Friday, March 6, 2009

A Look at the Flatbiller Lifestyle

Though you may not be familiar with the term "flatbiller," you have probably seen the type of people it refers to. The term is generally applied to young people who are overly concerned with looking "tough" and intimidating. The characteristics of a flatbiller make them instantly recognizable.

The name flatbiller comes from the ubiquitous baseball hat worn at a crooked angle; neither forward to shade the eyes nor backward to shade the neck. Besides being crooked, it also has a flat (unflexed) bill. This is a popular fashion accessory for many flatbillers.

Flatbillers wear clothing from companies such as SRH, Lithium, Threadless, Seedless, Ambiguous, Famous, Sullen, Affliction, Silver Star, Alpinestars, 187 Inc., and Extreme Couture. These clothes feature "splatter" patterns, spades, skulls, brass knuckles, and Old English lettering to contribute to the desired image of toughness. Other accessories include fur-lined hoodies worn year round, white-framed sunglasses, basketball shorts, and skate shoes.

Of course being a flatbiller is more than just wearing the right clothes, it is also a lifestyle. Flatbillers often use the term "bro" when speaking to one another, such as "Hey bro do you wanna hit up the dunes this weekend?" "Yeah, bro!!"

Typical activities include talking about dirt bikes and pit bikes for hours on end. This is also supplemented with talk about partying at the lake, how much you can drink, and which the tattoos they have recently gotten or are about to get.

The trucks that "bros" drive are easy to identify because they are often covered in white vinyl stickers of brands such as SRH, Fox, and FMF. The squatting devil girl silhouette is also popular. These trucks commonly have ridiculous lift kits and oversized tires, which make extra-long trailer hitches that extend down to the height of a normal boat or flatbed trailer a necessity.

When it comes to consumer products, flatbillers have a preference towards "extreme" goods and services. Because ordinary drinks aren't extreme enough, flatbillers often consume energy drinks such as Monster, Kronik, Rockstar, and Sparks. These are especially useful when recovering from a weekend of partying, or "getting faded."

It is recommended that you not point out the foolishness of getting piss-drunk on a Sunday night before work or school the next day. This is because flatbillers live an "in the moment" lifestyle illustrated by the popular slogan "no regrets." While it's supposed to convey an image of decisiveness, it is a double-edged sword that can come back to haunt those who make poor decisions such as excessive spending on "toys" like dirt bikes, rims, trucks, tattoos, clothing, and other status symbols.

Friends and family are at the core of the flatbiller lifestyle. At our deepest levels, human beings desire to be accepted by social groups. It seems like the people who become flatbillers were not cool enough to be jocks and not smart enough to be nerds in high school. Rather than face rejection, they became part of a new group and adopted an attitude of toughness and extreme activities to overcompensate for the isolation they felt in the past. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.

At any rate, the type of people who are all about dirt bikes, lifted trucks, extreme products, and mass-produced brand name clothing are a bunch of phonies and poseurs trying to make you think they're SO tough when they are not. They should learn to be happy with themselves instead of trying to fit into a subculture of carelessness and facetiousness.

I'm not the only one who feels this way: