Octavia St. Laurent

I’ve already exposed some of the creative output of my cringeworthy childhood self, but recently some more long-forgotten videos have come to light and opened a whole other can of gender-experimental worms. Judith Butler smiled upon my childhood.

The first video is the result of an aborted attempt at a Scary Movie style horror spoof, in which I played a sort of dumb, huge-titted valley girl (or ‘a blonde who doesn’t listen to what she is told’) and my friend was a crazy-haired cross between our GCSE spanish teacher and a low budget drag queen.

Sure, it was never going to take the Oscars by storm (note the inexplicable disappearance of Petula’s jacket at around 45 seconds, the dubious editing, and the use of a particularly hideous font which I think became an obsession soon after I discovered dafont.com), but, and I think you’ll agree, it’s ultimately a clever dissemination of the performativity of gender and its exploitation in the horror genre. Also, I look surprisingly hot as a 14 year old transvestite, don’t I? Is it bad to use myself for thinspiration?

Incidentally, drag is something which has been on my mind a lot recently, and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll probably try it out myself, just once. Or twice. I refuse to believe that there is anyone on the planet who wouldn’t enjoy completely forgetting themselves under several kilograms of prosthetic hair, fake lashes, makeup and sequins. I think I’d go for something drawing on Tilda Swinton, Marie Antoinette and Greta Garbo, if that could ever actually exist.

I’m struggling to keep my eyes open, so the thought of listening to Strauss in bed is much more attractive than writing several more paragraphs about why I love Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris Is Burning, so I’ll just say this: it’s essential, and if you haven’t seen it then take the opportunity to view its entire length on YouTube. It’s enjoying a huge renaissance as of late, especially on the rap scene with the whole ‘gay swag’ thing which is blowing up. If that sounds like it would float your boat, then have a mooch on YouTube for Mykki Blanco, Le1f, Zebra Katz, Azealia Banks etc.

Now, don’t expect any further quips or revelations; this is a really lazy ending.

P.S. Be sure to check out this bafta-worthy animation which took the school talent show by storm way back when.


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