And Your Point is What, New York Times?

Edited: Just because there is so much more going on in this story.

In this New York Times article, I am trying to understand the point. Are they seriously trying to make people feel sorry for these kids?

The Times profiled young (and naive) people, who the majority, if not all, are coming in from other states, indicating their age, profession, salary and rent. They also indicate the “sacrifices” that they have to make in order to make it in New York: one can’t afford to dye (or bleach) her hair blonde anymore, so she has dye it “au natural;” others can’t afford those pricey hair cuts, those pedicures or manicures, to keep those bodily digits pretty in that french pink polish; one has to shop at that thing called Duane Reade for cosmetics, because Sephora is just impossible on their budget; one has to watch his friends go off and luxuriously eat at Peter Luger’s while he has to say home and cook frank and beans; and one shaggy looking thing can’t afford a fifth generation IPod, so he has to use a CD player, with |gasp!| CDs! How absurd, ancient technology!

Here, take a whiff of the “misery” for yourself:

Before moving from San Francisco last fall, Ms. Werkheiser realized that paying salon prices for platinum tresses in New York would require cutting back on needs like food and shelter. “So I went natural,” said Ms. Werkheiser. “I dyed it dark, a New York brunette.”

Peter Naddeo, a 24-year-old musician, earns $15 an hour working as a temp in Web development in Chelsea, and has perfected the tricky art of stretching lunch into dinner. He moved to New York from Pennsylvania last fall and can barely afford his $80 monthly college loan payments. He listens to a hand-me-down CD player because iPods are out of reach.

Grooming presents its own challenges. Mr. Naddeo cuts his own hair with an electric razor and wears hand-me-down clothes from friends. Mr. Driscoll has curly hair that he says requires specific products and “some taming.”

“I wouldn’t go just anywhere” for a cut, Mr. Driscoll said. “Not to sound metro, but I like my hair.”

Some indulgences are less negotiable than others. So Ms. Varney, formerly a self-professed “huge Sephora shopper,” allows herself Dior mascara and high-shine lip gloss, which cost about $25 each. “Everything else, I’ve regressed and buy at Duane Reade,” she said.

Ms. Werkheiser refuses to give up her Bumble and Bumble shampoo. “I don’t do drugstores,” she said. “I will eat Pringles for dinner instead.”

Here’s the pivotal point that made me edit this post:

Sarah Avrin, a 23-year-old music publicist, said she was struck recently by the sacrifices that some people make to sustain their New York lifestyle when one of her friends endured the long, painful process of selling her eggs.

Yes, egg selling/donation is a painful long-term process consisting of a large consumption of drugs over a course of 6-8 weeks. Yet, we have to look at the issues behind egg donation as well which usually reeks of eugenics and the pursuit of genetic perfection! It is not surprising to read ads looking for donors with keywords, such as “attractive,” “height,” “hair color” or “eyes,” “education” and even SAT score ranges. It is also not surprising that most donors are white females with a privileged background.*

And then people wonder why I become so angry about scenarios such as the ones listed above. This is the shit that publications and media outlets deem as newsworthy, instead of the real problems that our neighborhoods are faced with everyday. These people are not poor; these people are not of low-income, of the working-class, of the lower middle-class. These people don’t have mouths to feed and bodies to clothes. These people know shit in terms of sacrifice and hard-work. I don’t even know what true sacrifice and hard-work is, and they have more than me, as I have more than others. But my ass sure as hell isn’t fuckin’ naive. So, can we please stick with real content and concerns?

“I mean, New York’s just the place for that type of thing to happen. And I’m hoping it will soon,” Mr. Naddeo said. “I’ll be rich and famous and this is going to be hilarious.”

Don’t quit your day job, kid. Better yet, put your degree to use.

*Because information in regards to egg donors have not been properly registered, there is limited research, besides anecdotal. However, here are some references in regards to egg donation:
“Egg Shared, Given and Sold,” The Lancet, August 9, 2003
“Egg Donor Business Boom on Campuses,” USA Today, March 16, 2006
“Women Touting Their Bodies to Sell Dream of the Perfect Child,” The Times (London), March 18, 2006.
“Buying Babies, Bit by Bit, Assisted Conceptions,” The Economist, December 23, 2006

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~ by Luci-Kali on May 28, 2008.

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