Ghetto fabulous is an expression believed to have originated amongst African-Americans living in poor urban areas. Often used in a term of derision, it specifically refers to the mentality and lifestyle of some American ghetto inhabitants and vaguely to the mentality and lifestyle of poor black urbanites. It can be argued that "ghetto fabulous" is a sub-culture within the welfare state and therefore America itself. People, commonly in the urban community, who live a part of their life dependent on assistance are referred to as ghetto. Then a turning point surprisingly changes their lifestyle and they find a way to "strike it rich" to now live a life that is "ghetto fabulous."
In the media Edit
It has been argued that "ghetto fabulous" is a negative stereotype of Black America. In this sense, it means African-Americans who superficially live the affluent lifestyle, but in reality do not have the means to support their luxurious possessions. Nevertheless, it has a popular use in the vernacular, television, and movies. As a comedic device it often dramatizes and draws attention to life in the ghetto. For example, in the motion picture B.A.P.S. (or Black American Princesses), the protagonists Nissi and Mickie pretend to belong to an upper-economic class, but in reality they live a lifestyle that is full of superficial glamour also known as "ghetto fabulous." Lately (2004-2006), "ghetto fabulous" style has moved into the mainstream along with hip-hop and rap music icons adopting the style though sometimes calling the fashion "uptown couture" with common "ghetto fabulous" styles mixed with couture labels, including new upscale/designer labels created by hip-hop moguls including Sean Combs, Jay-Z, and Kimora Lee Simmons.
Common assumptions Edit
Uses and interpretations of the term vary. Generally speaking, a person who is living "ghetto fabulous" usually lives above their means, sometimes with means of support other than legitimate work. Money and housing may come from welfare assistance, relatives, or illicit activities. However, the person is not considered poor. In fact the person may appear well-to-do. Frequently the term is used in reference to a person's material possessions such as a luxury car, brand-label clothing and accessories, or jewellery. The term may also reference personal grooming habits such as having one's hair and nails done, being tattooed, or having cosmetic gold or silver caps applied to the teeth. While the term "ghetto fabulous" may be used to specifically point to any of the above, it is most frequently used a generalization, e.g., "s/he is living (a) ghetto fabulous (life)."