If you're a female living in Brooklyn, congratulations: You are now officially trendy. As a new article posted on The Cut this morning points out, 2013 has seen a significant rise in the "Brooklyn girl" character type, mostly due to the popularity of Lena Dunham's Girls character Hannah, a 20-something writer living in Greenpoint who somehow makes her rent every month despite only working at a coffee shop in her neighborhood.
The article explains:
Dunham didn’t create the Brooklyn Girl but she cemented her stereotype into popular consciousness. It’s an archetype that most New Yorkers readily recognize: The well-educated liberal arts grad with a degree in English but no real skill set. Brooklyn Girls wear brown, not black; they go to beer gardens, not lounges or clubs with bottle service; they listen to Spotify, not DJs; they drink bourbon, not scotch. If they diet, it’s under the pretense of healthy eating and frugality; if they exercise, it’s in a park or on a bike. They aspire to have jobs in publishing, not PR. They have artistic temperaments, but think a Pinterest board is the perfect outlet for it; they consume news through Twitter. They live in Brooklyn, supposedly because Manhattan is overpriced. (Not the case in 2013!) But really, they live in Brooklyn because that’s where they can play out their millennial urban agita rituals with others like themselves.
Apart from Girls, there's also the recently released book series by Gemma Burgess, Brooklyn Girls, which follows five friends post-grad living in a cute little brownstone in Cobble Hill while trying to find themselves both professionally and personally:
[The book series] especially contrived since there is nothing about the story’s central character, Pia, that screams Brooklyn [...] Nor is there much about the Brooklyn she inhabits that feels all that Brooklyn [...] Ten years ago the book would have been set in the Lower East Side. Twenty years ago, the Upper East Side. But here we are, with a post-sorority heroine (whose author no doubts hopes will prove to be a lucrative cash cow) situated comfortably just over the bridge — and she just might be as clear a signal as any that the Brooklyn Girl, promulgated and embodied by Dunham, has taken on commercial appeal."
The article cites Frances Ha and 2 Broke Girls for embracing the trend with their main characters as well.
It's an interesting trend, especially when you consider the fact that the women who create these types of well-educated, creative, but professionally aimless characters are successful women themselves and complete opposites of their characters--at least, professionally. It's even more interesting when coupled with the fact that, per a 2007 and a 2010 Queens College study, young, childless women in urban areas are outearning their male counterparts, as author Yael Kohan points out. "Isn’t it odd how few representations of that Brooklyn Girl – powerful, independent, employed for profit – there are in pop culture?" she asks. "She's probably too busy working to write the book."
You can check out the full article here.
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[via The Cut]