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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Are You There Chelsea? It’s Me, Claire”

    Chelsea Handler is our answer to the post-“”Sex and the City”” void: a more realistic, modern version of Carrie Bradshaw. And by “”our”” I mean the girls who aren’t eagerly awaiting an engagement ring in the coming months, the girls who never stop at two cocktails and the girls who don’t frown on having casual sex — or talking about it.

    Handler, who put her name on the map with the short-lived TV show “”Girls Behaving Badly,”” has quickly risen to fame with her E! talk show “”Chelsea Lately,”” and her three best-selling books. She’s about to embark on a “”Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang”” standup comedy tour. And much like her predecessor, Kathy Griffin, she found her success a little later in life just by being her ridiculous self.

    We like her because she’s real, the attractive if slightly alcoholic aunt you never had and always wanted. She wears hot, trendy clothes, but she isn’t a size 2: She has some love on her. She sleeps around, but she does it like a man; Handler isn’t watching Lifetime TV with a pint of ice cream lamenting about her lack of husband and kids. She’s out at the bar, rocking six-inch heels, drinking Grey Goose martinis, having a great time. And, just like my friends, Handler likes to judge celebrities and make fun of her family. She even got away with asking Khloe Kardashian Odom on live TV if she was knocked up yet.

    And did I mention that her talk show sidekick is a midget named Chuy, who she lovingly refers to as “”my little nugget””? Why does she do all of this? Because she can.

    I realize a lot of people find her offensive — because she is. But beyond her oversharing, foul-mouthed commentary, I think people are offended by her lifestyle. I mean the “”family pushers,”” that group of outdated, outspoken people who believe women are inherently sad until they are able to fulfill their destinies as wives and mothers (Looking at you, Midwest.) And while the family pushers dominate most commercials, romantic comedies and even my beloved “”Sex and the City,”” Handler is dominating the ever-growing group of modern women looking for success and happiness with or without a man.

    And while some may find her lifestyle “”sad,”” Handler is anything but. She’s making money and becoming famous, all on her own terms. She posed for Playboy, but didn’t lose 50 pounds or get freaky Heidi Montag implants beforehand. Her latest book is based heavily on her relationship with her older producer, which recently ended. And unlike the family pushers would have us believe, her return to the single life wasn’t the end of Handler’s world.

    As Handler is showing us, men — and romance in general — are merely pieces of the larger puzzle. They are great accessories in the fashion show of life, but not necessary for eternal happiness. So thank you, Chelsea, for giving us a glimpse of life outside of the 1950s, and making us laugh in the process.

    — Claire Engelken is a journalism senior. She can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu

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