Scarlet’s newest writer, [Tiny] Jane, says that she fell in love with the magazine when she was just a teenager; it—the writers and their content—was the older sister she wished she had, especially after losing her mom to breast cancer. Her story and her character are inspiring and I know that so many Cosmopolitan and ELLE hopefuls or just New York hopefuls resonate with her adolescent dreams. I find Jane’s professional clarity enviable; I’ve worked in a number of communication roles and I’ve earned about one or two degrees too many. Although I credit much of this to my varying interests and endless curiosity, I think, for a long time, I was afraid to admit what Jane was able to at a much younger age. I enjoy writing and turning that into a career in the lifestyle magazine industry would be ideal.
I’ve been reluctant to admit this because, like Sutton, I was determined to choose a more “practical” path. And like Jane, I worry that I’ll work hard to produce content that’s overlooked or undervalued. Lifestyle magazines and particularly women’s magazines get a lot of heat for being *just* fluff. Even Jane is horrified at the thought of being a how-to girl and she’s not the first on-screen character to have an existential crisis about this—remember Andie Anderson from ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days’? Jane and Andie both express professional interest in writing about politics, serious things, things that matter. The thing is, as inspiring as their drive and focus may be, I think there’s so much more to the service-oriented articles about college, first jobs, relationships, sex and dating that also appear in these publications. In fact, this is the type of content I’m most interested in producing! Yes, I read the news and yes, I value being well informed (I studied economics for years out of pure love for it) and yes, I believe in advocacy. No, I do not want to write explicitly about politics or global conflict; it’s just not for me and I don’t think it makes me or anyone else who feels the same less of a writer or even less of an intellect.
I agree with Kat; just because a publication or writer isn’t branded as political doesn’t make it less socially impactful. I love the “stealth feminism” argument she poses to Adena, especially since I recently completed my master’s degree in media and gender studies.
It can be challenging to reconcile a passion for academia with an interest in entertainment media and an even greater task explaining or defending this to colleagues in both fields. But it would be foolish to argue that we can’t or should not think critically about the media we consume. The best part about my MA program was that it allowed me to explore this intersection. My collection of academic writing includes some of my favorite pieces:
“‘Hello, I’m Here.’ Samantha As Spectral Feminine: Mind, Body & Gender In Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’”
“Michel Gerard, 16 Years In The Life: A Screen Cultures Analysis Of The Intersectionality Of The Racial And Sexual Identity Of Yanic Truesdale’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ Character”
“Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear And Anger: The Gendering Of Emotions And The Transmission Of Affect In Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’”
“’Black Mirror’, Spectatorship And Woman: A Close Textual Reading Of Charlie Brooker’s British Sci-Fi Anthology Series As Social Commentary On Practices Of Viewing”
I wish I had known that I could write about these topics sooner. I wish I didn’t feel like I needed permission to do so for so long. I love ‘The Bold Type’ because I see myself in each of its central characters. I am Jane, and Sutton, and Kat: a bit tightly wound, a hopeless dreamer and a force to be reckoned with.