27 ‘Low-Class’ Habits That Get Judgemental Side-Eyes from High-Class People

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When aiming for a high-class, sophisticated image, some ‘low-class’ habits can attract the wrong kind of attention (like disapproving glances and judgemental side-eyes).

Riding Public Transit


In some cultures, hopping on the bus or catching the subway is viewed with a bit of skepticism. While it’s an everyday convenience for many, there are places where using public transportation too often can raise an eyebrow or two. 

It’s seen as a compromise, reserved for those who might not afford their own wheels—though, let’s be honest, it’s often just a practical choice.

Showing a Lot of Skin (No Judgment!)


Dressing in outfits that show a lot of skin can sometimes draw unwanted attention and judgment, even when the intention is simply comfort or personal style. 

In more conservative environments, such attire might be seen as provocative and low-class, despite being a personal fashion choice with no intention of making a statement.

Frequenting Fast Food Chains


Grabbing a burger and fries on the go is a familiar scene, yet it’s sometimes frowned upon, especially if it becomes a regular meal choice. Fast food, often viewed as the last resort for busy or budget-strapped individuals, can attract judgmental glances, despite its appeal for quick and tasty options.

Remarkably, about two-thirds of the population (65%) indulge in fast food weekly. Furthermore, 13% of individuals eat fast food daily! The convenience, affordability, and widespread availability of fast food chains, especially in urban and suburban zones, cater to the hectic schedules of modern life.

Tackling DIY Home Projects


Engaging in DIY home improvement projects has surged, with 3 in 4 (73%) Americans trying their hand at renovations during the pandemic. However, viewed by some as a low-class endeavor, DIY efforts can sometimes backfire, leading to regrets in 8% of cases. 

This perception might suggest it’s often wiser to hire a professional rather than risk the pitfalls of an amateur job, even though these projects can be a practical and satisfying way to personalize your living space.

Lighting Up in Public


Smoking openly in public spaces can be a divisive habit. 

In areas where public health campaigns dominate, lighting up can be seen as both a health risk and a social faux pas, casting smokers in a harsh light among health-conscious individuals.

Frequently Complaining in Restaurants


Constantly voicing complaints in a restaurant, about everything from the dryness of the meat to the temperature of the potatoes, can paint a picture of the ‘crazy’ dissatisfied customer. 

This behavior might make fellow diners and staff uncomfortable, suggesting a lack of flexibility or understanding of the complexities involved in food service.

Stepping Out in Pajamas


Wearing what you wore to bed out in public? That’s sure to turn heads. 

While some might argue it’s the peak of comfort, others see it as a breach of public decorum, suggesting perhaps a lazy attitude—even though it’s just a harmless personal choice!

Sporting Visible Tattoos (Like the Head of the Devil!)


In many cultures, tattoos can still stir up whispers and concerned looks. While they’re widely accepted as a form of self-expression or art, visible ink might be misinterpreted in more conservative settings. 

For example, imagine walking into a traditional corporate office with a full-sleeve tattoo—it could certainly raise some eyebrows, even if it’s just an expression of your creative side.

Wearing Visible Piercings


Just like tattoos, visible piercings can be an eye-catcher for all the wrong reasons in certain environments—from a nose ring or a brow piercing—these personal adornments can be seen as rebellious or unprofessional in traditional settings. 

Perhaps think twice before deciding to get those ‘randomly placed’ piercings? 

Browsing Discount or Dollar Stores


Shopping at discount or dollar stores might not scream ‘high society,’ but it’s just smart budgeting, right? Still, there’s a stigma that clinging to coupons and hunting for deals at these shops implies financial desperation. 

This view might overlook the savvy people who simply love a good offer—like finding that designer brand for less than a cup of coffee (how is this even possible…)

Using Slang or Street Language Excessively


When someone uses way too much slang or street lingo, it can give off an unpolished vibe, especially in professional or formal settings. It’s like showing up to a job interview in casual wear—comfortable but potentially out of place. 

This habit may make conversations less ‘boring’ but can sideline a speaker in scenarios that call for a more refined (and respectful) dialogue.

Showing Affection Publicly


Engaging in public displays of affection—like a couple kissing or holding hands excessively in public—often draws mixed reactions. 

In places where modesty is prized, such public intimacy might be frowned upon, as it clashes with local norms about private versus public behavior, making some people uncomfortable despite the innocent intent.

Sharing a Multi-Family House


Living in a house divided among several families might draw some curious looks. 

In many societies, this living arrangement might be perceived as a sign of economic strain, even though it could be a strategic move to save money or a cultural preference for communal living.

Skipping Higher Education


Choosing not to pursue higher education can often invite scrutiny, especially in societies that prize academic achievements as a path to success. 

For instance, opting for immediate employment over college might be seen as short-sighted by some, even though it could be a strategic decision to avoid debt or start gaining practical experience early.

Wearing Heavy Makeup (Without an Occasion)

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Sporting bold, heavy makeup on a regular day might turn heads—some might wonder if there’s a special event you’re headed to. 

This choice (often embraced for personal enjoyment or artistic expression) can be misunderstood as excessive or inappropriate in everyday settings, where looking ‘natural’ is usually the norm.

Working in Manual Labor or the Service Industry

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Jobs in manual labor or the service industry are often unfairly labeled as lower-class roles. Influenced by various socioeconomic factors, individuals in these positions might face stigma (despite the essential services they provide). 

This judgment overlooks the skill, dedication, and resilience required in these fields, which are fundamental to the functioning of society.

Donning Second-Hand Clothing


Wearing second-hand clothing is sometimes seen as an indicator of low socioeconomic status, but with sustainability in fashion becoming more mainstream, this practice is gaining respect. Several celebrities are embracing secondhand clothing as a way to showcase their unique style. Known for her fashion-forward looks, Sarah Jessica Parker frequently praises the joy of thrifting. Similarly, rapper Macklemore has famously celebrated his thrift shop finds in his music. 

Despite celebrities championing thrifted fashion, a stigma still clings to secondhand clothing among the general public. The idea that secondhand is second-best can deter many from exploring thrift shops,

Not Owning a House


In a time where average home prices are soaring—which reached $495,100 in the second quarter of 2023 according to the Census Bureau and HUD—those who don’t own property can get unfairly judged. 

Often, not having a home is misjudged as a sign of financial instability or low social standing. This critique overlooks the harsh economic realities many face, with the median home price in June 2023 standing at $426,056 as reported by Redfin. These figures emphasize that, for many, home ownership remains a distant dream.

Speaking Loudly

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Speaking loudly in public spaces is often viewed with disapproval. For instance, loudly discussing personal matters or laughing hysterically can draw mad glances and irritation from those seeking a quieter environment. 

This behavior, while perhaps a display of joy or enthusiasm, can be perceived as lacking manners or awareness of one’s surroundings.

Lacking Cultural Capital


Not being well-versed in highbrow cultural pursuits—like fine arts or classical music—can lead to judgments about one’s educational and social background. 

This perceived lack of cultural capital is often unfairly seen as an indicator of lower social or educational status. Such judgments can overshadow the rich diversity of knowledge and varied interests that individuals may have. After all, appreciating high culture doesn’t necessarily require owning a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa, right?

Living in Economical Homes

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Residing in budget-friendly homes can attract scrutiny and assumptions about one’s financial and social status. 

Often perceived as a necessity rather than a choice, living in such accommodations is sometimes unfairly judged, despite it being a good financial choice for managing living expenses.

Eating Noisily or Messily


Talking with food in your mouth or eating too greedily are habits that can quickly attract negative attention. These behaviors, often seen during hurried lunches or casual dining, can be off-putting to onlookers, as they clash with widely accepted dining etiquette. 

This can lead to judgments about your upbringing or personal habits (even though you’re just trying to enjoy your meal!)

Using Payday Loans or Pawn Shops


Resorting to payday loans or pawn shops is typically associated with financial desperation. 

Seen as a last resort, these services are stigmatized as indicators of poor financial management, despite often being the only available option for those in immediate need of funds. This reliance can unfairly signal to others a lack of long-term financial planning or stability.

Being Unemployed


Not having a job, especially for an extended period, is often unfairly stigmatized as a sign of laziness or lack of ambition. This judgment disregards the many factors that can lead to unemployment, such as economic downturns, industry shifts, or personal health issues. 

Being jobless is frequently viewed through a critical lens, ignoring the efforts many make to find work amidst difficult circumstances.

Going Without Health Insurance


Not having health insurance is often taken as a sign of irresponsibility or reckless living, particularly in societies where healthcare is a major societal pillar. 

Still, this assumption fails to account for those who may not have access due to high costs or lack of employment benefits. 

Not Preparing for Retirement


Many lower-class workers are stuck in jobs without retirement benefits like pensions. 

Not saving for retirement is often viewed as reckless and low-class, but this overlooks the reality that many simply can’t spare the funds amid pressing daily expenses. 

Relying Too Much on Government Assistance

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For those facing economic hardships, such as unemployment or low wages, government assistance can be a lifeline. However, relying heavily on benefits like food stamps or housing subsidies can be stigmatized, seen as a dependency rather than a necessary support. 

This perspective fails to recognize the critical role these aids play in providing stability for those in difficult financial situations.

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.