Yuppie #atozchallenge

Fictional character traits

Yuppie (slang, informal): an affluent, city-dwelling young professional dedicated to making piles of money, and physical fitness.

More than a fictional character trait, the term — coined in the early ’80s — describes a lifestyle in the US. And what would a lifestyle be without stories?

Some examples:

Bright Lights, Big City

In this adaptation of Jay McInerney’s novel, Michael J. Fox’s character moves from small-town Kansas to New York city to chase his dreams. You can imagine what follows. It’s satire, and it’s Michael J. Fox, and it’s the 80s in NYC.

Other such films:

Less Than Zero — a bunch of brats
Who’s That Girl — Madonna

As for books, we have Thomas M. Sipos’s Manhattan Sharks.

Sipos, the son of Hungarian refugees from Communism, was born in New York and took to satire of corporate culture and America’s obsession with status — the rise of the yuppie. 

The hero, Henry, is one of the many faceless corporate people who keep the wheels of commerce turning. Despite not fitting the yuppie mold, Henry still seeks happiness and status and meaning through career, clothing, and political identity.

The term seems so dated I have to wonder what came to replace it? Hipster, maybe. As for writing the yuppie character, I see him attached to stories set in the 80s, 90s, faithful to a narrative world that governs the era.


Images; pixabay, amazon, yahoo

12 responses to “Yuppie #atozchallenge

  1. Whoa, that is a dated term, Silvia, although I didn’t realize it until I saw it in print and the image of the very young Michael J. Fox. I wonder if there will be any books or movies about yuppies going forward, or if the characteristic has had its day. It doesn’t feel like yuppies have enough depth to be worthy of the coverage afforded to hippies, for example.

  2. People that were younger in the 80s still use the word! I forgot about this role of Michael J. Fox. I do remember reading the book!

  3. I have to laugh. Moving from small town Washington State to Los Angeles was a classic example of falling into Yuppie Land especially since my dad sold to the studios. This is how I still think of California. I wanted to run away back to home, so I did. But Man, do I ever remember the Hippie and Yuppie days!

  4. Yuppie? Don’t we still use it? Young, upward, person … can’t think what the p i e stands for – maybe the whole word stands for young upward person pie. O golly, can you tell what this A-Z has done to my poor brain … :)

  5. My mind keeps going back to American Psycho which is a satire of Yuppie culture. Not only does it break down the problems with that culture, but it also literally breaks down yuppies. Warning: it’s very bloody.

  6. Hi Silvia – I can see the Yuppie character … and they’re still around – but I haven’t come across the films or books you mention= cheers Hilary

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