The title for "best wtf moment of the week" easily goes to the July issue of Tatler. Even though I am not part of the dream Tatler demographic, I have been reading the magazine for five years solid. I quite like how Catherine Ostler has changed it since coming on board from ES.
In its July issue, Tatler features a piece by Richard Dennen on "The Interns". The introduction in itself is pretty outrageous:
The cast of The Hills and The City have ensured that getting a hot internship is the social summit of the summer. Never have so many battled to get coffee for so few (when they're not discussing which party to go to, that is).
In the three-column article, Dennen defines internships as "the 21st century's answer to the old-school season", explaining that this is now "where the hot boy-meets-girl, namedropping or clothes-borrowing action is". I don't know which internship he is talking about but during mine, the girls were straight and the guys gay and I wasn't allowed to borrow clothes, except for a quick try-on in the fashion closet.
The piece features 9 interns, all under 20, working in fields ranging from film to fashion. They're all dressed as if they were posing for a photoshoot, which they are. Those are not candid pictures but rather styled photos. They most likely paint a distorted version of how those girls (and boys) dressed for work every day. After all, one of Tatler's "How to get ahead rule" is "don't wear clothes that the rest of the office can't afford".
I like to believe that Tatler's article are not to be taken at face value. No matter how much you love horses, who would want to be compared to a racehorse? Surely, reducing those 9 teenagers to nothing more than their pedigrees constitutes in itself a social critic of sort?
And though it's probably against the European Human Rights Act, it does seem that these interns are still chosen like racehorses - legs and breeding don't count for nothing.
My biggest problem with the article isn't so much its self-importance than it false and mistaken description of internships. Olimpia Emo Capodilista might have "enjoyed snogging the Armani male models in the closet", but this isn't a part of most internships. As long as certain glossies and TV shows paint a glamourous image of life as an intern, students will want to follow suit, even though their actual experience will most likely be very different from the one described in magazines. Of course, those accepted lies are to the industry's advantage, guaranteeing a fresh stream of wannabee interns.
The article also totally ignores the biggest problem, namely how many graduates end up being interns. Though I guess that if "Daddy organised" the internship, he can probably organise a P*** position too.
With a massive u-turn, going from intern as girl-about-town to intern as maid, Dennen ends the article explaining that
The last Tatler [internship] went for £50,000. And what do you get for that priviledge? Why, the chance to steer my coffee of course.
I know someone who has interned at Tatler. His recollection of his time at the magazine doesn't include much coffee carrying. Was he lucky? May be.