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Who's a “Mirrey”? Spotting Glamour and Excess in Mexico

Lobuki

A lobuki's perfection (A “lobuki” is the female counterpart of the “mirrey”). Taken from Facebook page Yo soy un mirrey [es] [I'm a mirrey].

(All links are in Spanish, otherwise noted [en] for English)

The term “mirrey”, referring to a personal and easily identifiable lifestyle, has reached its peak in Mexico during the last few months. 

Mexico is a country that shows evidence of social and economic inequality where Carlos Slim [en] not only lives, but prospers. He is the well-known telecommunications tycoon and is one of the richest men in the world. Meanwhile, practically half of the population (45%) find themselves living poverty. The official report shows 11.5 million people living in extreme poverty [en]. 

But none of this appears to hinder the “mirreyes” from existing and multiplying. The “mirrey” lifestyle can probably be compared to that of Western pop culture celebrities. This is based on glamour, consumerism, excess (or a disproportionate aspiration towards it), and despotism. Perhaps it has to do with advocating classism, which is deeply rooted in the country. Investigator Beatriz Urías alludes to this: 

Racial discrimination in Mexico goes beyond that of the indigenous question. Within ordinary social life, stereotypes are formed and circulated. They encompass a variety of phenotypical possibilities that are associated with marginalization phenomena, poverty, and lack of opportunities. 

Very diverse groups are stigmatized for not only being more indigenous mestizos versus Spanish ones, but also by being on the sidelines of the dominate culture. That is to say, besides skin color or facial features, exclusion calls into question one's manner of speaking, education level, and dealing with cultural codes. In Mexico, racism and classism go hand-in-hand. 

The “mirrey” style even appeared on the big screen in the 2013 film, “Nosotros los nobles” [en] [We the Nobles]. It became the biggest box office earner in Mexican cinematography. The character, Javier “Javi” Noble, portrays the “mirrey” persona. 

To hold the “mirrey” style, or aspire to it, is something that has filled countless blogs and entertainment web sites. Such is case with El Deforma, which took upon itself to provide a list of recommendations as to how to become one: 

If you find integration into Mexico's upper-class difficult, follow these simple steps: 

1.- Always use a shirt, regardless if you're in a bathing suit or pajamas, and make sure to have at least three buttons undone (the weather shouldn't concern you). It's important that your shirt has more of a neckline than that of your girlfriend (a.k.a lobuki). 

2.- When you talk about your parents in front of others, say “mi ma y mi pa” ['ma' is short for "mamá", mom, and 'pa' is short for "papá", dad]. 

3.- Constantly point out how much money you have and how good it feels to have it (even if you don't have any).

4.- Refer to your friends as: Papaloy, Mirrey, Mirrey Midas, Milord, Papagallo, Papawh, etc.

5.- When in quiet places, such as the cinema, speak in a loud tone of voice (showing that you can do anything). 

6.- Say you play golf even though you don't know how. 

7.- Call the waiters “capi” [captain] and waitresses “reina” [queen].

8.- Add the suffix, “uki” or “irri”, to as many words possible. (ex. playeruki, lobuki, peluki, fiestirri, besirri, onduki, fotirri, etc.).

Sopitas recenty shared a polemic video showing the “mirrey” excessive lifestyle. It makes the following comment: 

So we stumble upon a video from the Instituto Cumbres [Cumbres Institution] announcing the class of 2014′s up-coming and elegant graduation. We watched it and still don't know how to feel. In the pictures we see several “mirrey” students from Cumbres living the luxurious and glitzy life along with preparing themselves to be the big “papalords” for the end-of-the-year party. 

The Cumbers Institute is an exclusive, all-boys religious institution. Their students belong to the upper and upper-middle classes. 

Abuses and classism of “mirrey” life is not exclusive to the younger generation. Several incidents have appeared and been commented on social media. Examples of this can be found via Twitter hashtags: #LadyProfeco ["Profeco" stands for "Office of the Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer" in English] #LadySenadora [Senator] and #Sacal (the latter refers to the Moisés Sacal assault case).

Political scientist Ricardo Raphael alludes to Mexican “mirreys” in this manner: 

The country they were born into attributes little value towards sacrifice and money is practically everything. The Mexican elite is dominated by symptoms of intellectual poverty that cannot be hidden. 

Continuing on the subject, Ricardo Raphael questions:

Why are children of the Mexican elite allowed to have everything? Why are they arrogant and indifferent? Why do they distance themselves from the rest? Why are they mediocre? 

(…)

Of all the inequalities that prevail in Mexico, why is it that the inequality expressed by the behavior of these young people turns out to be the most offensive? Answering this question is not easy, but it is worth a try. First hypothesis: to the rest of Mexicans, this asymmetry embarrass us – hurts us. In contrast, for the elite living in the national penthouse, there is no shame. They suppose that they obtained their wealth in their own right (a vice during Feudalism known as divine right). 

A few Twitter users show-off their “mirrey” style, such as Luis Fernando, (@SoyFernie), who shared that he was instructing his chauffeur on the “mirrey” language. 

Teaching the chauffeur how to speak #Mirrey, hahaha.

Current young gentleman's fashion: buttoned shirt = hipster
Unbuttoned shirt = casual
Shirt with two buttons undone = mirrey

To enjoy or feign the “mirrey” lifestyle in Mexico (a nation not characterized for its financial wealth) is therefore a type of behavior worthy of analysis. It generates a variety of reactions within the community and displays evidence of societal classism. 

  • Z E R O

    Opulence is a way of running from ones own interior suffering. These type of peopler are not inside themselves, they are ever outwards, running towards worldly attachment and possession to fill up the hole. It’s ok, they’re learning a lesson as are we.

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