Over the weekend I took in the China Design Now exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum. It was a great example of the way in which the most populated country in the world intertwines old world values with modern day technology.
One of the pieces of the exhibits chronicled how the Chinese measure status, saying over the past few decades that measurement of wealth was calculated by the “Rule of 4”, meaning that there are 4 items which a Chinese person must posses before they could be perceived as really “making it”.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s it was watches, bicycles, sewing machines, watches and radios.
The 1980’s saw color TV’s, refrigerators, washing machines and cassette/radio players
1990’s status symbols were houses, automobiles, computers and mobile phones.
Since I have been “out and about” over the past decade here in the Queen City, I have seen fads come and go in our gay community, the list of status items being reinvented a bit faster than it would have been in China, doing so every 4 years, and have come up with Gay Cincinnati’s own “Rule of 4”.
2001- 2003: Home in Mason, Ck-1 men’s cologne, Navy Pea coat, four-door sedan of any kind
2004 – 2006: Laptop, Mallory For Mayor campaign signs, fake mo-hawk hairstyle, Aviator Sunglasses (audaciously worn at night)
2007 – Present: Apartment in the Over-the-Rhine, iPOD/iPhone, METRO Bus pass, Recycle bin
Do you see a trend?