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Can a Girl Have It All?

March 1, 2011

Blazer, Alberto Makali, borrowed from my mom’s closet. Blouse, Millau. Skirt, J. Crew. Belt, H&M. Tights, Topshop. Boots, Seychelles. Headband, J. Crew. Photography by Julia.

Some people crave chocolate cake. Some people crave steak and potatoes. And some people will wake up in the morning craving to dress a certain way, just because it makes them feel good. (Full disclosure: I like chocolate cake, too.) This morning, dressing like Blair Waldorf felt right, so I put on a quasi-prep school uniform and a headband. See the resemblance? Continuing the prep school theme, I headed back to my elementary school to take photos.

Let’s go back to Blair for a minute: I finally caught up on last week’s episode of Gossip Girl. (Spoilers ahead – continue at your own risk.) Between working as Stefano Tonchi’s assistant at W (as a college sophomore with little experience and just one episode stint as a W intern – unrealistic, I know) and attending Columbia full-time, she was stressed to her limits. She didn’t have time to attend class, she could barely fit in three hours of sleep per night, and she wasn’t able to keep up with her enormous workload at W. Ultimately, she showed up at a social event with mismatched shoes, realized she had too much on her plate, and was fired.

I’m conflicted. On one hand, pop culture is saturated with fashion magazine plot lines. In the past few years, Carrie worked as a freelance writer for Vogue, Andy Sachs scored the coveted job “a million girls would kill for” at Runway, Ugly Betty beat the odds and became an assistant at Mode, Lauren Conrad interned at Teen Vogue on The Hills, and so on. The industry is glamourized beyond belief. Every little girl wants to work at fashion magazine, but how many are actually interested in what goes on behind the scenes?

If Blair’s quick rise to power at W was unrealistic – well, this is Gossip Girl, after all. Allowances can be made. But having Blair crack just a few days into her new position is unfair. When Blair’s predecessor at W passed down the job, she said, “You wanted it all, Blair. Now you have it.” This was a chance for the writers to show that young women with big dreams really can do everything: do well in school, have an amazing career, date, and have an engaging social life. Instead, the writers passed up this opportunity. Per usual, Blair’s efforts blew up in her face.  She summed up her day with, “I lost my job, I failed a test, I almost got my best friend’s mother arrested… and I’m in Brooklyn.”

A few years ago, I didn’t want a career at all. I was clueless about what I wanted to study in college and thought it would be best to just settle down in my mid-twenties to become a stay-at-home mom. But now that I’ve experienced a taste of what working is like, I know I wouldn’t ever be happy with that. I want to work in the magazine industry more than anything. Gossip Girl had the opportunity to show me that I could do all that and more, but it didn’t. I wish it had.

What do you think? Did the Gossip Girl writers miss a golden opportunity? Can a career-minded girl have it all?

xoxo Hannah

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2011 10:57 pm

    Love this post, Hannah! I love it when you muse out loud (or blog I guess?). Personally, I would’ve worn black tights, but I love the velvet blazer.

    I haven’t watched that episode, and I don’t even want to analyze the writers’ of that show, because it just sucks now.


    I really hope that we can do it all. I’m not really family-oriented so that’s not high on my to-do list, but I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to do it all. At the same time, I know it’s hard. At school, I’m super-involved with extra-curriculars, taking a lot of 3000 courses, etc. But I have to make sacrifices in other areas, like seeing my friends or having a relationship. It’s tough, but it’s about balance.

  2. March 2, 2011 12:41 am

    Cute outfit! I like the white to black to white look. And the blazer is a fantastic found-in-mom’s- closet find!! I really love hearing your thoughts Hannah. You always take fashion blogging to the next level. I think it would be really hard to truly have it ALL. But I think we can come darn close if we can learn to balance.

  3. March 2, 2011 7:14 am

    It’s very hard to have it ALL simultaneously, but many women of my generation find they can have it ALL in tandem. Get a good education, a good job, work for a few years, settle down with kids, work part time, watch your kids grow and leave the house, and then take back your life and work again. Doing too much at once will not let you be your best at any one thing. But you can have it all with time.

  4. Zulu permalink
    January 19, 2015 5:31 pm

    Nice with tights, the skirt could be schorter and do you have black knee-high boots?

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