First of all, the widening income gap between the rich and poor has left many young women with little choice but to become sugar babies. The flood of unemployment from the Covid-19 pandemic has only worsened the situation. Sugarbook recently revealed that it had recorded a 40% increase in students registering to be “sugar babies” since Jan, with 12,705 of them hailing from 10 institutions of higher learning in the Klang Valley.
Secondly, the unrelenting consumer culture of late-stage capitalism has made one’s identity synonymous with what they purchase and possess. The effect of this phenomenon is especially severe on the young, who often succumb to peer pressure. There has been too much emphasis on the academic performance of young people vis-à-vis their mental health in the society.