Well well well, you made it to the blog! Welcome to Monday Muses! (full disclosure this posted on Friday).
In case you didn't notice, dear reader, we have been dropping hints about this Muse for a bit. Our happy hour was inspired by this movie and we couldnt be more excited to talk to you guys about women in our popular culture that have inspired us.
Since it's original release date, Working Girl is still a pop culture staple even though some might argue the movie is dated. Sure, the cringe-worthy 80's fashion and slang might hurt a little but all of this does not take away from the complex and moving message within the movie.
Tess Mcgill (played Melanie Griffth) is by no means a perfect feminist protagonist. Although she works her butt off and fights for what is (mostly) rightfully hers, she lets down two fellow women in the process. Without spoiling too much of the movie. After a string of unfortunate events at a previous secretary job, she's finally placed with someone she believes can teach her how to be a woman in the corporate world. Katherine Parker (the glorious Sigourney Weaver). She teaches Tess crucial rules to get ahead (although she does kind of break one of these):
- that you have to dress the part, that you can't get anything by just waiting for it
- “Dress shabbily and they notice the dress. Dress impeccably and they notice the woman."
- “Never burn bridges. Today’s junior prick is tomorrow’s senior partner.”
This movie taught me about taking what you want. If you're more than qualified, why are you doubting yourself? Although I don't really agree with the way Tess took what she thought she deserved, sometimes it has to get ugly before it gets good. What do you think? Tess is an example of that feeling I often get at my day job. The desire for something more. The need to prove to everyone I am more than what they see.
Working Girl arguably inspired a revolution in the 80's and has remained relevant in our popular culture. I look back at this film and sadly still see aspects of the 80's corporate world that haven't changed to this day. Women are still secretaries. Women are still viewed with a "bitch" stigma if they have a coveted or high position. Women are still not being taken seriously in these positions.
One of my favorite lessons from this movies is perfectly summarized by Nicole Dadonna: "Everyone’s got a genius, but not everyone really owns their genius. In order to own your genius, you’ve got to know what yours is." Own. Your. Genius. Tess literally faked it till she made it.
"Her success comes from playing the part, which is essentially what Working Girl, and most other films, set out to do: Smooth the edges of their progressive plan and make it a familiar framework that won't be flawless, but can inspire future evolution." - Monika Bartyzel
Ok get ready, rant coming: I personally think that faking it till you make it is the way to get to through life. There's no way that anyone could possibly have their confidence turned on at all times. We all have those days where you're just on autopilot and to get to through the day you kinda have to fake it. What do you think? Am I crazy?
(below are some iconic moments from the movie along with the CARLY SIMON song)
So what did we learn here today? Sometimes you have to literally fake it till you make it, Take what you feel is rightfully yours, and don't forget to stand up for what you believe in! Tess lived in New York which is a pretty competitive city, especially in the corporate world, but she made it and you can, too. So if you haven't already seen this movie, when you can watch it. You'll be grateful that most of the 80's trends didn't completely make it's way back to 2017 and I'm 100% sure that it will inspire you.