By Caroline J. Smith
Cosmopolitan tradition and Consumerism in Chick Lit makes a speciality of the literary phenomenon popularly often called chick lit, and how during which this style interfaces with magazines, self-help books, romantic comedies, and domestic-advice guides. This contemporary pattern in women’s renowned fiction, which begun 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 relish chick lit’s advanced representations of ladies as either readers and shoppers. during this learn, Smith argues that chick lit questions the "consume and attain promise" provided by means of suggestion manuals advertised towards girls, subverting the shopper to which it's so heavily associated and difficult cultural expectancies of girls as shoppers, readers, and writers, and of renowned fiction itself.
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Extra resources for Cosmopolitan Culture and Consumerism in Chick Lit (Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory)
David Reed notes that “Fiction dominated every issue of Woman’s Own with over 41% of editorial space for the ﬁrst half of 1950” (205). Nancy A. Walker’s collection of articles from popular women’s magazines, entitled Women’s Magazines 1940–60: Gender Roles and the Popular Press, contains within it articles written by such well known twentieth-century, American women writers as Pearl S. K. Fisher, Mary McCarthy, and Joan Didion. This association still continues today and has, perhaps, grown even stronger with not only the majority of the articles in women’s magazines being written by women but also with the majority of editorial and staﬀ positions at these magazines being occupied by women.
Women’s magazines are no diﬀerent, so publishers often construct a reader who they posit as the ideal reader of their publication. The constructed reader is the imagined consumer that the publisher of a women’s magazines envisions when conceptualizing a publication. Helen Gurley Brown perhaps best exhibited this concept when she revamped Cosmopolitan in 1965. G. Consumer 27 revolution of the 1960s and targeting the publication toward young, single women (Hantman). e. articles on sex, beauty, and shopping) targeted toward this perceived demographic (Hantman).
Rochelle Mabry writes in “About a Girl: Female Subjectivity and Sexuality in Contemporary ‘Chick’ Culture,” “Although sales ﬁgures . . can’t always tell us how readers and viewers read a book or a ﬁlm, they do clearly indicate that these works have caught on with their intended audience(s)” (193). Reader reviewers from America and England gave Kinsella’s novel four and a half out of ﬁve stars, deeming the book “a thrilling and easy read” (“The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic”) and declaring it “light, clever, and totally disarming .