Everybody (Else) is Perfect by Gabrielle Korn
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: Pomegranate Ginger Hard Seltzers. And I’ve been watching Golden Girls because this show is a CLASSIC
From the former editor-in-chief of Nylon comes a provocative and intimate collection of personal and cultural essays featuring eye-opening explorations of hot button topics for modern women, including internet feminism, impossible beauty standards in social media, shifting ideals about sexuality, and much more.
Gabrielle Korn starts her professional life with all the right credentials. Prestigious college degree? Check. A loving, accepting family? Check. Instagram-worthy offices and a tight-knit group of friends? Check, check. Gabrielle’s life seems to reach the crescendo of perfect when she gets named the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of one of fashion’s most influential publication. Suddenly she’s invited to the world’s most epic parties, comped beautiful clothes and shoes from trendy designers, and asked to weigh in on everything from gay rights to lip gloss on one of the most influential digital platforms.
But behind the scenes, things are far from perfect. In fact, just a few months before landing her dream job, Gabrielle’s health and wellbeing are on the line, and her promotion to editor-in-chief becomes the ultimate test of strength. In this collection of inspirational and searing essays, Gabrielle reveals exactly what it’s truly like in the fashion world, trying to find love as a young lesbian in New York City, battling with anorexia, and trying not to lose herself in a mirage of women’s empowerment and Instagram perfection.
Through deeply personal essays, Gabrielle recounts her struggles to reconcile her long-held insecurities about her body while coming out in the era of The L Word, where swoon-worthy lesbians are portrayed as skinny, fashion-perfect, and power-hungry. She takes us with her everywhere from New York Fashion Week to the doctor’s office, revealing that the forces that try to keep women small are more pervasive than anyone wants to admit, especially in a world that’s been newly branded as woke.
From #MeToo to commercialized body positivity, Korn’s biting, darkly funny analysis turns feminist commentary on its head. Both an in-your-face take on impossible beauty standards and entrenched media ideals and an inspiring call for personal authenticity, this powerful collection is ideal for fans of Roxane Gay and Rebecca Solnit.
Drunk Overview: This is non-fiction so an overview seems weird. btu Gabrielle ended up being the youngest Chief Editor of Nylon magazine. The book talks a lot about how that happened, the way that media messaging can be conflicted due to a difference in opinions between the workers and the owners, and how there seems to be the common idea that “everyone else is perfect” which each person believes not so flattering things about themself.
- Honestly, I loved the title of this book. It’s really easy to look at other people and enjoy them, flaws and all. Yet, it’s so hard to use that thought process on your own body. The past couple of years have made me a lot more reflective which means I’ve been trying to be kinder to myself, and that’s a lot of what this book is about.
- Korn had an eating disorder, and reading what she wrote about it is fascinating and deeply sad. There’s so much pressure, especially in the media world, for women to look a certain way, and even for someone who is part of counter-cultures and seems to have self-esteem for days can get caught up in it.
- I also really appreciate the way she wrote about working in the media. I’m not going to say that journalism is a dying art, because I think that’s overly simplistic. But it is an industry that’s undergoing massive changes.
- I think every media company has had to make massive changes to try and keep up. Some companies do it well, others don’t, but no company has approached this perfectly.
- I can also understand how hard it would be to keep mental health on an even-keel while things were changing so drastically, especially as the Editor in Chief.
- I hadn’t realized quite how demanding that job was. And it was really interesting to get that view of things.
- Honestly, my biggest complaint about this book is that there was a section (that probably felt longer than it actually was) that was all about what has happened in the past few years, and honestly, I don’t need to relive the election of the previous president and all of the things that came after it.
- But I always think its fascinating to get a slice of someone else’s experiences. And Gabrielle has a wonderful way of talking about hers.
- Reading through her childhoods, discovery of her sexuality, and how her lack of knowledge about business may have actually helped her as she negotiated her own pay.
What I’d Pair it With: A dry martini