Young girl beautiful: a review of surveys by natasha stagg


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Another needull which is a book review! I seem to be in a literary mood this week. Surveys is a novel by Natasha Stagg which tells the story of a girl who becomes celebrity suddenly.

Twenty-three-year-old Colleen, the girl at the centre of Surveys by Natasha Stagg, is unknown and anonymous and, one would guess, pretty, and works in a mall in Tuscon, Arizona. Then, quite suddenly, she becomes internet-famous. It’s a big deal, though you wouldn’t believe it from just how casual she is about it. “Once I was legit famous,” she shrugs, “it was hard to tell when the change had occurred.” Because the book understands the way youth works, Colleen has her first stalker long before she’s a celebrity. Because it knows how young girls work, she starts hooking, and then says she wished she had done it first when she was “cuter”, i.e. younger than twenty-three. “You wake up,” she muses while travelling home from her first assignation with two hundred dollars in cash, “and someone puts a price on you. You grow old, and your price diminishes.” Thirty under thirty lists agree with her. So do most pimps. “Once you are at an age that is both young, according to old people, and old, according to young people,” she later reasons, “you can choose to forget this pressure.” The pressure in question is “dignity,” which “becomes a stand-in word for innocence” — which “is not really a thing anymore”, the new thing being “knowing that everyone is jealous”.

The complete article

Philippa Snow — 3:AM MAGAZINE

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