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Special Edition - The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

We had the great pleasure of sitting down with Alison Cochrun to talk about her very buzzy book, The Charm Offensive .  If you'd like to purchase a copy, please consider buying from Alison's local independent bookstore, Vintage Books!  At this time there are signed copies available! Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star. Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. B

Episode 17 - "The Hood"



YES, this is EXACTLY what this book is about!  She wears this outfit!  He wears that outfit!  She is totally checking out his ass!  It's amazing!  It's 1992!  She's a treasury agent!  He's an... accountant!  A white savior accountant!  Just read it, okay?  This white boy plays basketball in his Daisy Dukes in it, it is amazing.

There's... nothing bad in this book, honestly!  She survived an abusive childhood.  Nobody gets raped.  The only racist thing about it is that these white people go around either saving or not saving the ghetto, and they say "ghetto" on every third page but so did Elvis.  It is a fucking delight in so many ways.  We picked this up to make fun of it and then we felt hella bad because this book is woke as shit.


The sex is hot!  They talk about consent the whole time!  It's all about structural inequalities!  I didn't even know people who wear pantyhose under their side-zipping pleated slacks knew what structural inequalities are, y'all!

.... but let's talk about the alphets.

Some of you might be too young to remember when that was a totally normal thing for a professional woman to wear.  Remember, only little girls and whores go around bare legged.  This, on the other hand, is fine:
 Nothing to see here.  Nothing unusual whatsoever.  Especially nothing around the belt area.  Things normally button right in the middle of weird tie business.
YES, people were wandering around looking like admirals in the most low budget space navy of all time.
MAKE THEM PHONE CALLS, BITCH!  Close on the Anderson account!  (I think this is a Bajoran only they forgot the nose ridge piece?)
See like your knees would be FREEZING and your armpits would be DYING and also you would match your purse.  (What the fuck is Princess Di carrying in her purse?)
Joan CollinsSTEP RIGHT UP ladies and gentlemen OH YES DID I MENTION CLIP ON EARRINGS (you're gonna be glad because you can unclip the one when you answer the phone, yes women used to do that.)
 okay i kind of like it so shoot me it's the utter commitment of the gloves and the scarf
blouse 1970'sThis was literally very similar to one of my first "professional outfits".  I am not fucking kidding.  My mother made me dress up fancy to go to my dad's company, where he was an executive, to "apply" for the job they were giving me.  My beaming parents took pictures.  Yes I wore hose.  We all wore hose.
Shoulder PadsWE'RE PLAYING WITH THE BIG BOYS NOW AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!  HIKE!
See this skirt length?  This goddamned school principal shit?  They made us wear that.
While not a fan of the hair or the shoes, I do enjoy the sharp angles, wish it was in a richer colour - otherwise I enjoy this look.You don't understand, this was COOL.  This was one of those "oh you could never wear that to the office" bullshit fashion looks that they put in magazines all the time, like nowadays when they keep trying to tell you to wear suits with shorts instead of pants.  God the pleats.  Do you have any idea how much polterwang these damned pants used to produce?  You'd sit down and everybody was hella confused.
Oh Scully I'm so sorry.

In conclusion: you young ladies who now think everything is charmingly retro think you gonna wear a power suit and look like Grace Jones, but in actuality you gonna look like Early Seasons Scully.  Because that's what women wore to look professional but not too sexy but also like a man but only a little because if you look too feminine you're a coffee bitch and if you look too masculine you'll never get promoted and they'll make fun of you.  AND DON'T FORGET THE PANTYHOSE.

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