Last week, 20 year-old New School student Rachael Sacks wrote a brash Thought Catalog essay that showed her to be a pompous rich girl full of self-regard. She quickly became the subject of a global media firestorm. In the end, Rachael Sacks may turn out to be more mature than we thought.
We mocked Rachael on Friday. On Saturday, she appeared on the cover of the New York Post. The cover! The paper staked out her apartment in order to ambush-interview her on video. In the past three days, she's also been featured in the NY Daily News, The Daily Mail, Radar Online, and other news sites from New York to Australia. The general tone of coverage was: look at this insufferable rich brat.
Which is accurate, as far as it goes. But insufferable Thought Catalog essays are a dime a dozen. When one reaches this level of media fame, questions about proportion are in order. Often, a spotlight this harsh can damage the self-esteem of its subject permanently. Not so, however, for Rachael Sacks. In fact, it is her own robust self-esteem that is thus far seeing her through this episode with flying colors.
When the NY Post came knocking, Sacks told them, among several dumber quotes, “Like, stop reading my dumb article and get back to work!” And in a response to the uproar on Thought Catalog today, she writes (among several dumber quotes):
I find it so funny that everyone is hating on me instead of investing themselves into worthier things. I don’t deserve all of your attention...
All that I was attempting to do was express my views as I learn who I am and grow up. People found it to be off-putting and obnoxious, but I am learning. My writing will improve. I will learn from other experiences. I am just expressing myself, where I am in this life, and where I will be going.
Though this is sandwiched between several layers of defiant and often aggressively ignorant vitriol, it is worth noting that this young woman has quite a mature perspective on all of this. A more mature perspective, in fact, than "the media," if the media could properly be imagined as a single coherent institution (it is not). Despite howls of public outrage, she is standing by what she wrote—an admirable (though in this case misplaced) quality lacking in many more influential commentators, who tend to fold at the first sign of disagreement, and who therefore spend their careers producing tepid commentary hardly worth reading. Furthermore, by god, "the media" should be focusing on Syria, and the economy, and homelessness more than we should be focused on a bit of idiocy from a 20 year-old. And by god, we were all idiots ourselves when we were 20, if not in this particular way.
Rachael Sacks, we stand by our decision to laugh heartily at your essay. Yet we also applaud your steadfastness in the face of a blast furnace of attention from tabloid media. Who is worse, after all: a young rich girl who writes a dumb essay about being a rich girl—or a massive and well-funded newspaper that follows up a cover story mocking that rich girl with a cover story the very next day defending the criminal actions JPMorgan Chase?
At least Rachael Sacks is consistent.