Monday, October 15
Mo' Money, Mo' Problems, Mo' Daily Mail Stories
I wrote a story about Female Billionaires for Refinery29 a couple days back, most of which was done on an airplane while paying $17.50 for wireless. The irony of the entire situation is not lost on me, considering I had to cook at home all week to balance GoGo's sky-internet-monopoly out, but it was kind of like a week-long trip back to ye olde college. A serious slideshow about female CEOs and businesswoman with cash in the bank isn't the type of story I'd typically wind up writing, but I've been finding that actually putting on your 1920's "Journalist" cap and diving into a subject you know nothing about can be way more beneficial than pitching a stack of no-brainer articles and scrolling through Asos until it's time to start writing again.
Given that I had never been on Forbes.com before in my life and wound up writing what could have doubled as a research paper on women who are accustomed to seeing so many zeros in their bank account, I like to think this story could double as a proposal to take over Robin Leach's abandoned post of touting yachts on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Or, at least, a transitional mark when I really started realizing what it's like for some women to have unlimited funds and try to step out on their own as serious entrepreneurs.
It's weird, to be interviewing someone who lives in a home so large there used to be a wrapping paper room inside of it between sips of the coffee you specifically get from a certain shop because they don't charge extra for soy milk. But, the one thing I learned — besides how shitty Wikipedia entries are for some of these impressive women — is that talent and fortune have an odd correlation. I found it so insanely interesting to talk to Petra Ecclestone, fashion designer, billionaire heiress and serious taker of gossip shit talking, and to hear in her voice how much she actually loves doing fashion design, even if on a daily basis she's met with people calling her out and dumping all over her simply for having money. Gobs of money. Gobs and gobs of it.
It's easy to jump into the shitstorm — it's not like Paris Hilton proved anyone wrong with that music career, after all — but it raises an important question of if she should be judged for her dad's fortune, or given a chance to make a career for herself. Granted, the commenters took it their own enraged direction, but I can't help but put myself in Petra's (assumedly jaw-dropping) shoes, and think how no matter what number is in your savings account, at the end of the day, you still have to work and prove yourself. And if she's doing just that, shouldn't the girl catch a break? If no one's come down on Tory Burch for having piles of money, husbands who were beyond wealthy and a dad who inherited a paper cup company (seriously), maybe it's better to focus on the insane clutches Petra designs than her facial expressions while shopping.
Calling a spade a spade, that sort of thing.
(Though, if you're calling me to see which brand of purse I'd prefer, either will do.)