hip hop slang term which refers to expensive jewellery and other accoutrements. The term is thought to be derived from the onomatopoeia of a visual effect used to denote light glistening off metal or jewels.