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 快讯：美联储年内第四次加息. 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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My grandmother’s favorite poem was Invictus by William Ernest Henley. My father hung a copy of it on our kitchen wall, so I grew up reading it every day: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” I think the best advice I can give anyone – especially someone just starting out in business – is to embrace your role as master of your own fate. Recognize opportunities when they arise and get comfortable saying “Yes.”
Wang Ki-young, a director at South Korea’s culture ministry, said on Friday that Chinese authorities had ordered tourism agencies in Beijing to halt tours to South Korea from mid-March. Mr Wang said the move would be expanded to other provinces.
3.Video Editing: 19.2 percent increase
It’s wall-to-wall pure pop heaven, crackling with originality and dark humor, teeming with action sequences so perfectly timed and executed you almost want to run out of the theater on the spot so you can call a friend and rave about it — but you wouldn’t dare leave your seat because you wouldn’t want to miss a frame of this brilliant, pulse-quickening gem.
To SKN Company in Russia for exploding old Russian ammunition and creating diamonds. Now that's recycling!
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To ease women's concerns following the implementation of the two-child policy, the country should put in place more explicit regulations banning discrimination against women. These could include requiring companies to have a certain percentage of female employees, as well as tax cuts or other preferential measures to encourage employers to effectively implement the extended maternity leave regulation for female workers.
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Beijing is pushing hard to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of the year. The deal has long been called China’s answer to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its bid for regional trade hegemony.
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.
And while you are at it, don't forget to celebrate the imperfections. While on a 10-day trek in the Himalayas, I learned that imperfections are beautiful too. The rough edges of the mountains, the heavy hail storms in the middle of the afternoon, were "inconvenient" but added to the beauty of the trek. I am acutely aware now that in my pursuit of perfection at work, I have often failed to recognize that imperfections are also a core part of our identity that needs to be preserved and not always changed.
The mother-to-child transmission rate also reached its historically low point last year, dropping from 7.1 percent in 2012 to 4.9 percent in 2017, Wang said.
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:
Even though we are apart, you are in my heart this season.千山万水，隔不断我在佳节对你的思念。
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.
It’s the time of the year for list making! This Youku video clip named the nine hottest lines on China’s web this year. The Yangtze Evening Post, an influential newspaper, is the original list compiler.
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Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.
Emily: What’s that.
Gabriel: I like you.
Opening song “Usher In The Spring With Beautiful Melodies” (48 CCTV hosts and hostesses)
Consider this: Will the experience enhance your knowledge and play to your strengths? Will it introduce you to new concepts and new people? (All great reasons to say yes!) Will it require you to develop new techniques for managing your team or working with more experienced people? Embrace this challenge and get out of your comfort zone.
WardsAuto will present its Top 10 Engines awards on Jan. 15 at a ceremony held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.