Tag Archives: Christina Aguilera

Identity Crisis of the Female Star: Wendy O. Williams to Miley Cyrus

28 Aug

There has been a great upset in the world…no, it’s not so much Syria as it’s Miley Cyrus.  It seems to me (just my opinion) that the evolution of the wild & overtly sexual female performer can be traced way way back to the late 70’s early 80s.

I think it probably started with the late great Wendy O. Williams. Punk was too dirty and scarey for me in my repressed-prissy-new-wave-mode with my diamond brooch and perfectly hair-sprayed bangs to be involved in such anger and outrageous behavior; although I truly loved seeing it in others (I longed to rebel). Wendy O. Williams was the epitome of cool and extreme and yet I still felt like we could be friends. Lost souls have always been an attraction to me. Wendy was sexy because of her body was hot and she had such an intense sense of dysfunction, you knew something was wrong, but it was part of the appeal. Her performances were a result of the 70’s feminist movement mixed with punk rock and maybe some childhood abuse(my hypothesis). Her barely there, or not there, outfits were so extreme it got her arrested and she didn’t care. It seems the timing of Madonnas premiere with her rebellious and sexy look took the next step up from Wendy.

Madonna seemed to be the first artist that loved her body and used it for empowerment. She was a strong product of all that came before her and she seemed to understand this. Madonna was pretty and fit into an ideal of an beautiful American girl, but not Americana. Wendy had a hot bod, but wasn’t exactly “pretty”. Madonna changed the world by knowing she could manipulate and psychologize her sexuality to her advantage. She took the post-punk look and made it her own and it went mainstream fast. She taught us that bra’s were not for hiding anymore and she could give a shit what your parents thought.

I feel the next big step was Mariah Carey. She had the voice and a body and the face, & knew it! She came out a bit plain at first but by the mid 90’s she was sexy sex. Mariah was probably the first big artist that had the voluptuous-old-school-playmate physique and exploited it. Her success was definitely in part owed to the breakthrough Madonna brought about in her sexual freedom. Mariah doesn’t need to show her cleavage, but she just likes to, and if you’d don’t like it she could care less- just get her some more champagne.

Mariah’s big influence was impressed upon the next huge voice to come about; Christina Aguilera. Christina grew up loving Mariah (& Madonna), and was a product of the 90’s where sexy supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Baywatch babe/Playboy centerfold sexy Pam Anderson were influential and defining images in the post-messy-grunge media. Christina rebelled from her Disney past when she came out with Dirrty! “Stripper” dancers and choreography were used and a bit of abject influence went mainstream. People were scandalized; similar to Miley’s current situation. Christina used words of female empowerment when showing off her curves (and some canyons), but took things a bit far when doing countless photo shoots showing off her ass and barely covered va-jay-jay…how is it empowering when your naked ass is floating up in Maxim? Things start to get extreme.

At this point pretty much everyone is showing their T&A. Impossibly small tops and low hip huggers are the rage. Then comes Lady Gaga. She has all that, but with a knowledge and savvy not seen since Madonna started. She has a bit of performance artist in her, as well as being a exhibitionist (which is a given now). She seems very comfortable in a bra & thong and has done countless performances, photo shoots & daily outings to show us how much so. The use of her sexual nature is one of comfort and privilege because the nude female body is now seen everywhere. It’s almost not interesting anymore just to show your boobs. What Gaga did with this is raise the bar in the creative department.

Ok, now comes Miley Cyrus. I don’t really know much about her, but I love that song “The Climb” and didn’t realize she sang it for years. She is text book rich girl rebel; “look at me and how crazy I am all of a sudden”. She’s a great singer but she’s a mall-rebel. I appreciate award show outfits that aren’t typical pretty dresses, but if Miley’s going to do this right she needs a stylist that knows where the evolution of her rebellion starts. If you’re going to be cheap, be Goodwill-couture – and if you’re wanting high end designer, find someone that can do it interestingly like maybe Jeremy Scott…but be creative, because the bar has been set high. There was a strong non-sexual aspect of Miley’s behavior. I say this because she seemed very at ease walking around in her pvc panties but needed tools to create a sexual element: rubbing the giant foam finger and grinding on that hot singer dude. None of the other ladies I mentioned needed that. If you were to see Mariah Carey standing on stage you would think how sexy she is…Miley has a boy’s body still (kind like Justin Beibers actually). She’s in great shape, but she doesn’t have much a womanly shape (yet). Poor Miley was doing what we all did in our rebellion; the, “I’m-not-a-kid-anymore-I’m-an-interesting-person” complex. I love it because everyone goes through this growing phase and it just shows that Miley is just like the rest of us. I’m sure one day she will look back on this and cringe and then laugh because she will see the next up & coming girl going through the same process in the search for identity. Go Miley, enjoy the journey!

She started it all!

She started it all!

Madonna Mariah Xtina Lady Gaga Miley

Under Boob- fashion forward or slutty?

10 Jan

Today I noticed all the online articles raving over Beyonce on the cover of GQ Feb 2013. I clicked on to check it out. I do love Beyonce and she does look amazing in the shoot. She’s sexy & her body’s phenomenal- especially after having a baby recently (which was a key point in many reviews). What annoys me about all this press is that years ago when I was working with Xtina, she was dragged over the coals because of her outfit she wore to the MTV Awards 2002  was deemed skimpy(aka slutty) and showed under boob -gasp. I remember in the fitting she pulled up the scarf to show her under cleave and I laughed and did a “no-no that’s too much” disapproving nod. I was surprised when she came out on the red carpet with the under boob look. I was thinking “Aye Dios Mio, she’s going to get fashion-killed over this”- which did in fact happen. But it was also a time when her outfits were kinda “fuck it-I’m having fun” and fun we were having, even with the bad press. Plus I love hooker-couture…it’s amusing and it upsets all the fuddy duddy fashion people.  Cut to 11 years later and Beyonce is in some sort of mini-short-thong and crop top showing her under boob cleavage and being praised. I know it’s part timing (fashion has progressed & accepted slutty), part Americas darling (everyone loves Beyonce…Christina not so much), part attitude portrayed (yes we know Christina is a bitch), and part editorial-vs-redcarpet (do you dare wear that in public?); but I find it slightly annoying still. The press is the press and I guess that’s one reason I started my blog so I can express my views, which are usually contradictory to the main stream press (I always love the Worst Dressed best). My last comment is on why does every “celeb mom” do a sparsely dressed magazine shoot after they had a baby? It’s a little sad that they feel they have to prove to the public that they are still sexy even though they are mom’s. But that’s a different topic. I have to give stars to Beyonce because she always looks stunning & I have to give Christina a star too because she started the look.


Artist Mike Kelley Suicide

1 Feb

I am in a bit of a shock after just finding out about artist Mike Kelley’s death/suicide. I don’t have the time right now to give a review of his work, but in a nutshell he was really a punk-rock-star in the elite art world. He is what Damien Hirst strives for but will never be. Mike Kelley was a big reason I went to art school in LA. The LA art scene of the 80s & 90s was so much about non-art-art and really brought new life to the art world. He had been part of the big LA 90’s influential “Helter Skelter” show as well as had just exhibited his “Catholic Tastes” show right before I moved from El Paso to LA. I remember reading every thing I could possibly find on these shows, and I was thrilled to be a part of this growing scene. I can’t remember specifics of my art readings or art theories, but Mike Kelley’s work resonated with me. I never got a chance to meet him as he taught at Art Center and I was at UCLA. I did have friends who worked with him and coincidentally I, sort of in a weird non-way, came up in a Mike Kelley conversation. Back in the day when I was working with Christina Aguilera and we were in New York City doing something Dirrty or Beautiful- I read in the gallery guide that there happened to be a Mike Kelley art opening that evening (at Metro Pictures?). I had to go. The thing is that when you’re with Christina, you are always part of the entourage group and I wanted to go by myself. I went to Christina’s room at the Mercer and told the gang I was going to an art opening I’ll be back for later festivities. I was trying to make my announcement quickly so as to avoid what inevitably happened. Christina tells me that she wants to go. Oh gosh. I love her, but its a production to do anything with the hair and makeup and outfits, etc. I tell her the opening is at __pm and we need to leave by __pm. I hoped the deadline would hinder her interest because she takes forever to get ready. “Ok Christina?”,  “Ok” she says. Eventually the glam squad got her ready and the whole entourage (maybe only about 7, including the 2 massive bodyguards) jump in Christina’s limo and head over the the opening. We pull up to a packed gallery and it was like a bad movie where everyone stares at the fancy limo as it slowly drives up. I was a bit embarrassed already. Then, since it was my idea to go, I had to take a quick walk in with one of the body guards to make sure it was safe. Ok, Christina will be safe amongst the scraggly art students and uber intellectuals. Then I go back to the limo, tell everyone it’s cool, and we all walk in together. We were an odd pop-star scene in an environment of art-stars. Christina can sure sing but it’s Mr. Kelley art that I respect so much more (sorry Xtina – its a whole different level). So I was very excited to be there but the work he had on display I was unfamiliar with. It was little, dark scenes from his high school memories, something like that. By default I became the gallery tour guide and it was awkward because although from an art schooled POV, I understood them, but trying to explain them to a pop princess in a crowed gallery that was glaring at us during a very short gallery visit was a bit difficult. Needless to say we were in and out. Years later I had become good friends with a guy who went to Art Center, Jeffrey Rugh. During a conversation, probably one of those art fan, “how was it like to work with Mike Kelley” ones, Jeffrey said to me “Did you know he told me Christina Aguilera went to one of his openings and he didn’t know why”. Jeffrey knew I had worked with her and I told him the story. What I loved was that I was the cause of a anecdote that Mike Kelley told, unbeknownst to him. Mike Kelley was a great artist and I wish him peace. He is a true Art Star.


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