I am a freelance editor and researcher for the biggest reference book company in the world. It’s not steady and doesn’t pay much but it’s one of the things I do to survive. The other is housecleaning, or untouchables to you. Part of my freelance job is generating a list of 20 new words a month. They asked that I cover the fashion genre, since I thought I enjoyed it.
They told me I could have any subscription I wanted. I chose Elle because I thought the writing was a cut above the norm and it wouldn’t bore me to death.
I was wrong—about both the writing and the content. Who the hell is this magazine for? I don’t know one single person who could relate to any fashion or celebrity spread in this obsequious piece of photoshopped shit. At first I was excited, now I dread the chore of reading it and wait until the last possible moment before recoiling from every page. The articles are worse than shallow, they encourage idolatry of the impossible.
When you say some piece of worthless frippery is “only $300” you are speaking to the tiny percentage of Americans who don’t desperately need that $300 to get through another week of unemployment, bottom-of-the-barrel jobs, and the accompanying depression that goes with it.
I just finished May 2011’s issue and it was the worst one yet. On page 24, I read:
At Alexander Wang’s new SoHo boutique, white marble floors and black leather furniture offer a clean-lined backdrop for the designer’s relaxed-luxe ready-to-wear, shoes, and bags. Stock up on layerable summer staples, or just hang out in the store’s fox fur hammock.
Do you people have no soul? Do you really believe a fox fur hammock is so edgy and cool that you actually print a picture of it, so some spoiled rich twit can plunk her skinny plastic ass in it after a tough day of designer shopping?
Page 307: A model is wearing a wool coat $3,275, wool pants $1,125, sunglasses $295, sweater $425, turtleneck $25, silver cuff $275, rings $175-$240, belt $375, suede bag $1,175. The worst part? The fur stole, price on request. That’s $7,200 without the fur stole, so figure around ten grand on her back. If I had even half of that, I’d pay my back taxes, get the glasses I desperately need, see a dentist, take my dogs to the vet, buy a used stove, get my car fixed, and do something about this high blood pressure.
And you consider yourselves so eco-chic. More like eco-bullshit. I can’t imagine the waste you must generate along with the cruelty. You make me sick, sick, sick. Like celebrities and politicians, you couldn’t be more disconnected from real life.