Helicopters to preschool, diamonds at the beach, birthday parties that cost more than the average American wedding — it's easy to believe that the lives of the fabulously wealthy are filled with extravagances beyond the scope of our decidedly less wealthy imaginations.
When it comes to society's upper crust, everyone's got an opinion. They're hated and scorned as much as they're lauded and admired. To some, the rich represent an aspirational vision of what can be achieved with hard work and persistence; for others, their financial success is nothing more than the result of pure luck and a healthy dose of entitlement.
So which is it?
Short of weaseling our way into the world of the wealthy (and trust us, we're working on it), there's no way to know for sure. But whether you're someone who dreams of the high life, or someone who loves to hate on it, one thing's for sure: There's something truly special about making outlandish, uninformed judgements about the way these people live their lives.
Here are seven ridiculous assumptions we all love to make about fabulously wealthy people.
1. They don't work.
A lot of people think that members of the elite split their time between exotic beaches and their plastic surgeons' waiting rooms, but that's not always true. Some wealthy folks are self-made, and those who aren't often work their way up from the bottom of their dad's companies! It's hard work.
Not to mention almost everyone does some sort of charity work, and that's kind of similar to having a job.
2. They couldn't survive without 'help.'
Housekeepers, drivers, chefs, nannies — contrary to popular belief, rich people don't need a staff to survive. Sure, if everyone on their payroll quit unexpectedly, it might leave them starving, living in squalor, and teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but it's unlikely that they wouldn't survive.
And that's the kind of perseverance that makes the one percent an inspiration to us all.
3. They're constantly dealing with family drama.
We all love to think of wealthy families as constantly embroiled in some cinematic drama, probably having to do with a 28-year-old stepmother or a brother fresh out of rehab who is vying for control of the family business.
But this is nothing more than a harmful stereotype. Sure, privileged families have their fair share of drama, but it certainly isn't constant, and most evil stepmothers are at least 30, which really makes all the difference.
4. They're out of touch with reality.
Just because the rich live a different lifestyle from most people doesn't mean that they've lost touch with what's going on in the real world.
They watch and read the news like everybody else, and because they can actually afford to splurge on upgraded subscriptions and high definition TVs, it could be said that they're even better informed than the average person.
5. They can buy their way out of trouble.
A lot of *normal people* like to believe that in a court of law, money is the best defense. And while that would make a fantastic opening line for a televised legal drama, it just isn't true.
Yes, maybe when it comes to minor offenses like reckless driving, arson, and murder, the wealthy tend to get off easy. But when they commit more serious financial crimes, like embezzlement or investor fraud, rich people often end up behind bars for a few weeks or months.
6. They are all plastic.
A particularly damaging assumption we make about wealthy people is that their good looks are entirely engineered by doctors and silicone.
In reality, their attractiveness can be attributed to many things — generations of selective breeding, non-invasive (hello, it's called 'rejuvenating') procedures, and, yes, the occasional visit to a cosmetic surgeon. But, I mean, he's considered more of a family friend at this point, so it barely counts.
7. They don't have real problems.
Who among us is qualified to decide what constitutes a REAL problem? So what if the wealthy are preoccupied with things like the rising costs of yacht insurance (it's astronomical), getting sand in their caviar at the beach (disgusting), or their private yoga instructor going on maternity leave (completely selfish)?
The important thing to remember is that they face hardships like everyone else, and they deserve the same sympathy we so freely give to normal people's boring problems.
This article is sponsored by The CW's Dynasty. Catch it Wednesdays at 9/8c only on The CW!