KT Tunsell singing “Suddenly I see/ this is all I wanna be” while all the clackers and Anne Hathaway get ready for work at the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada is my motivational hymn. I can't help smile, my heart warms up and I get so much determination and confidence I could stab a dictator with a stiletto. Maybe it's because the movie is about getting where you want at any cost, or because I became attached to it when I decided that following my instinct was the only way in life.
I found myself watching it again last night (in search of a motivational hymn?) and thought how 2006 it is. It's still charmingly timely, but there are a few things that changed in the past few years... or maybe I couldn't notice the discrepancy until I gained some real life experience.
I'm not talking about the revenge of size 6, Valentino's retirement from fashion or the end of the Harry Potter saga; I am talking about attitudes. The Devil Wears Prada is the story of a girl, with a national prize for student journalism and some University magazine editorial experience, who gets a low paid job at the most famous publication in the world. Her parents feel sorry for her, because she is late with her rent and because she doesn't get to write articles.
Pardon? Paid. Job. Well credited publication. This sounds like heaven to me! Or to thousands of other girls like me, with a Master's degree and very grim options for the future.
In 2012 you don't even look for a job that you're not going to get, you apply for one month internships or one week work experiences with only travel expenses paid. If you're lucky. And you feel very grateful if you even get one, at any publication, PR agency or crappy press office. Of course then you need a part time job to pay the rent. And anything you manage to get your hands on is temporary, like a cheap perfume. Truth is, you don't expect anything else.
When we all watched the movie the first time in 2006, we felt sorry for poor Andy crying in Nigel's office and thought it was mean of him telling her that “Andy, be serious, you're not trying. You are whining”. Then of course Andy really tries harder and gets where she didn't expect to. The question is: are we still ready to kill ourself trying? Do we still believe in goals or is this status quo turning us all in hopeless automats?
Finally, the no plan B situation. Having a plan B is handy when plan A fails, and we know life rarely goes as planned. But hasn't it beome a bit overrrated? When asked to fetch the Harry Potter unpublished manuscript, Andy calls Christian Thomphson, who tells her to come up with a plan B and she prontly replies “It's Miranda Priestly we're talking about, there's no plan B, there's only plan A!” Andy's committment to do the impossible to succeed is a bit crazy, but definitely admirable. Are we so determinate to follow plan A, or are we too used to scroll down the alphabet till plan B, C,... Z?
We are all Andys, just in a worse economic situation. We should all fight like pirates and believe like martyrs if we are smart like her. We should be able to deal with Mirandas. Miranda Priestly might be a tough cooky, a boss from hell, the Devil wearing Prada, but what we all want is to have a boss. Or to be one, eventually.