It’s a Saturday afternoon. Well evening, it’s 6pm. When I’d normally be getting showered,
dinner-ed and drunk-ed to go on a night out. The joke is I’ve turned into such a home body
on the weekends. I’m sat in my room trying on my £300 Topshop order via Klarna, listening
to the ‘Slay in Your Lane’ podcast (granted not the latest but still), Adult Milestones and The Influencer Pay Gap.
And I have never resonated with something so much in my life.
The hosts, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, were discussing about becoming an
adult in today’s world, as well as being single. Something I know all too much about. But
Elizabeth brought up never understanding the need to buy clothes on Klarna for £13.33 a
month for the next 4 months to pay off your clothes (as I shamefully look down at my two-bag order because I always order so much). Yet now she’s bought a sofa, or as Uviebinené calls it a ‘couch’, she understands the need to split something across a long period of time. Like damn - sofa’s are expensive. I know you jokingly go into Ikea for the £1.50 hot dog meal, and a few cheeky Daim bags, and maybe a Fejka or two, but when you have to buy the big boy furniture that stuff is pricey!
But more importantly, how much harder this stuff is when you’re single. I’ve had
this dilemma since I started uni. I had the determination to want to move out and rent, and
then the struggle of wanting to pay off my car. Now I’ve paid my car off I want to move out,
but I’m like if I start renting now, I’ve joined the ‘renting cycle of doom’ that no one ever
seems to get out of unless they move back home. And here we have the ‘cycle of doom’
already impending on me before it’s even started. But let's act like my indecisiveness has nothing to do with this.
My friend and I both are trying to save for a mortgage to move together. Both single. Both
hopeful. Both clueless. Neither of us know what we're going to move into. Where we’re
going to move. How we’re going to move. And most importantly how the flipping hell are
we going to pay for it. Our generation (the Gen Z’s) are so screwed. We can just about get
on the housing market if we save over 10% for the highest chances of getting a good deal.
We can just about get a grad job that pays £21,000 a year, and then we have to pay of the
student debt – albeit it’s only 9%, but let’s face it those Tories are going to end up hiking
that up soon if they scrapped paying for future NHS nurse’s degrees. Yeah this episode triggered me. Deeply.
Like Elizabeth said, “people aren’t living by themselves properly. They’re buying houses
later, or living in big house shares in their twenties, or they’re still renting well into their
thirties”. It’s so much harder for us as young people now to settle both as singletons but
also as independent adults. My dad showed me the house him and my mum first bought
when they were in their early twenties, that cost them around £54k. Probably a lot more
money in the 90s, but still a major difference to the £220,000 that house is up for now. And more importantly that's around the average 10% I would have to save for a mortgage. Uviebinené goes onto say, “so compared to our parents, they got married a lot earlier, they
had children a lot earlier… We think about the future a lot later”. I love this from us. I love
that our generation is so much more carefree and there is lack of pressure on all of us to
have these milestones set for us, whether we have kids at 21 or 36 it doesn’t matter,
because we set our normal. We’re lucky in that sense, but we’re still stuck in much deeper
waters. I think Yomi and Elizabeth both touch on the subject perfectly because as two woman in their later 20s, and me being in my early 20s - just shows the all round stretch of financial dead ends we're constantly in.
We’re a part of a generation where we can become anything we want to be, move (give or
take) where we want to go, live how we want to live, earn how we want to earn. But yet it’s
still so much harder for us to join the property ladder because of this. And then being single,
you have to carry the financial burden yourself – unless you have a God-sent friend or family
member you want to move out with (thanks Amz).
Yomi continues the discussion by bringing up how most people think that her and Elizabeth are early to mid-thirties because of how much they’ve achieved, the platform they have, and the careers they lead. But yet they’re both only 28. Us as a society we see people who have settled in their paths, as being a lot older because I feel like in our eyes the path to success is a lot longer –in whatever you’re trying to achieve. Adegoke states “it definitely ages us” – and I think that’s a problem we have today where you’re too young for this or you’re too old for that. The reoccurring topic I keep seeing on Twitter is people discussing whether being over 23 is too old to go to uni. 23. TWENTY-THREE. As in not even 5 years to 30 – which isn’t even old by the way.
It’s problematic. But it’s a problem that just shifts through each generation, but
the expectations and barriers just change depending on the era.
Not only that, but you ‘can’t delay your next stage of life’ (as put by Elizabeth), purely
because a hurdle came in the way or you broke up with someone, or you got a different job.
It’s like you planned your life around this one fundamental thing you knew you needed and
wanted and now you can’t because of circumstantial changes. “You can’t buy your house on
a Monday, meet someone on the Tuesday, and then sell your house on the Wednesday” –
this will be my stance and motto for moving on with life, forever.
The second half of this episode and other majorly important topic Yomi and Elizabeth spoke
about was the ‘Influencer Pay Gap’. In previous episodes they’ve spoken about both the
gender and ethnic pay gap within various industries, but today the topic was about black and other ethnicities vs. white content creators pay gap. They touch on the newly created
anonymous social media account spilling all of the information people want to hear, via
@InfluencerPayGap, about how much influencers are earning globally.
Now I’m not an influencer, nor as a young white woman have, I experienced a ‘pay gap’ as
of yet (for reference, I’m 21). This was super inciteful for me because it’s something that has
always subconsciously been in the back of my mind as woman. But add white to the
equation and ignorantly, it’s almost less of a worry.
Elizabeth goes onto speak about how there’s almost a ‘smoke screen’ regarding pay and
openness of this information. Since entering the ‘cooperate’ world, I’ve noticed money is a
lot more of a taboo subject to speak to people about, and apparently, it’s even contractually
written we’re not allowed to?! This is coming from someone with a contract (well hopefully
still after this), but people like Yomi and Elizabeth, whom are freelancers, don’t have this
contractual agreements – which almost makes it even harder for people to discuss and
argue against when you have no comparisons to be made. Being a freelancer is 10x harder
than just jumping on the interview wave and getting a office job because each opportunity
is like a new job offer, and so rightly so you need to know your worth each time a new gig comes around. So you have to have the balls to stop people in their tracks and almost take charge and ownership for yourself. The same way Elizabeth said to an agent that ”not everybody else is me”. Engage this BDE energy the same for yourselves please.
Yomi also touches on people bringing black content creators to panels etc. and “not valuing
the audience” that comes with a black content creator, as opposed to that of a white
creator. As Elizabeth responds, this is key. Especially now in this era of social media and the
virtue signalling of many white influencers with the Black Lives Matter movement. Bringing
up how Black audience’s, and the creators themselves, aren’t necessarily as well
appreciated is crucial, the same way that mass marketing companies barely have any
diverse representation within their advertising because that isn’t ‘the audience’ they are
looking for. When it becomes a matter of fact, that it is actually systemic and institutionalised racism and oppression coming into play – it’s just never acknowledged on their behalf.
These two women are genuinely like listening to my older sisters. Every time I see a new episode I honourably treat my dogs to an extra long walk just to listen to it in open air. Each episode is a new topic touching on everything relevant, important and 'tea'-filled for anyone and their mum to listen to. So what you waiting for go listen to it already!