Friday, May 25th, 2012

Flashback! Sexy Lady Tells All, Sells Self, In 1997

Chris Rovzar, editor of Vanity Fair's website, just found this delightful item in the VF archives, from February of 1997. (Ancient history? Or yesterday? YOU DECIDE. Either way, it was before irony died.) That year was the publication of the excellent collection of New York Observer columns, called Sex and the City. Some notable things about this picture:

1. The photo caption: "Candace Bushnell enjoys posing seductively to promote herself."

2. The photo itself: Man. There is a lot to talk about regarding how women memoirists are presented/allow themselves to be presented/are coerced into being presented in the book and magazine industry but this one really takes some kind of gluten-free cake. All told, if the Internet as we know it existed in 1997, basically it would be aflame with people calling her a slut.

2.5 Opposite our heroine Candy, in the Hilfiger ad: Jason Lewis, who would go on to star as Samantha's love interest in the TV show "Sex and the City."

9 Comments / Post A Comment

Cinjun (#11,921)

And Simon Rex!

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

Elizabeth Wurtzel was the rock critic for the New Yorker?!

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@SidAndFinancy A brief but juicy history of that position is waiting to be written.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@dntsqzthchrmn: I did enjoy her review of The Prozac Cons of Hitch Hiking.

MichelleDean (#7,041)

I can't help but feel I'd still prefer that world to the one in which we have Thought Catalog to ponder these questions for us.

gregorg (#30)

Don't be too hard on yourself, Choire, I don't think any of us really knew just how sick irony really was in 1997.

Highlighted without comment:

"If you're a novelist, you're pretty much cooked, unless you can come up with a nonfiction thing to hang it on" says literary agent Mary Evans.

deepomega (#1,720)

I don't like the "if this happened during INTERNET everyone would've slutshamed her!" argument, since people were DEFINITELY still doing that in 1997, just in the privacy of their own homes. We need to internalize the idea that the internet just lends everything a false air of respectability, because "words" are "written down somewhere." (Sort of like we need to get over the idea that being a "published author" means anything impressive.)

melis (#1,854)

@deepomega Well, you get – you get author copies of your book, sometimes. If you write away and ask for them. And the editorial assistant has time. You get like four free copies of your book. So that's, that's something. Isn't it? (It isn't).

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