My daughter watches a television show on a children’s cable network that features a fourteen year old heiress. This character exists in a world of impossible opulence.
She lives in a historic hotel on the upper east side of a city that is most likely New York but is never mentioned by name. Her family occupies all floors of the ornate, beaux arts styled building though not simultaneously rather moving from identical room to room as the mood suits them.
Her bumbling, aloof, but well-intentioned father, the loving, competent but overtaxed mother and the irritating but endearing older brother frequently lose track of the heiress as they tend to go their separate ways during the day and most evenings.
A special episode was set on the building’s fortieth through forty-third floors which are the heiress’ closet — empty save for her next change of clothing.
She dines whenever she wishes on whatever she wishes. Her general preference being the meat of the last joint of the foremost leg of fresh dungeness crab flown in from the Pacific Northwest. It takes fifty crabs to supply enough food from that one small segment of their bodies to constitute a small snack.
She eats this favorite of all foods off plates crafted of pink diamond laid on a table set with pearl and titanium service glowing gold under candles lit with tapers made of tightly wound one thousand dollar bills.
When she has wept her tears dry — as she does most nights — the heiress re-moistens her eyes with drops of water distilled from a spring in oceania and instilled with hope gathered from the unfulfilled dreams and wishes of less fortunate children.
She is, in other words, a character America’s girls can both pity and aspire to become. And this is why her television show has been on the air and a hit in the ratings, in fact the tent pole of its network, for ten years.