What I Learned from Vogue

January 29, 2021 by No Comments

I went to the movies by myself to see The September Issue, a documentary about how Vogue magazine’s ever-expanding September issue gets made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion world and a small peek into Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour’s life. Now, I’m not a super-fashionista, but I LOVED Devil Wears Prada, so I had to see for myself who this character Meryl Streep played was like. I loved the documentary for the following reasons:

It’s really exciting to be the visionary for something big. I love to brainstorm, imagine, and create. Watching Anna Wintor and her Artistic Director Grace Coddington dream up the fanciful pages of the magazine was truly inspiring. Fashion affects people’s lives in real ways–even if it’s just letting people imagine themselves as 17th century princesses or even as the fifth girlfriend on Sex and the City. I feel that dating and relationships have an even stronger impact on people’s lives. I have big dreams for CrazyGirl Nation. I’d love to have the equivalent of a September issue for the growing community here.

You can’t depend on your family to validate what you do. I really enjoyed watching Anna Wintour’s interactions with her college-aged daughter. Anna’s daughter isn’t interested in the fashion industry whatsoever, and you can tell Anna secretly hopes that her daughter might change her mind. You then go on to learn that all of Anna’s siblings are highly accomplished in the fields of journalism and politics–”serious” and “respectable” professions. “My siblings find the work I do…amusing,” Anna says with sadness in her eyes. I think they half-seriously mock her at family gatherings. Although my parents have always been very encouraging of whatever I want to do, I’ve often found myself frustrated that they don’t keep up with reading my blog or know exactly which classes I’m taking. But I’m now sure that I have to get over that. If the most powerful woman in fashion can’t even get her daughter and siblings to take a serious interest in what she’s doing, it’s time to just claim my stake in the world and be happy I have family who at least stays out of the way of my doing what I want to do.

You can declare your vision. Anna Wintour first decided she was going to be the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue when she was a teenage and had to fill out a form asking what her future career goal was. Her father, having observed her obsession with the Seventeen magazines Anna would devour monthly, said: “Why, you’re going to be the Editor-in-Chief of  Vogue.” And so it was. Now, I’m not saying that Anna just blindly followed what her father wanted her to do. Rather, he said something that she had probably dreamed of but never thought possible. Having written it down and declared it as her own, Anna now had a clear career vision that she could act upon.

In case you’re wondering if I’ve spoiled the documentary for you, fear not! It is chock full of goodness–especially the working relationship between Anna and Grace.

I love movies and documentaries, because in two hours I get to go on a fantastic adventure and then for hours, days, and sometimes even years later, I reflect upon what lessons I have taken away from that particular story. The September Issue was great validation that I’m doing the right thing by unapologetically claiming my vision. One day I’ll be the Anna Wintour of the advice world.

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