LoveFoxxx, Amazingly Abnormal
How do you define “normal?” Within the realm of possible expectations? The average of past events? However it’s defined, my perspective is apparently skewed.
I did some camera work for Zack as he interviewed nearly the entire CSS crew when they were in DC recently. (Video feature coming soon.) The first half of the film work was a straightforward interview with the majority of the band members, a troop of traditionally indie rock-looking Brazilian queers. The second half was chatting with the lead singer, LoveFoxxx, while she got ready for the performance. It started with the application of a thick caking of white makeup, then bold strokes of black, white and red around the eyes, accented with golden sparkles. Then she painstakingly tightly curled her hair, only to back-brush it into a huge, living mop that sat upon her head. The finishing touch was a heavy coating of the lips with jet black lip gloss. I watched this cute 27-year-old Brazilian woman transformed herself from a “normal” bubbly lady into the demon spawn of Bjork and Marilyn Manson, and I didn’t bat an eye. I think think twice about it.
Later at the show, when LoveFoxxx made her appearance on stage, the crowd went wild as she threw her head around in circles, her long, black curls flying around her head like a flock of small bats. She stood on stage wearing what appeared to be layers of odd clothing, including a top that looked like something that Bea Arthur’s Dorothy would wear during a relaxed scene on the lanai on the Golden Girls. At different points during the show, LoveFoxxx peeled of various pieces of her intricate wardrobe, throwing each onto the stage with little flair. Finally, what stood before us could have been the stuff of little kids’ nightmares: a crazy-looking, short Brazilian woman with a face painted white and crackling like dried oatmeal, drenched in sweat and wearing a two-piece leotard held together yet one inch apart by bra-strap buckles. As LoveFoxxx said during the interview, the performance is the best makeup remover, and apparently she was right.
As I stood there watching this scene, with five relatively staid individuals standing on stage playing a variety of instruments and one sincerely insane-looking woman dancing around and screaming, I found myself shocked that I didn’t find it shocking. Who was this woman, made up like scary clown meets geisha, and why didn’t anyone think it was out of the normal for her to present herself like this on stage? Then I realized that this was the fourth time I’d seen this band and, while her outfits and makeup have always been in line with those of this night’s performance — if not more outrageous – I never, ever batted an eye. It simply never registered to me that her appearance was the sort of thing that turned heads and in other contexts would result in harassment by less accepting types if encountered on the street.
So, either LoveFoxxx isn’t doing a good job of looking as freakish as she’d like, or I’ve just been around the freak-show block far too many times. I had a good friend in college who was a 4’11 goth woman who took at least 2 hours to get ready to go out, and often didn’t stay out nearly as long. I’ve had a male friend who occasionally applied a wide swath of black makeup across his eyes a la Pris from Blade Runner. While I’ve never been one to put an extra amount of effort into my “game face”, I hardly bat an eye when people around me do.
The first single from the new, yet to be released CSS album is called City Girl, and is about a girl in a small town who wants so badly to express her individuality that she wears short skirts, has pink-dyed hair and favors black lipstick, to the amusement and ire of her fellow citizens. Obviously, LoveFoxxx is that girl, and she’s still doing it. I count myself luckily that I am one of those who can enjoy her expression of individuality, though perhaps I’d enjoy it more if I wasn’t so nonplussed by seeing a scary-looking woman in Geisha/Marylin Manson drag wigging out on stage.
LoveFoxxx, you’re amazing. Keep inspiring queer kids all around the world who feel stranded in their small, staid lives, and keep on freaking out their parents.
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