Gossip Girl

December 1, 2007 at 12:16 pm (Gossip Girl)

Gossip Girl is a series of novels for teenagers by Cecily von Ziegesar. Gossip Girl is also the observing narrator of the series. The narrator has all the girls and guys of the series under surveillance, gossips about the girls on a popular blog site that many people visit, and judges their behavior.

Blair Waldorf attends a party at her house with her two friends Kati and Isabel. But Blair soon leaves the party to have sex with her boyfriend Nate Archibald in her bedroom. It would be her first time having sex with a guy. The couple gets interrupted by Serena van der Woodsen, Blair’s former best friend. One year ago, Serena left New York City to attend a boarding school, but now she came back because she was expelled from school. Blair did not enjoy Serena’s appearance because Blair was always left in the shadow together with Serena. gosspi-girl1.jpgBlair even gossips with her friends about Serena, so that all the other former friends of Serena start to ignore her too. When Blair finds out that her boyfriend Nate had sex with Serena some time ago (Blair and Nate did not date when that happened), Blair really starts to hate Serena. She does everything to ignore the girl. She does not even invite her to a party she has organized.

The main teenage characters in this series live in the sophisticated Upper East Side of New York City. They are all rich, and their main free-time activities are shopping, drinking, smoking, taking drugs, drinking, having sex or at least thinking about it. Their rich parents encourage their kids’ behavior.

Serena van der Woodsen, one of the main characters in the series, is a very pretty girl with long blonde hair, blue eyes and a very good shape. She is the perfect girl who can dress however she wants and wear whatever make-up she wants, she will always look perfect. She is physically perfect, but not so in her personality. She was expelled from boarding school, because she just had prolonged her summer holidays and hadn’t returned to school on time. As Serena is so beautiful, she gets much attention from the opposite sex. Many guys want to have sex with her and some even fall in love with Serena. Guys that really admire and worship her are Dan Humphrey, a very sensitive, chain-smoking, caffeine-addicted poet who often sees the darker side to things, and Nate Archibald, Blair’s boyfriend. But not only young men admire her. Also many girls want to be like Serena, especially Jenny Humphrey, Dan’s sister. ¬†Jenny is fourteen years old and so the youngest of the Gossip Girl characters. She has a very large chest for her size. She is so happy when she talks the first time to Serena. She is so proud of befriending with her idol Serena van der Woodsen and tries everything to stay in contact with her. She tries to fit in with the rich girls at her school, even though she does not hold a place in their social sphere.

Blair Waldorf is pretty too and also seems to be intelligent. She is involved in many extracurricular activities, organizes lots of events, and wants to go to Yale after high-school. She is a very determined and eager girl. She is also a very romantic girl who tries everything to make her boyfriend Nate having sex with her in the most romantic way. But unfortunately, they get interrupted several times and the right moment never comes. Nate is a wealthy, good-looking guy, but he smokes a lot of marijuana. Blair idolizes Audrey Hepburn and very often pretends that her life is a movie. Blair is suffering from bulimia, but in the series the terrible illness gets very much downplayed. The characters know that their friend is suffering from that illness, but nobody actually does anything against it, not even her parents. Her romantic and weak sides get overplayed by her bitchy and arrogant behavior. She uses her money, her social status and her charm to get whatever she wants. She always wants to be the center of society and encourages all her friends to ignore her former best friend Serena. When Serena left New York City, Balir realized that everything was much easier for her. Now she was the center of the cool girls and all admired her. She did not stand in the shadow of Serena van der Woodsen any more.

Blair’s family broke up when her parents got divorced. Her father was once a lawyer and now he is living in France with his various gay lovers. Her mother is a society hostess and dates Cyrus Rose, a not very handsome guy.serena-and-blair.png

After describing some of the main characters in the first book Gossip Girl, I must admit that the book did not invite me to become an aspirational reader. I rather can laugh about the characters in the book, who think that life is made up of sex, nice clothes, drugs, party and boys. I am an ironic reader when it comes to reading Gossip Girl because I think that life does not work like it gets described in the books. The characters don’t know what real love is, they don’t know what real friendship means. Their lives are made up of a pure consumer culture, and only those guys who adjust to this culture are accepted. People, who value other things in life and do not have as much money as the upper class, are not accepted in the Gossip Girl world. The girls are fashionized and sexualized, drink expensive alcohol like Scotch and Whisky and are proud about that. Is that normal? Why do parents accept that? Maybe the kids cannot even be blamed for their behavior because they take their parents as role models who also live in this consumer culture and never show the girls what the true values in life are. Take Blair, for example. She has to cope with their parents’ divorce and a father who is gay and takes much pride in French shoes like his daughter does. How can a teenage girl cope with that? I am sure, her mother never takes the time to talk with her daughter about her feelings and problems. Her mum has a new boyfriend and devotes all her free-time to him. Blair does not play an important role in her mother’s life.

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