Remember Sex and the City? Where writing a dating column for a living supported Carrie's extravagant lifestyle? Well, those days are over. As is your hope for a luxurious life. The middle class is back!
Confessions of a Shopaholic is out now, starring an imaginary magazine writer who's able to be, you know, a Shopaholic. This is not even remotely workable in reality any longer, no matter how you contort your imagination. Former Radar editor Willa Paskin points out what's become only too obvious to all of us boots on the ground: magazine work is not the path to upper class lifestyle. Make up another dream job for aspiring Queens of New York, Hollywood:
If Shopaholic and its ilk are short on the paltry pay, long on the stilettos, that's partially thanks to the fact that very few people have a clear idea of what an editor actually does all day (or what they get paid to do it). The title has become shorthand for a creative, fun, professional white-collar job that involves very few set tasks. Since the particulars of the profession are so little known, screenwriters are free to present magazine work (inaccurately, it sadly turns out) as the ultimate fantasy, which requires employees to attend fancy fetes and photo shoots, groom and gossip compulsively, date handsome men and spend zero time on e-mail.
In fact, the lifestyle elements most magazine workers currently have in common are layoffs, pay cuts, student loan debt, and overwork. Whee, the Big Apple! But really, it's nothing to feel bad about. The idea that you could come to the big city and live the life of an heiress while working in such a pedestrian field as the print media was mostly a pipe dream from day one; and for those who did manage to do it, it was a passing anomaly.
You know who's happy about all this? The actually rich.
The survey, which polled 108 private jet owners with a mean net worth $116 million, found that 94% of those surveyed defined luxury as "for oneself," rather than for the masses (2.8%). That marks a big change from last year, when 37% agreed that luxury should also be for the masses...
"What you're seeing is a shift to real elitism," says Russ Alan Prince, the president of Prince Assoc. "The rich like it better that everybody can't be part of the luxury boom anymore."