Hey Kool Thing, Come Here
Golden Lady recalls the women and girls she looked up to as a youngster and also crushes on the new cool chicks in town:
Growing up, I honoured a handful of female role models, girls that kept me inspired and unashamed to be an awkward, curious and free-thinking young woman. It all started with television, cue colour mismatched, all American, Just Say NO To Drugs tween, Punky Brewster. She taught me to be sassy and answer back to the big people. Then there was uber free spirit and ultimate hippie chick, Karen Arnold of The Wonder Years, of which I also idolized the ever-unattainable Winnie Cooper (pictured, above). A feisty spirit and good hair were all that mattered to me at that early point.
A few years later I discovered a slew of independent films, which I believe really set out to challenge ideas of the female norm. Amongst them, Betty Blue, Gas Food Lodging and Hal Hartly’s Simple Men, all of which made deep imprints on me. They presented women riding a different kind of train, my kind of train. Deeply flawed, deeply intriguing and mostly fucked-up women who somehow made it okay to feel the way I was during those latter teen years. I also found epic relief in the sweet/sour pangs of early 60’s girl groups, 90’s riot grrrls and the infectious, ironic pop anthems of Juliana Hatfield.
But today, flicking through a gazillion TV channels, style-defying magazines and taking in a baffling, myriad of clashing fashions, from London’s East to Sydney’s city streets, there is most definitely a new gal in town.
A girl who prefers the genres to be blurred, what were once sacred borders are now completely ambiguous. Hip-hop queens meet indie cool meets pre-teen pop icons and underground film stars. Modern-day girl icons require a total irreverence for any such thing as one counter-culture or typecast. The messier the lines, the cooler the lady. A result perhaps of a Sex and the City watching, ID reading, Beyonce adoring, crunk calling, technology-obsessed youth culture.
Young women appear frighteningly confident and aware of themselves and their sexuality, which is no bad thing. However, I often find myself longing for a time when certain things were scared and mainstream wasn’t so… mainstream I guess. Sex, love and all tiny things in between seem less taboo than ever. You could say that Generation Technology has everything to do with that, as we know, with great power comes great carelessness.
However, thank your lucky hipster stars, as there appears to be a charge of women rising up, who are using the interweb for forces of good, not evil. Women who are smart, funny and sweetly ironic. Women who dare to NOT be desperately sexy, dare to NOT know everything and most importantly, have something of real interest to say.
For those of you who have not yet discovered the prodigious charms of teenage blogger Tavi Gevinson (pictured, right), then see HERE. Way wiser than her years, a fashion/culture junkie, using her remarkable success to channel something more inspired and clever than any other meaningless fashion blogger coming to a website near you.
And on the eve of a most controversial election campaign, a shockingly chauvinist Mitt Romney inspired THIS tongue in cheek version of Lesley Gore’s, Don’t Tell me What to Do, involving a number of super awesome gals using their cool status to make their mark.
Both those clips as well as THIS brilliant take on what is an acceptable Halloween costume, reveals an ever increasing bracket of smart women. Cue comedic pioneer, Tina Fey and recent TV phenomenon Lena Dunham, creator of Girls, who are using their savvy and success to inspire a new generation of way cooooool girls.
And in the words of epic cool lady Kim Gordon:
Hey, Kool Thing, come here, sit down beside me.
There’s something I got to ask you.
I just wanna know, what are you gonna do for me?
I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls?
Words by Golden Lady.