Also known as “chick literature,” chicklit was created in the ‘90s. It reached its peak in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, mainly following middle-class white women. The plot normally follows these female character’s lives with a humorous and light-hearted story about ordinary troubles in womanhood – sometimes focusing on the romantic relationships, female friendships, and issues in the work place. As a genre that seemed to be “for women, by women”, men took their turn in writing their own versions of what chicklit seemed to be as well.
Unfortunately, chicklit is not as popular as it once was. In a day and age where the gender divide is slowly being demolished, titles published with a label like chicklit aren’t taken as seriously as say… a romcom with a shapeshifter billionaire lover who falls for the mail-order bride, who just so happens to be pregnant with his baby from a forgotten encounter. The romance market has become so oversaturated that readers are more drawn to unique characters with unique story lines. It’s also hard for chicklit to hold up against a classic horror from someone like Stephen King.
Don’t get me wrong, we all love a classic or creative story – but what about a story about everyday life? To me, that is what chicklit is all about. It’s also the very reason that chicklit will always be necessary. Chicklit not only brings normalcy to an anything-goes literary market, but it also serves as a safe place for women who need a place to escape and not feel alone in the issues of their everyday lives. Most chicklit plots are more relatable than any other novel (since, you know…shapeshifter lovers are pretty hard to find nowadays). Chicklit reminds its readers that they aren’t the only one with romantic strife, back stabbing girlfriends, or work place drama. Writers in the chicklit genre often write based on experience. So, if the story was penned then there is at least one other person out there experiencing something similar to you and that goes a long in way in making a scary world seem more friendly. And trust me, there are many more women experiencing the same thing, not just one. Women’s fiction, feminist authors, chicklit titles … they’re all needed now more than ever.
So, I encourage you to pick up a chicklit at your local bookstore or download a quick read through your Kindle. If you are feeling really empowered, maybe even take your fingers to the keyboard of your computer and create your own work for women because we can certainly use it. The literary market needs more strong female leads who don’t fight misogyny that has been internally brewing since her birth. We need more female CEOs of multi-billion-dollar companies, we need more average 20-somethings who are climbing the social ladder by NOT sleeping with anyone but perhaps by just being a decent human being with a sparkling personality.
Who knows, maybe it’ll get picked up for a movie deal and Beyonce is cast as your main lady squeeze. We can all dream, right?