Los Angeles, November 15, 2023
In a recent interview with Vogue, Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez attempted to portray their lives as remarkably ordinary, much to the skepticism of an internet audience grappling with the rising tide of billionaire scrutiny. As the couple described their “pretty normal” routine, the public response has highlighted a growing sentiment of resentment towards the ultra-rich and their attempts to present themselves as relatable.
The day in question began with Sánchez disembarking from her personal helicopter after a sweeping aerial tour of the Blue Origin base and the couple’s expansive multimillion-dollar ranch. Despite these extravagant elements, Sánchez insisted that their lives are centered around the typical, emphasizing family and daily routines.
According to Sánchez, their day usually kicks off with a simple act of making coffee for each other, a seemingly mundane task that belies the opulence of their lifestyle. Bezos, with a net worth exceeding $166 billion, prefers his coffee either black or with a particular dairy creamer crafted by surfer Laird Hamilton.
The couple reportedly engages in regular workouts together, concluding their day with a surprisingly early 9:30 pm bedtime and the leisurely activity of watching television. Their adherence to a Saturday family movie night tradition adds to the semblance of a suburban, middle-class existence.
The couple also disclosed details about their weekday routine, navigating between the LA base for the younger children and the Lake Washington estate, all while adhering to a structured drop-off routine for the kids, which includes Sánchez personally driving her child to school.
However, the internet’s reaction to this seemingly relatable narrative has been one of skepticism and sarcasm. A viral tweet featuring photos of the couple dressed in simple jeans and cowboy hats drew attention to the irony of Bezos, one of the wealthiest individuals globally, attempting to emulate a working-class lifestyle.
Beyond the attempts at portraying an ordinary life, the couple’s vast wealth is evident in their extensive properties, including a 30,000-acre ranch in Texas. Bezos, the second-richest person globally, owns a staggering 420,000 acres, making him the 24th largest landowner in the nation.
The environmental impact of their lifestyle, including regular chartered flights and a well-staffed household, has also drawn attention. Mercedes Wedaa, one of their staff members, previously filed a lawsuit against Bezos, alleging racial discrimination and poor working conditions.
This attempt to downplay their wealth aligns with a broader trend referred to as “quiet luxury,” where the ultra-rich seek to appear humble despite their substantial fortunes. As wealth inequality intensifies and resentment towards billionaires grows, the public is less convinced by these attempts to present a relatable image.
The pandemic has only exacerbated these sentiments, with the top 1% increasing their wealth significantly more than the rest of the world. A report from Oxfam highlighted the disproportionate gains of the ultra-wealthy, while the average American faced challenges such as a high cost of living, a competitive housing market, and massive student loans.
The younger generations, burdened with financial challenges, express growing resentment towards the wealthy. As opinions on billionaires sour, with a 29% increase in those viewing billionaires as detrimental to the nation since 2020, Bezos and Sánchez’s portrayal of a “normal” life is met with skepticism, reflecting a broader disillusionment with economic disparity in the country.