The Netflix show tells us exactly what TV producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains
For what felt like ages I held out against watching Emily in Paris (2020). As an American in Paris I loathe the stereotype of the American in Paris, and only relented when BBC Scotland 北京“限竞房” 打起价格战 同质化造成选择困难. Ah, I thought. A chance to tell the world – or, well, Scotland – how much I loathe this stereotype.
I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit I watched the whole show in two nights. I may even have giggled at a few of the jokes, and sighed at some views of Paris, even though Paris is right outside my door. ‘Paris of the mind is preferable to the real thing,’ as Moyra Davey once wrote. But once I’d left the bubble of pleasure the show created, I was left with a hangover of ambivalence.
The writing is objectively terrible; it feels like it was written by a scattershot team consisting of The One With the Jokes, The Hack, and The One Who Went to Paris Once. The Hack is responsible for all the flat-footed dialogue (“you’re not stepping on my toes, you’re stepping into my shoes!”), coming up with lines like Carrie Bradshaw at her punniest (“I’m petit mort-ified!”). The Funny One is, occasionally, very funny (see the vagin jeune storyline). And The One Who Went to Paris Once must be responsible for the white-washing of the city, the xenophobia towards the French, the unflinching commitment to being as ringarde as possible, and no that does not mean basic.
But what rankled about the show, I realized, isn’t all it gets wrong about France and the French – this is fantasy, not Italian neorealismo. It’s the show’s limited and, yes, misogynist conception of who Emily is, and who it allows her to be.
There is an element of Everywomanness to her. She is hard-working, plucky, and resourceful when faced with challenges and trials, and doesn’t have any inconvenient special talents like, I don’t know, speaking French to get in the way of the target audience identifying with her. Like Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress, she’s your average questing hero(ine). But where John Bunyan’s seventeenth-century religious allegory wonders if salvation exists, and if so, how can we attain it, in the world of Emily in Paris, redemption comes in the form of Instagram followers and bank. “Beyoncé’s worth far more than the Mona Lisa,” quips her best friend, approvingly. Paris is the City of Destruction and the Celestial City all at once.
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Frustrated, he invented something that would allow him take a picture of himself: He called it the "extender stick." Since the iPhone really hadn't been invented yet, a small camera was to be attached to one end of the stick. It also had a small mirror in its front so that users could see how they would look in the photograph. He patented the "extender stick" in 1983. The product was mass produced for sale but it was a commercial failure. The quality of the pictures was low. Besides, previous research showed that the women back then were embarrassed by the idea of taking pictures of themselves. The selfie stick was then reinvented by Wayne Fromm in the year 2000, three years before Hiroshi's patent expired. Fromm called his the "quik pod." He believes he is the inventor of today's selfie sticks and has even sued several other selfie stick producers. When asked about Hiroshi's selfie sticks, he said they were "prior art."
Insead is top of the 2017 Financial Times global ranking of the best 100 MBA programmes. It is the second year that the multi-campus international business school has taken the number one spot, after claiming it for the first time last year.
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Klay Thompson added 19 points and Andrew Bogut scored 13 for the Warriors, off to the best start by an NBA team since Dallas won its first 14 games in 2002-03. Golden State needs three wins to equal the league record of 15-0, held by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
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但是我们波士士顿波士顿咨询集团不认为中国本次改革会导致中国经济不稳定。我们相信中国经济在习主席的领导下会持续高速增长。我们相信上个星期的改革（三中全会）会确保中国经济从现在一直增长到（至少）2020年。根据我们已掌握的资料，我们预测中国经济在未来10年会增加4万亿美金(而书中说是6.4万亿。2012中国GDP为8.3万亿美金)。如果加上印度，亚洲两大国未来的增长总量会达到10万亿美金。在此期间，中产阶级会迅速膨胀，进而增强对经济增长的乐观态度。当然，没有人能完美地预测未来，在我们的近期的一本关于中国和印度经济发展的书中（《Trillion Prize:Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India》），我们也描述了一些经济增长缓慢的例子。不过总体上我们还是对中国的未来保持乐观态度。
Yet like a good comic hero, Emily is also somehow worse than us: witness the many people online complaining that she is, in fact, not relatable; she is ‘arrogant,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘entitled.’ She is these things, it’s true, but all these people on the internet, schooling Emily in how not to be a terrible obnoxious unlikable person reminds me of what the literary scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks wrote about gossip: that it’s society’s way of regulating itself and determining what is acceptable. So is, apparently, amateur TV criticism.
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In their blatant careening towards the monaaaaaaay that such a show might be expected to generate, Emily in Paris’s producers have demonstrated that they don’t give a fine fuck about writing, characterisation, interior life. (Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t some Forsterian diatribe about round or flat characters. That’s the domain of amateur TV critics.) What they do seem to care about is building the perfect woman, and then tearing her down.
As I watched the show, I kept thinking of Hilary Mantel’s 2013 lecture for the London Review of Books about Kate Middleton and the ‘royal body’. The Duchess of Cambridge, Mantel said, ‘appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished.’ With her perfect abs and immobile mermaid waves, Emily, more so even than Middleton, who is, let’s not forget, a real person, actually has been designed by committee, not to continue the royal line but to sustain the franchise.
On the radio they asked me if I identified with Emily at all and I said uhhhh for what felt like forever in radio time, before saying no, no, not at all. Because when I moved here I wasn’t anything like Emily; not only had I learned French at school, I had a few more notions of Normandy beyond Saving Private Ryan (1998). When I moved here, there were no smart phones, no Instagram, and the American in Paris narrative was about coming here and doing something creative – writing, painting, dancing, whatever – not making sales pitches like Don Draper in stilettos. But I can’t deny our commonalities.
I have a lot of sympathy for the American girl abroad. I’ve been her, I’ve taught her, I occasionally hear from her, reaching out for help finding her feet. But on Emily in Paris, she’s another version of the jeune fille, the young girl, whom everyone feels authorised to hate. Think of every teenage girl on television, with few exceptions – they’re all whiny and intransigent and bothered, and we never really know why. The radical French philosophy collective Tiqqun published a polemic in 1999 called Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl, which reads her as the ultimate consumer: when she thinks she’s expressing herself she’s only expressing commodity culture; she has no depth, no intimate reserves, she is all Spectacle.
The young girl is not a gendered concept, but ‘the model citizen as redefined by consumer society since the First World War, in explicit response to the revolutionary menace.’ Although the terms in which Tiqqun make their argument are deeply sexist, their essential point holds: we are all young girls under the capitalist patriarchy. But the young girl herself, the actual gendered young female human animal, is always rife for exploitation, not least by Tiqqun.
In her recent book Females (2019), Andrea Long Chu echoes this argument (though in markedly un-misogynist terms), choosing to put it this way:
The jeune fille is all of us, but when she becomes the star of the show she’s none of us – just a skinny body on which to project our fucked-up ideas about beauty and female behaviour. Emily in Paris is a missed opportunity to say something real, for instance, about being a foreigner – an experience it would behove Americans to experience from time to time. (To wit: that early scene where Emily’s normcore boyfriend holds up his brand-new passport saying ‘Look what I got!’) It is difficult to move to a foreign country, especially to a city as notoriously closed-off as Paris, and really, genuinely lonely, in a way the show doesn’t make room for. It is soul-crushing to find yourself rejected for the very compliance that, back home, you believed made you valued and loved.
I’m angry that when the producers decided to tell the story of a young woman, they declined to give her a more textured existence. That they ask her to speak not French, but a dead, prefabricated English: fake it ’til you make it. At one point someone accuses her of being arrogant. ‘More ignorant than arrogant,’ she says, sadly. Why does she have to be ignorant? I groaned at my computer. Because that’s what the producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains.
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Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.
Emily: What’s that.
Gabriel: I like you.
"The Hunger Games" star ranks first on the 2012 edition of AskMen.com's "Top 99 Most Desirable Women" list. The poll, which collected more than 2.4 million votes, asked the website's readers to choose their favorite female celebrities based on their looks, personality, talent and other desirable characteristics.
The valuation that all this good news is creating for Tesla is truly astonishing. A Tesla watcher named Zoltan Ban, writing in Seeking Alpha, figures that Tesla is already priced as if it sells several hundred thousand cars a year when in reality it will sell only about 35,000 in 2014. Another way of looking at this: At current prices, each car the company sells this year is valued at $1 million.
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