“She’s not happy unless everyone around her is panicked, nauseous, or suicidal.”
Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) snagged a job that a million girls would die for; she is going to be the second assistant to Runway‘s editor-in-chief, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). It only takes Andy one full shift to realize that Miranda might be the devil incarnate. Though she wants to make her time at the magazine count, Andy discovers that the cost of staying there for a full year may be greater than she can afford.
“I don’t have a choice,” she huffs, as she misses her boyfriend’s birthday, dashes home early from a dinner with Dad, trudges to Paris in place of Miranda’s first assistant, Emily (Emily Blunt).
But she does have a choice.
Andy believes that if she sticks out her position at Runway for a year, she will have access to any writing job she wants in New York. As a writer, though, couldn’t she write a blog? Freelance as a writer and work other shifts somewhere else? The girl really does have a wide variety of options, and hailing from Northwestern, she appears to have ample brain cells to brainstorm her way the fuck out of Miranda Priestly’s office.
It is amazing how many people will tolerate an abusive work environment for the sake of a means to an end. Andy believes her job will open bigger, better doors, so she allows her relationships to collapse underneath her.
Of course, it is possible that she likes what is happening. Andy likes her new clothes; she likes the attention she gets from Christian (Simon Baker); she likes belonging to a culture that never suited her in the past. The longer she upholds her title, the more her “not having a choice” excuse wears thin. Everyone has a choice, as even Miranda notes.
Miranda is a monster. She belittles everyone to the point of tears, never sparing a thanks or a smile to make up for it. She is mean; she is hostile; and not a single person ever confronts her behavior. This could be a catch-22; if anyone confronts Miranda, she might admire or even respect them. However, confronting Miranda is so unheard of that she would be sacrificing her renown if she did not fire the poor soul brazen enough to do the confronting.
The Entitlement Factor
Maybe Miranda’s sense of entitlement is the mark of a full-blown disorder; maybe it is the mark of a successful career woman holding her own in the business world; maybe she got used to it because not enough people corrected her. Whatever the case, Miranda is used to having things her way and she will manipulate, coerce, and otherwise bully others into doing exactly how she sees fit. The Devil Wears Prada shows us only a small glimpse of vulnerability from her, but even this is quickly muffled. Without more understanding about the woman behind those trendy sunglasses, it is impossible to understand where the bullying started, and whether all the bullying is worth it to the bully.