Apologies for the hiatus. We’ll be back soon.
“I want to get lots of girls” the pug-faced cheeky chappy from Brighton (by way of Malia! WAHEY!) tells the judges. Then he gets his bum out to show the panel, the whooping crowd and the whole bloody country the tattooed names of all the girls he’d presumably boned while in Malia. The names are still visible, but the hairy bumcrack is blurred out. This was to save The X Factor’s producers’ skin – they were given a wrap on the knuckles by Ofcom after broadcasting Rihanna and Christina Aguilera’s raunchy performances in last year’s finale. It was also, I like to think, blurred out so that not one young girl’s notion of smooth, groomed heartthrobbery could be thwarted by the appearance of wiry curled hair on a Syco darling’s bumhole.
But that’s not the hair I want to discuss. The only hair that makes Frankie Cocozza of any worth to anyone – his eyebrows, though not as offensive as many of his fellow contestants’, appear to be slugging their way around his face – is his head hair. His voice lacks the pizzazz of his surname – Gary said the 18-year-old scamp has “Rod Stewart vocals”. But the fist of pure emotionlessness forgot to mention that the vocals he meant were the yelps he’d imagine the feather-haired troll emitted when he discovered Benicio Del Toro had got his daughter up the duff and finally had a taste of his own salty medicine.
Frankie’s similarity to Rod Stewart starts and ends with his inability to keep his pants on. Not only did he drop trow in front of the bloody nation, but with rumours flying – doubtless greenlit by the show’s PR officers – that he bonked a female contestant on the bootcamp round, it appears the lad is just as quick to get his end away as he is to hit a flat note.
Arguably, Frankie’s got some charisma. The type of Olly Murs/Robbie Williams ITV1 Saturday evening charisma which is so anemic it must be subsidised with either trousers so tight you can tell he’s not circumcised or monthly injections of testosterone. The type of charisma that also needs a hat or a quiff to really work.
Or, in Frankie’s case, a thick, lustrous head of hair. He’s done the Shane from The L Word look with the same audacity that only the most feckless of lesbians in the mid-2000′s could do. It’s a great cut. We, as lesbians, like to distance ourselves from it because it’s all a bit cliché to mooch around like Shane, and trends tell us that hair’s to be swept up off of our foreheads unless arranged in a neat bowl. Our own micro-society tells us to hold back from The Shane.
But Frankie probably hasn’t done like his namesake on Lip Service (shit, remember Lip Service) and borrowed his hair from Shane. He’s just let a Justin Bieber ‘do grow out and all of that time rolling about in bed (or his natural Italian curl) has done the rest. The Shane is a brilliant haircut and we shouldn’t relegate it to a ‘don’t’ ‘do simply because it was at the height of lesbian cool years ago. I am 110% anti-Frankie, and would rather see Kendro perform sex acts on one another than him rasp his way through The X Factor’s final . But his one redeeming quality, perhaps his only redeeming quality, is absolutely classic lesbian hair.
British weather is a joke. But in the summer, as the clouds draw over, festivals and fairs get pissed on, and al of a sudden you’re wearing a coat and shivering whilst inside, at least these grumbles are allayed by ‘the silly season’. When giant rats are found in an estate oop north, or when a whale is found halfway up the Thames, or a donkey is parachuted into the air. Silly season is essentially when parliamentary recess happens and every newspaper’s front 20 pages resemble Metro’s page 3.
However, in this disgusting summer, the whole concept of a silly season lasted for about as long as that 31 degree heatwave. What kicked it off was the convergence of evil journalists, evil politicians, evil police officers in the hacking scandal, sending the world into some sort of tailspin, making everything happen reallyfuckingquickly and giving actual purpose to 24 hour news channels’ ‘BREAKING’ tickers. Bar the recent riots, which were a whole new level of WTF, this persistence of stuff just happening all over the place has been eerily echoed by The Hour. The newsroom thriller about the corrupt triumvirate of police, government and journalists, had The Times columnist Giles Coren musing on Twitter: “wow. journalists, police and politicians all interconnected in a terrible naughty mess. who would have thought?”
The programme had been tipped as the ‘British Mad Men’, but the plaudit fell by the wayside; although The Hour’s costumes seem to be spot on, it lacks Mad Men’s glamour and gloss. All for good reason – the BBC’s budget is a mere splash to HBO’s ocean, and postwar Britain was penniless in comparison to postwar America. But at points it feels as if the grubbiness is not down to a purposeful move away from glamour, but down to unintentional faults. There are some serious continuity howlers as the camera angle switches. Look! There’s Dominic West pouring a bottle of wine. And look! It’s disappeared again.
Almost as fleeting as Dominic West’s bottle of wine was my friend Noo’s turn in the first episode. She had a tough task, playing the nervy society girl who dismantled the story’s equilibrium by coming in and mumbling paranoid tales about ‘them’ and ‘they’. But she did very well, and you can see her this Christmas in the BBC’s adaptation of Great Expectations. Let’s hope she gets given a better fringe this time.
But we’re not here to talk about her fringe. We’re here to talk about Ben Whishaw’s lesbian hair. Lots of people have said that his suit looks far too contemporary, that it could’ve fallen out of a Hedi Slimane collection. The same could be said for his hair, which seems to have been scalped from east London’s finest lesbians. It’s all floppy, like what happens when a girl has a crew cut then it grows out and she can’t be bothered to cut it because it’s still pretty low maintenance and besides she’s sleeping with the ex of the girl who cuts her hair for free and why pay anyway? Yeah, that.
To add to her faults, Rebekah Brooks is meant to be a bit homophobic. The Evening Standard interviewed Chris Bryant, one of the (few) MPs who worked tirelessly to uncover the News Of The World’s phone-hacking. He recounted an experience of meeting Rebekah (then Brooks) at a party or something.
She came up to me and said, ‘Oh, Mr Bryant, it’s after dark — shouldn’t you be on Clapham Common?”
“At which point Ross Kemp [the ex-EastEnders actor and her then husband] said, ‘Shut up, you homophobic cow’.”
However, I think she’s totally worthy of being on this blog, because there’s something so lesbiany about her. So as not to be libellous, the decision to include her here is nothing to do with the rumours (RUMOURS) that suggest (SUGGEST) that her and Ross Kemp were only ever in a marriage of convenience, so that each of them could allegedly (ALLEGEDLY) cover up their respective same-sex dalliances. There are other things that make her sexy to lesbians. Like a Hitchcock vamp, she’s not bosomy or faux-coy, but a cold-hearted bitch. My source says that Brooks “pretended” to cry when she told all NOTW staff that they’d be sacked so as to save her lushly-coiffed head. She’s also incredibly powerful: her resignation was refused by James Murdoch, leading conspiracists to believe that she has “something” on the Murdochs. To have “something” on the man who has a media influence of about 5 billion people is simultaneously scary and sexy (unless you’re French, in which case it’s just sexy).
One of the biggest complaints about the news media last week was launched at the tabloids for their reluctance to give proportional (read: front page) coverage to the phone-hacking scandal. MY biggest complaint is that they’ve failed to treat her how they normally treat women by focusing on a symbiotic link between a woman’s image and her work. If they’d looked solely at her aesthetics, they would have gleaned that:
1. She’s a bit of alright.
2. If you plonk a ginger wig atop Kate Middleton’s lollipop head, you get Rebekah Brooks.
3. It’s not entirely ridiculous to suggest that she could be played by the beautiful Amy Adams in the film all about this. (No surprises as to who Michael Sheen would play. I’m vying for a shar pei in glasses to channel Murdoch.)
4. She is very possibly from a parallel universe where Nicole Kidman didn’t use Botox.
So, we know she’s fit. But is Rebekah’s hair lesbiany? Yes. Why? Because of the 90s. Her hair is massively 90s, and 90s seems to be big in the queer scene right now. Also, she’s powerful and sexy and mean. She might not deserve to retain her role as CEO of News International, but she certainly deserves to be here. We’re crushing hard.
Growing your hair out’s a bitch. But an end result half as good as Theresa Wayman’s could probably be the best incentive to go through that naff stage where everyone’s comparing you to Nick Carter/Anthea Turner/Celine Dion circa 1994. The multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for Los Angeles murmur-rockers Warpaint most probably isn’t a lesbian (although our gaydar suggests otherwise, our sources insist on her heterosexuality), but she’s got this swagger. Her charisma and her hair (and perhaps her slightly toned down grungey music) hearkens back to Kurt Cobain, who similarly covered his face up with straggly, hair when he sang, yet, similarly, didn’t look as if he smelt too bad. Theresa looks as if she smells really pretty, but still has masculine, un-pampered locks. When all too many girls are going for the little Sikh-boy bun on top of the head, or dip-dyeing their roots bright pink, she’s just letting it all hang out, which is sexy. Julie Burchill once said that a woman behind a guitar looks as unnatural as a dog on a bicycle, but tbh, I think dogs on bicycles look awesome, as does Theresa Wayman. Whenever she plays, she doesn’t only look natural, but totally in command. If Julie had seen Warpaint at Glastonbury, she would be eating so many of her own hats – fedoras, trilbies, sunhats, whatever hat she has – that she’d be hauled up by ITV to talk about her fabric-munching ordeal on This Morning. And she’d weep while clinging to the sofa, trembling and moaning in her soft voice: ‘Oh, Schofe, I just… I just. Didn’t realise how wrong I was!’ in-between gobfuls of shirt.
NB Honourable mentions to the rest of Warpaint. Who are fantastic.
Okay, now I’ve got that one out of the way, we need to talk about Tilda Swinton. In the wake of Cannes’ preview screenings of We Need To Talk About Kevin, people have been fawning all over her, and there’s no wonder why.
The film is going to be sooooo great. Based on Lionel Shriver’s 2003 bestseller of the same name, the epistolary novel is an itchingly unsettling stare-out with the hideous paranoias (and realities) of parenting and being a child. Just as the great Celine Dion says, the book is for all the children in the world and all the parents in the world. That is: fucking everybody. In theory. Funnily enough, the author, Lionel Shriver, doesn’t have any children. It’s easy to see why, though, if her expectations of childrearing are signalled in the book. I’m not sure Tilda is the best person for this role: she seems too stoic, too distant. However, without giving the game away, it’s going to be easier for audience to feel safe from Kevin if his evil is not solely manifested by his nature, but attributable to his nurture/his mother. And I have a sneaking suspicion that Tilda’s not as harsh as she comes across on mainstream celluloid.
If you haven’t already art-wanked over all the Derek Jarman collaborations, you’ll recognise Tilda’s androgynous, razor-featured visage from small, yet integral parts in Hollywood fare such as The Curious Case of Benjamin and The Beach. Oh come on, you definitely know her. She’s snogged both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. AND she’s probably the most boyish person George Clooney will admit to snogging – as can be seen in Burn After Reading – and also won an Oscar for another performance alongside the coffee-flogging eternal bachelor, in the fantastic thriller Michael Clayton.
Her sex life is seen as controversial, because she has children with an older man and sex with a younger man and they all live happily in the same wind-whipped mansion up a hill in Scotland. But TBH, it just makes her sexier: that a woman with no obvious interpretation of femininity (just look at the hair) can fuck who she likes, is so refreshing. Even if she’s not sleeping with women, she remains a role model to any woman who is a bit of a misfit, but (unlike Gaga, who wants to paint us all as freaks and monsters), doesn’t self-identify as one.
Her hair sums it all up. Ginger or icy blonde, it’s always a perfect combination of mess and precision.
Everyone’s banging on about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, (or Odd Future, if you’re pressed for time). And although there’s much merit to be found in their tracks’ production values – no samples in favour of a rickety chillwave sound – their lyrics make Eminem look like a choirboy. e.g.
“I’ll push this fucking pregnant clown into a hydrant stuck in the ground/ I step through the stomach, replace the baby with some fucking pounds”
“Those privilege fucks got to learn that we ain’t taking no shit/ Like Ellen Degeneres clitoris is playing with dick”
Frontman, Tyler, The Creator, has got a way of making me laugh on Twitter, though:
“These Old White People Next To Me Are So Scared. Now Its Awkward. I Said Hi, She Jumped
Prolly Cause I’m Ginger”
But I’d never follow the guy – as charming and insightful and intelligent as he is, his tweets and interviews are peppered with ‘faggot’ and ‘gay’ in their pejorative senses.
“Nto Having A Fuckign Working Phone Is Fucking Gay Fuck!”
And yeah, maybe it’s post-modern and post-ironic. Like, ‘I’m going to say fag and shit to highlight that people say fag and it’s not right but people still do it and I’ll still do it you fucking fag’. But that tired years ago with the third verse of D12′s ‘Shit On You’. And they had the defence of alter egos to validate their use of obscene lyrics. Homophobia comes on a sliding scale, and it’s not enough to say you don’t mean it when you say ‘fag’ or ‘gay’ to mean shit, because in that case, you’re intelligent enough to find better adjectives to use to express your disdain.
Paul Lester did an interview with Tyler for The Guardian‘s The Guide, showing the 20 year old’s duality; peppy yet angry, smart yet facetious. It answered a question that had been niggling away at me for the past couple of days, when I saw an MTV interview with the OF gang. Who is that little one in the red? And is she a lesbian?
It’s Syd Bennett, the engineer of OF and their get out clause for all accusations of misogyny and homophobia. Because she’s a lesbian. No, it doesn’t quite make sense. What do you think? Does her presence as a respected member of the collective undo all the misogyny in their lyrics?
Her hair’s pretty simple; afro hair shaved into a quiff with a couple of go faster stripes at the side, messily grown out.
Like the other alleged 1999999999 people across the globe, my eyes were glued to the television to watch the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday.
Until two weeks ago, I’d ignored The Only Way Is Essex. In fact, over the past half decade, I’ve ignored all of the quasi-reality shows featuring overindulged young people looked bored by their own inane conversations: The Hills, The City, Jersey Shore, Laguna Beach, everything the Kardashians have done (apart from when Kim got pissed on by Ray J – that piss was for real).
All of these shows were carved in the image of The Simple Life, but pale in comparison. TSL was astounding, not only because Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are genuinely funny, but because they were taken out of their comfort zones, to experience life with ‘normal Americans’, who, by that very definition, weren’t normal at all. It was Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends made more digestible for people who like to watch a wall-eyed Tippi Hedren-a-like giggle at the jokes cracked by an 22-year-old ex-heroin addict.
By the time it got to series 5, the formula was tired, and the girls’ respective DUI cases held up filming. Producers decided, then, to do away with the task of getting rich kids to relinquish their vanities and luxuries, and just stick a couple of cameras in front of some rich teenagers in their own habitats, in the hope that at some point, someone would watch. And yeah, people do watch – probably because some people are quite stupid and some people get too nailed on a Saturday night to do anything but fester in front of MTV on Sundays. The cumulative effect of these shows is that audiences now expect actors more wooden than Keanu Reeves’ erections and dialogue as complex as a cheese sandwich [see: Gossip Girl].
TOWIE, though British, and as a result, more accessible, never appealed to me. It seemed as inane as all the American stuff. But I must admit, Joey Essex is something of a wonder. At a recent work placement at a women’s weekly, I was asked to find photos of Joey at clubs. How would I do this? By trawling through every single photo taken in Essex clubs to spot him. Out of thes hordes of perma-tanned blokes decked out in pink pinstripes and beerstains, how would I identify Joey? But of course – the hair!
Most of the male attendees of Brentwood’s Sugar Hut and the like have spiked ‘dos, 2005 indie mops, slapheads, Hoxton fins (REMEMBER?) or revisions of any style John Terry’s kept his 50mg of grey matter warm with. Apart from Joey, who has a gel-free, suave bonce. It’s a perfect lesbian cut, because, well, so many lesbians have hair exactly like it. Lacking in wet-look product, it’s a man’s cut, but it is still dandified, suiting metrosexuals and lesbisexuals alike.
One of the cutest videos ever has just been uploaded onto YouTube. No, it’s not a fainting kitten, it’s Ellen Page juggling. Ellen Page has kind of fallen off my radar since Inception scared me so much I couldn’t sleep alone for weeks. I worry that she’s not going to do enough films and then suddenly age and her cutesy, doll-like face will look really weird as she becomes a proper adult. Like Michelle Trachtenburg – she’s got one faces which reminds you that she was hotter when she was 16 and that’s really creepy.
The magic to Ellen Page is that she’s pretty, but not scary pretty like Christina Ricci. In interviews and her roles, she comes across as intelligent, charming and kooky. Intelligent in a Winona Ryder way. Not kooky in a Chloe Sevigny-will-suck-a-cock-and-it’s-art way, but in a genuinely “I don’t care about looking good for guys” way. And even that’s not in a Kristen “I’m dating R-Patts so I will just wear whatever shit I find on my floor” Stewart way.
If there was a Venn diagram with Chloe Sevigny, Winona Ryder,Christina Ricci and Kristen Stewart all represented as circles and they all crossed over at a particular locus, then I would put that Venn diagram in the bin as a symbol of my wholehearted acknowledgment that it’s reductive to describe women as amalgamations of other women.
Ellen doesn’t conform to a traditional gender role of femininity – she wears boys clothes, isn’t afraid to express her intelligence and doesn’t spend hours each day making herself aesthetically more appealing for men. Yeah, it’s a shame that as soon as a woman doesn’t put makeup on in the mornings, people question her sexuality, but with all the lezzing about her and Drew Barrymore did during the promotional tour for Whip It, can we be blamed for wondering/wishing?
There’s more to it than that. She’s got the perfect nonchalant lesbian hair down. Or up. It’s almost non-descript and rubbish, but women who’re into femmes still adore her, because she is blessed with one of the prettiest faces this side of the catwalk. When her hair’s done all big for photoshoots for mainstream media, she’s detestably pretty. So this boring hair is exactly what’s needed to give Ellen a semblance of normalcy- it complements her face, uglifying her and making her accessible and friendly.