Monday, July 14, 2008

The Case for Emily AKA The "She's Just Doing Her Job" Manifesto


In the spirit of a previous post, I've decided to outline the many, many merits of Emily in The Devil Wears Prada (played by Emily Blunt).

Like Sex and the City, TDWP has garnered kind of a cult following among the up-and-comers in the arts, publishing and fashion. Interns, assistants, freelancers and contributors all took the film's true-to-life portrayal of life at the bottom like a gerfelta fish to water.

I, too, having loved the book, quickly became a member of the cult. I was a lowly fashion intern at a big-name publication when I first saw the movie and laughed and cried through the many, many tribulations of Andi and Emily.

Here's my question: why does everyone demonize Emily and glorify Andi?

Emily wasn't the devil. In my opinion, she was just as much a victim as Andi, but much less whiny. "The job a million girls would die for" wasn't just a catchy tagline for the book; it's the truth. I see it everyday as I live and work in publishing in New York, how uncharacteristically lucky it was for Andi to land a job of that magnitude without much effort. Yes Miranda's a bitch, but who isn't? The check-out girls at Target have to deal with as much from their bosses and they don't get free clothes.

The bottom line: Emily was a smart, efficient woman that took her cues from her boss. She was more savvy and professional than Andi could hope to be and if we didn't live in a world that rewarded ungrateful assistants with money and book deals in return for their gossipy, horribly-written, tell-alls, she'd undoubtedly be the more successful of two. Work is just that, work! It's not supposed to be easy. The most you can hope for is that it's leading you where you eventually want to go and pays your rent. Period.

And here's my two cents: young people should stop walking through life with their hands out. No one is going to give you anything and you don't deserve it anymore than the next person.

**Stepping down from my soapbox**

That is all.

Whitney

2 comments:

epiphany said...

I agree with you. I live in a world where nothing is handed to me and I feel as if everything that I have, I've earned it because I work so hard to get it! I love reading your blogs, they take me away from the stress in my life and allows me to escape for only a couple of seconds.... I love it!

Anonymous said...

Seriously ladies, get off your high horse! I agree to the extent that yes life's hard, but it doesn't mean we should scramble over everyone to get where we need/want to be, and in this particular tale relish any humiliation doled out to those at the bottom.
There is always a bottom rung, no matter what sector, industry or economy (developing or 'developed') we live in, but the more we think this is acceptable behaviour the more hateful we become. Bring on ugly Betty, not realistic I accept, but something we could perhaps learn from, rather than being the shallow bitches that you seem to be endorsing!