Cosmopolitan Culture and Consumerism in Chick Lit (Literary by Caroline J. Smith

By Caroline J. Smith

Cosmopolitan tradition and Consumerism in Chick Lit makes a speciality of the literary phenomenon popularly referred to as chick lit, and how within which this style interfaces with magazines, self-help books, romantic comedies, and domestic-advice courses. This contemporary pattern in women’s well known fiction, which all started in 1996 with the ebook of British writer Helen Fielding’s novel Bridget Jones’s Diary, makes use of first individual narration to chronicle the romantic tribulations of its younger, unmarried, white, heterosexual, city heroines. Critics of the style have didn't totally enjoy chick lit’s advanced representations of girls as either readers and shoppers. during this examine, Smith argues that chick lit questions the "consume and accomplish promise" provided via recommendation manuals advertised towards ladies, subverting the patron to which it's so heavily associated and demanding cultural expectancies of girls as shoppers, readers, and writers, and of renowned fiction itself.

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Strength and popularity,” she also acknowledges the important role that television began to play in American families’ lives (xii). In many ways, television threatened to displace magazines to some extent, forcing the industry as a whole to rethink their purpose and compelling many individual magazines to revamp their publications. Despite any minor setbacks that the magazine industry may have faced throughout the early twentieth century, women’s magazines never faded out entirely; generally speaking, the industry on the whole continued to be prosperous.

Additionally, Fielding reveals Bridget’s obsession with counting calories in a conversation with that Bridget has with her gay, male friend, Tom. When Bridget chastises Tom for being preoccupied with negative feelings about the shape of his nose, Tom attempts to expose Bridget’s equally unhealthy preoccupation with her weight. He quizzes her on how many calories are in a variety of foods (including both large and small bananas), and although Bridget cannot immediately remember what letter of the alphabet comes before J, she can easily guess how many calories are in a black or green olive.

Additionally, many women’s magazines run recommended reading lists and advertise upcoming books, further strengthening the connections between these two genres. As noted earlier, chick lit authors are also furthering these associations by referring to women’s magazines in their novels, crafting characters who read and respond to the advice offered by these texts, and, more significantly, by critiquing this medium through their fictional representations. Central to this critique is the way in which both Fielding and Kinsella play with the concept of the constructed reader.

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