Excessive consumption of the rich is a sign of power.
Have you ever heard of The Golden Phoenix? No? Well, in this case, you are absolutely normal, just like me. Because The Golden Phoenix is acclaimed to be the world's most expensive edible cupcake. While you spend around $4 on your cupcake, rich people spend…wait for it…$1,000!
Are you shocked by this price tag? I definitely am. So, let me tell you more about The Golden Phoenix, created by Bloomsbury cupcake founder Shafeena Yusuff Ali. It is baked with premium Amadei Porcelana chocolate and premium Ugandan vanilla beans. 23-carat edible gold sheets cover the pastry, not to mention the edible gold dust on the chocolate icing and on its chocolate décor. Oh wait, I almost forgot about the strawberries. There is also edible gold dust on those chocolate-covered strawberries, which garnish the dessert.
How can it be that people pay a thousand dollars for just a tiny little chocolate pastry? The Golden Phoenix may not be so rich in nutrients, but definitely in symbolic meaning. And actually, it's exactly that symbolic meaning attached to the chocolate cupcake, which makes rich people acquire it in the first place.
It's crazy, but it also demonstrates that we live in a world where people use excessive consumption in order to climb up the social ladder and in a society where the waste of money is considered as a sign of superiority and power. Unfortunately, we live in a society in which money equals power and in which spending money equals keeping or even increasing that power.
What about you and me? You may say that this topic of conspicuous consumption does not concern us, as we are not part of the super-rich. However, there is nothing more wrong than that. We definitely construct our identity around consumption, as there is a meaning attached to anything we buy.
Whether it's your food from the organic section, your sneakers from a certain brand or your phone, no matter what you buy, project a certain association back on you. It's all about who you are and who you want to be. Healthy and caring about the environment? Sporty or casual? Apple or Android user? No matter the product, it all comes back to your identity.
I'm all good with that. However, when it comes to envy and jealousy and a disgustingly excessive demonstration of wealth I lose my appetite. I mean, this phenomenon goes as far as spending $1,000 on a tiny chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting!
However, if you nonetheless feel tempted to give it a try, The Golden Phoenix is on sale at Dubai's Bloomsbury Cupcakes.