“Girls” On The Internet
This is a post that’s been sitting as a draft for months, but in light of this cruel jape (and this awesome one), I thought it would be a good time to “publish.”
Stevie Nicks, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Lena Dunham, Grimes, Lana Del Rey, Courtney Love, Mad Men, The Bachelor(ette), True Blood, vodka soda, kombucha, white zin’, Gardasil, birth control, Jezebel, The Hairpin, This Recording, Thought Catalog, Hello Giggles, OhNoTheyDidnt, Refinery29, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, OKCupid, Etsy, Gilt Group, daily deals, “listicles,” “recaps,” Coachella, “Lolla’,” Outside Lands, “going to be OK,” empowered, Sassy, Bust, US Weekly, crystals, leather, denim, velour, neon, Daria, My So Called Life, Summer Sisters, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Lolita, yoga, tights, leggings, heels, boots, sunglasses, Clarisonic, hot sauce, berries, cheese, bread, cakes, cupcakes, Tina Fey, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Starbucks, Tavi, starting an online vintage store with friends, starting a blog about being a Millenial, starting a blog about wearing clothes, making a vlog, lookbooks, cookbooks, lady, goddess, diva, witch, icon, fierce, Nicki Minaj, Kitty Pryde, Best Coast, Kreayshawn, ”throw shade,” the 20s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, fat shaming, slut shaming, ephebophilia
“According to one of my students at Yale, where I taught English in the last decade, a colleague of mine would tell his students that they belonged to a ‘post-emotional’ generation. No anger, no edge, no ego.
What is this about? A rejection of culture-war strife? A principled desire to live more lightly on the planet? A matter of how they were raised — everybody’s special and everybody’s point of view is valid and everybody’s feelings should be taken care of?
Perhaps a bit of each, but mainly, I think, something else. The millennial affect is the affect of the salesman. Consider the other side of the equation, the Millennials’ characteristic social form. Here’s what I see around me, in the city and the culture: food carts, 20-somethings selling wallets made from recycled plastic bags, boutique pickle companies, techie start-ups, Kickstarter, urban-farming supply stores and bottled water that wants to save the planet.
Today’s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; it’s the small business. Every artistic or moral aspiration — music, food, good works, what have you — is expressed in those terms.
Call it Generation Sell…
And that, I think, is the real meaning of the Millennial affect — which is, like the entrepreneurial ideal, essentially everyone’s now. Today’s polite, pleasant personality is, above all, a commercial personality. It is the salesman’s smile and hearty handshake, because the customer is always right and you should always keep the customer happy. If you want to get ahead, said Benjamin Franklin, the original business guru, make yourself pleasing to others.”