Monday, August 24, 2009

Changing Times




This article in the NYT about Anna Wintour caught my eye. Just in case you missed The Devil Wears Prada, she is the editor of Vogue Magazine, the character that Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly was based on. Vogue being the quintessential fashion magazine, at least in our country. A documentary film, discussed in the article, was made about her and her staff during the September 2007 issue when Vogue was over 840 pages, 727 were ads, and it weighed four pounds. She has a full-blown reputation for being a gigantic bitch. Sorry, no other word describes her reputation. She has worked hard to achieve that moniker, and wears it as a badge of honor. She eats only meat, and drinks only a little wine. I think that says it all.




The article struck me more about the differences in Anna's world since that September 2007 issue. Vogue's current issue has 36% fewer ads this September, which says much about the "Guilded Age of excessive spending". There is even talk that Anna may be going the way of the dinosaur. Certainly our economy is not going to bounce back any time soon. Which begs the question - should it ever bounce back enough to put women like Anna, well known for her eccentricities which do not include being kind to many, back on pedestals?

Maybe it's time to revisit the celebrity driven mania in this country. We have based our reverence not on people who are making a difference in our world, but on celebrities, clothes, cars, and slick businessmen, who turn out to be greedy and dishonest. All the reverent shuffling comes to mind when Berney Madoff fought off all those people begging to join his "investment" company.

I hope we are returning to a simpler era when conspicuous consumption was frowned upon, certainly not something you went into debt to afford. When heroes did good deeds and banks were looked at with some scrutiny. When helping your neighbors was just what you did, and celebrities were considered actors, not Gods to be chased and hounded constantly for boring pictures of everyday life. When people like Anna didn't have celebrity status, and Vogue didn't weigh four pounds.

17 comments:

Nancy said...

only meat? no broccoli? tsk tsk
LOL

scarlethue said...

I've never understood why people bow down to such strange people, or how people like that get into position of power. I rebel against strict authority figures like that though, opting now to work for a man who's clearly in charge of this company but who has an open door and a welcoming personality. Those are the kinds of people who should get recognition.

Sylvia said...

Ohes! I was seeing a program in TV about blings, and I couldn't help thinking - God, how absurd! How can it be? People spending thousands in a blinged bottle of water when, for example, water is such a vital thing in the middle of the desert and in certain deprived countries... Just show off! That's the problem of our world nowadays... No sharing!

M2Marathon said...

Ah yes! Anna is the poster child for those go-go days of excess. You can be good at what you do without being intentionally mean to people or cold-hearted. I believe that!

I look at most of Hollywood and go, "huh?" Let's go ga ga over people that are making a difference. Let's clamor to find out their story and how we can do it too, instead.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

I never really understood the celebrity worship thing. My heroes are people who do things that matter. Most of them are people that nobody else has ever heard of. They are the unsung heroes of our world, and the angels who make a difference in peoples' lives.

It really is a sad commentary on our society that people like that rarely get the recognition they deserve.

~JarieLyn~ said...

I've never understood celebrity worship either.

I would love to get back to a simpler life. I love the last paragraph you wrote. It completely resonates with what I've been feeling lately.

DJan said...

I am convinced that this is the silver lining in the recession we're currently in: people looking at what they are doing with their need to acquire or keep up with someone else, when it's far more important to your happiness to like yourself and your friends, not that nutty broad who puts out Vogue. There is definitely a movement to somewhere we are not now and have never been before. It's pretty exciting, isn't it?

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Living here in Southern California, I am constantly amazed about how excited people get when they spot a celebrity. It's likely that throughout history we had a tendency to revere those that live lives of privilege. It would be great if society moved away from such shallow, ridiculous infatuations with wealthy, pampered, good-looking people that don't deserve such adoration, I agree! Good subject for a post.

Lily said...

Only meat would make one a teensy bit bitchy...

ellen abbott said...

I'd like to think that our culture is changing but I fear that as soon as people start feeling comfortable and confident again they will go back to the same old patterns.

Brian Miller said...

heres to hoping we return to that age or embrace a new one that is even better...

susan said...

See? There really are some benefits to the economic downturn. What a sour looking woman she is - I wonder if that photo was taken during the good times? If not, she must look very frightening by now.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I agree with you but I think many people are getting comfortable again. We can continue to hope.

GooseBreeder said...

Funny world hey? Where I live we regularly have monor and more minor celebs walking through.We treat them just like anyone else and some look so affronted to be spoken to!
The real heroes are the unsung are they not? Hopefully this recession will make us reassess our values and priorities and think again about simplicity, what abundance really is and what is important.Anna Wintour it's not.

Breeze said...

How strange, I just watched her on Letterman and now I read this. She came across as rather bland and dull on there...I expected her to be at least loaded with personality and dimension but she sounded monotone and boring. I was very disappointed..lol.

Never bought a Vogue in my life. I'm a terrible consumer...though.

It takes all kinds they say.

Breeze

Lori ann said...

okay, no more Vogue :(

but did you know they make an excellent flower press?

good post Nancy!

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

I remember walking in the grocery store where I worked when a young man stopped me and started making small talk. He was...how should I put this?
He was busting his mac. Putting on the moves...?
He asked me my style in music and my favorite place to shop.

I told him Bob Dylan and Goodwill and he just about dropped dead laughing.

"How does a pretty girl like you end up shopping at second hand stores?"

I ended the conversation, refusing to be embarrassed.

I am proud to say that when I am feeling slightly materialistic, a $4.00 summer dress will suffice.

I never liked vogue, and I don't like meat. Wowozas! You crossed the t's and dotted the i's in this post.