There’s a scene in Girls, Lena Dunham’s “voice of her generation” HBO series, where the dweeby Shoshanna sits on the floor of her Elizabeth Street bedroom, surrounded by magazines. Jessa, her worldlier cousin, pulls off her headphones long enough to inquire what she’s getting up to.
“It’s my manifestation board,” Shoshanna explains, “I use it for inspiration. Like when I’m not feeling inspired I just look at it.”
A riff on “vision boards,” an Oprah-endorsed self-help method from The Secret, the pastime signaled her character’s naïveté, of a kind with her pink velour sweatsuit and Sex and the City worship. A scrapbook for the life one wishes one had, the “vision board” has been mocked by everyone from Barbara Ehrenreich to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But aspirational scrapbooking lives on, nowhere more so than on Pinterest, the image-sharing site that exploded early this year to reach more than 10 million users.