Recently I had been dating this sexy hazel-eyed redhead. One Sunday morning as we were cuddled up reading the Times, I opened up to the front page of the Styles section.
Recently I had been dating this sexy hazel-eyed redhead. One Sunday morning as we were cuddled up reading the Times, I opened up to the front page of the Styles section. On the page was pictured a bunch of straight people dancing in a club.
All the guys were dressed in sneaks and baggy jeans with that double-shirt — short over long-sleeved — look. The girls were wearing denim minis, fitted tops and CFM (come fuck me) heels. I remarked to my date, “ I feel sorry for straight girls. Straight guys don’t get dressed up for them.” Looking over my shoulder at this picture she said, “ that’s how you dress when we go out.” Incensed I blurted, “I don’t dress like a slob!?” I suddenly felt my deliberate Hanes waist band peeking up over my low-ride cargos and my overwashed denim cropped jacket with the frayed cuffs weren’t as cool, cute or sexy as I had thought. “There’s a big difference!” I countered, but I couldn’t come up with the reason right then. Needless to say, we stopped dating before I figured out the difference.
Dykes appropriate the straight male non-aesthetic/anti-fashion fashion trend. Appropriation. This is an important word in art criticism. It means the use of borrowed styles or elements and its recreation into a new form whose original meaning is dramatically altered. In fine art it usually has to do with the transformation of a mundane, overlooked cultural practice or object into a statement of aesthetic value with socio-cultural import. It’s what Andy Warhol did to Campbells Soup, Marilyn Monroe and Che Guevara. In 1917 Marcel DuChamp the DaDa of appropriation took a urinal, placed it in a gallery and called it “Fountain.” In that very instant DuChamp profoundly changed the discourse of art, turning cultural norms and standards on its art historical ear. In fact, art has always subverted cultural norms. And queers have always subverted hetero ones. Below are the photos of an emerging photographer, Cora Lambert. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York just last week. Her senior thesis project was a series of portraits of her peers. I love these pictures for so many reasons. Besides her understated photographic skill and her ability to shoot her sitters with poise and ease, these portraits represent the avant-garde of our culture. These are the youngest tear of queers to enter the big world and affect change just by their mere presence.
So if you shop in the men’s or boy’s section of your local mall or vintage store or you maybe even buy those over priced American Apparel boyish girl briefs with the fake fly, know you are making an aesthetic statement. Yes, you are on the avant-garde of culture, a living work of art.
This morning in a West Village cafe a tall brunette hottie standing in the coffee line looked over at me and asked “where did you get your beads?” referring to a strand of rosary doubled around my neck. “India,” I said. “Oh” she responded with a smile, “ My girlfriend keeps asking me to find her a necklace just like that.” It took me a minute to realize this lovely lady was outing herself to me. She looked straight. So baby dykes, soft butches, stone butches, futches, tranny fags and the like, take pride in your subversive aesthete choices in tighty-whities, boy beaters, converse kicks, trucker hats, messenger bags, china town buddha beads and faux hawks because there is an even more important reason why we need to appropriate straight male fashion. Femme girls wouldn’t know who to flirt with if we didn’t.