I used to love The Devil Wears Prada. I loved the glamour and the outfits and Meryl Streep’s relatable and incredibly-inspiring bitchiness. I loved that Giselle had a cameo and wore a vinyl pencil skirt to work. I loved that Andy Sachs was a working writer fresh out of college in New York City. I loved all of it.
Until I saw it last night.
I was stuck on a redeye from Los Angeles to New York and, with two hours to kill, turned on the movie. I was admittedly half-watching it for the first half-hour or so, but I came realize a deeply disturbing fact. I hated it. I hated Andy. I hated her friends. I hated her boyfriend, Nate, and the fact that he got mad at her for missing his birthday (lame).
Lets break it down:
- WHY IS ANDY SO OBLIVIOUS: Girl graduates Wesylan, girl gets a job at a fictional Vogue working for a fictional Anna Wintour, Girl decides to not care. Now, maybe I’m coming at this as a person who used to steal copies of Vogue from my mother’s nightstand and stockpile them under my bed, but how could you not know about Anna Wintour. She’s a cultural force. I also refuse to believe that Andy had never read an issue of Runway before. Anyone who has gotten their nails done at a salon knows that there are at least three years worth of old issues at every salon.
- ANDY KIND OF SUCKS: Okay, so let’s assume for the sake of the movie that Andy had never read Runway prior to her getting the job. (Semi-related side note: I’d love to know where in hell Andy interned in college that qualified her for this job out college). After getting a job that you don’t know much about, don’t you do a little research? If it were me, I would read every issue of Runway ever. And there’s always the website too, in case you don’t feel like actually putting any work in. Why did it take her an hour and a half to figure out that Runway had actual journalism in it, and that maybe now she should take it seriously. It makes fashion magazines look like frilly accumulations of fluff-pieces. Which is not true.
- NATE KIND OF SUCKS: What kind of boyfriend doesn’t support his girlfriend? In talking to my boyfriend about the film later, he said “Please don’t miss a work opportunity because it’s my birthday”. The fact that Nate gets so butt-hurt makes me actually want to cry because it makes Andy choose between her personal life and her career. It almost seems like Nate doesn’t want Andy to succeed at work — all he does is complain about her going to Paris for Fashion Week. Your girlfriend just got invited to go somewhere amazing for work and you, a fry cook, can’t be excited for her? Their breakup was honestly such a relief. BUT THEN ANDY QUITS. UGH.
- ANDY’S FRIENDS KIND OF SUCK: that scene where they toss around Andy’s ringing phone will never not be infuriating
As someone who wants to work at a fashion magazine, watching someone who actually doesn’t care is bothersome. It completely minimizes the importance of fashion magazines in the scope of actual journalism. For Andy to not only misunderstand the cultural relevence of working at Runway but to ignore it all together is infuriating. It invalidates real-life magazines like Vogue who have been at the forefront of culture for decades. It also portrays the women that work there as lifeless beings who only care about reaching size 0. Odds are, if you’re working at Vogue — or any publication for that matter — you’re qualified to be there.
Take Teen Vogue, for instance, which has been making headlines recently as a respectable news source and feminist guidebook. The magazine prides itself on giving young women a valid political voice, something that is definitely more than a frill piece. Forbes writer Candace Mcduffle called Teen Vogue’s political coverage content that is “both factual and thought-provoking” in a piece on the subject from March 2017. Contributing Editor Lauren Duca’s piece on Trump has gone viral since its publishing in 2016. The magazine who’s readers now consider themselves activists has tackled both politics and fashion trends with ease. Gone are the days of glossy magazines discussing which eyeliner is best, or which hairstyle best accentuates your face shape. Modern fashion magazines have become beacons of hard-hitting journalism in their own right.
Suck on that, Andy Sachs.