The Mistress of Chicklit Captures Every Girls' Dream
Candace Bushnell is a New York City girl and contributing editor to Harper Bazaar magazine. You see her strong connection to New York City throughout her books, which all take place in the Big Apple. As a writer, Candace Bushnell has many dignified talents. Each book of hers is completely its own, yet she manages to connect her characters from multiple books into different plot lines. All of her books have strong, motivated, and independent women as the leading characters that serve as role models for female young adults. Candace Bushnell is a great writer based on her abilities to create such thought-provoking characters in her books like Lipstick Jungle, and Trading Up.
Lipstick Jungle is a novel based off of every girl’s dream of being more successful then men. All of these women are in the top of their industries proving that women can be just as successful as men. In the beginning of the book we see Victory setting up for the biggest fashion show of her life:
By eight p.m., when the last model had completed her turn on the
runway and Victory went out to take her bow, she would know
her fate for the coming year. She would either be on top of the
game; in the middle and surviving; or on the bottom, trying to
regain her position. She knew she was taking a risk with this show,
and she also knew she hadn’t had to. Any other designer would
have continued along the same lines that had made them so
successful for the past three years, but Victory couldn’t do that. It
was too easy. Tonight she hoped to shoe the industry a new side to
her talents, a new way to look at how women might dress. She
was, she thought wryly, either a hero or a fool. (3).
Victory is not only establishing herself as a competitor in the fashion world but is risking her positive public image for a new idea that she feels is a success and is willing to take the risk in seeing if others feel that way too. The idea of women being powerful is feared by men, why it is this way no one can every really be sure. In the beginning of the book we see the lead characters question this as well, “Why was it that no matter what a woman accomplished in the world, if she hadn’t married and had children, she was still considered a failure?’ (5). To most men women were created to have kids and raise a family, Bushnell breaks down these stereotypes with her business savvy women characters that take over their industries. The characters face their problems and struggles with a head on approach, making them give the imagery of superwoman. Candace Bushnell does an incredible job fueling the fire with the controversies of women being capable of overpowering men by creating the modern day female heroine.
Bushnell’s use of iconic characters in her books flows
into her next book Trading Up. In Trading Up Janey Wilcox is the leading lady
and shows the struggles of being a part of New York’s social society.
Bushnell at first portrays Janey as a dumb, beauty queen who manipulates
everyone into getting what she wants. But looking closer you see the depth of the
inner workings of Janey’s mind she truly is a brilliant woman:
Janey Wilcox was a particular type of beautiful woman, who,
acknowledged only for her looks, is convinced that she has great
reserves of untapped talents. Hidden under her glossy, nearly
perfect exterior was, she believed, some sort of genius who would
someday make a significant contribution to the world, most likely
artistic as opposed to commercial. The fact that there was no
evidence to support this hope didn’t dissuade her, and indeed, she
believed herself equal to anyone. If she were to meet Tolstoy, for
instance, she was quite sure that he would immediately embrace
her as a kindred spirit. (7).
The way Janey thinks is inspiring, you never see her give up on herself and she is always fighting to finish on top. Bushnell lets us watch the character, Janey, grow into the woman she always had inside her, and we see that in the end of the book when Janey is attending a Vanity Fair party:
But this time, she really was lost in thought, she realized. She
belonged here… Everything about the evening told her that she’d
finally found her place. And opening her eyes to take in the view,
she suddenly gasped and took a step back in joy. From her
vantage point high in the Hollywood Hills, the twinkling lights of
Los Angeles lay spread out beneath her like a golden carpet,
welcoming her. (563).
Janey became the fearless, independent women she always had inside of her; she
was now the “It Girl” everyone claimed her to be. Bushnell hones in on the
importance of hard work and diligence when your have a goal in mind that you
wish to obtain. Trading Up is a brilliant novel that leaves you praying that you
have the same kind of perseverance Janey Wilcox has for going after what you truly desire.
Overall most people might judge Candace Bushnell’s writing ability based
on the aspect of her writing preference, but when you read her books and really
pay attention to the words written on the pages you realize how in depth every single story is from start to finish. As a woman you come out of her books feeling empowered and capable of taking over the world, which is something very rare in writing today. Women are constantly overshadowed by men so it’s refreshing to see someone put the confidence back into women. Candace Bushnell is a very talented writer and if you are looking for a modernized, ‘girl power inspired,' and entertaining piece I would highly recommend any of her books for you to read.