Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

This will be a short one.

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion is a collection of essays, each of which delves into a specific aspect of the culture in which Jia Tolentino grew up. For the most part, I got the references. I didn’t watch reality tv shows growing up, but my friends made me watch a few episodes of Jersey Shore back in 2019—found it weird, but it was good for context. Even then, the essays fell short for me. Perhaps I wasn’t too into the topics of choice; I only enjoyed reading two of them: “Ecstasy” and “The Cult of the Difficult Woman.” Everything else simply reminded me of how disadvantageous it is to be a woman. No thanks.

The writing, on the other hand, is a different story. It was impeccable. Despite my aversion to the essay topics, I continued reading because I liked Jia Tolentino’s writing. Her points were clear written and based on fact, and, equally important, her tone was not shrill. So the bright side of having read Trick Mirror was that I was introduced to Jia Tolentino’s writing. If I see her name on some article in the future, I’ll most likely read it.

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