Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The Devil Pushes Prada Tuesday
"The only man who can fool all the women all the time is a fashion designer."
When I began life in the Midwest, I received new things three times per year: on my birthday, at Christmas, and at the start of the school year. Compared to the materialistic wonders bestowed on the middle-class children of the current day, my childhood is nearly a Dickens novel. Except for the fact that I was well-loved and well-fed and didn't have to work in a factory 15 hours per day...yes, straight from Dickens.
Anyway, there was genius in my parents' strategy that I doubt they were aware of. (I think their early frugal days were based in praticality. They were young and starting off, and they knew stories of people who had risen above or fallen onto hard times.) My version of hard times was not getting the newest Barbie townhouse, and the biproduct of not immediately getting the desires of my heart was that it made me dream, stoking my imagination.
As a young teenager, I bought Vogue and thought it was brilliant to have seventeen-year-old girls shaped like hangers modeling five-thousand-dollar dresses. The flashy photospreads and flawlessly made up models made me imagine what other lives would be like. I read the stories of people from around the world and dreamed of places I had never seen. I set the first novel I ever tried to write in Europe before I had been there. A while later, I discovered that if you don't know a place, you need to do something called research.
As time passed, things have changed. Now my dreams don't really involve things that can be bought from the pages of a magazine. I want to connect with people, to see the end of suffering and poverty and for the world to be at peace. You know, the little things. But every September, the teenage girl inside still breaks out and buys the September (the biggest fashion) issue of Vogue. And as I page through the magazine, I rejoice at all the things I see because I know they once inspired me to dream.
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