I was originally going to review three of my favourite recent books together but ended up writing over 500 words for each review so I'm going to do these one-by-one instead.
Let me briefly wax fangirl rhapsodic about my favourite pretend gay uncles.
Enter me in Year 8, still voraciously consuming anime and J-pop, being introduced to this 'Project Rungay' website by my dear friend S, whose MSN conversations were filled with raving on about Project Runway and some Christian Siriano designer who was just utterly fabulous and these recaps on this project Rungay site are really funny, trust me and read.
Almost eight (!!!) years on and I haven't looked back.
Reading T-Lo is why I know who random Western celebrities are (believe me, I am so bad at this), why I don't go out in 'matchy-matchy' accessories and why I don't fear colour and pattern (as much...); they are why I slowly developed an understanding of things like silhouettes and proportions and where I developed an appreciation of the fabulous absurdity of celebrity and fashion
and threw all shame out the window.
You can argue pop culture and fashion should really occupy a small slice of the 'broader scheme of things' but, in the end, you can be a valuable contribution to society and look fabulous doing so - often without spending a yearly salary on a bag. Also, the brain needs the occasional equivalent of a Happy Meal. And perhaps if I were really bothered, I could argue that pop culture and celebrity culture can be valuable sociological case studies on human interaction and para-social connections.
But I'll spare you. For now.
(and cue dubiously legal-to-publish quote!)
Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me is a bitingly cynical deconstruction of celebrities that confidently paints using wide swathes of generalisations and stereotypes, with the tone somewhere in between a David Attenborough nature documentary, Regina George and straight up parody (with thinly disguised references to certain celebrities. You know the ones). And just a little bit sad.
It's ruthless and matter-of-fact and a dose of cold water over the glow of fangirl worship (because, let's face it, we're all guilty of that to varying degrees) and it. is. hilarious.
Perhaps I was expecting it to both be a little more practical, which is why advice along the lines of 'Remember that beauty is a goal and it requires either effort or money; usually both' caught me off guard.
There is less snark than typically found in T-Lo's commentary and more just a straight-up analysis of celebrity life stages with the air of a university professor giving a lecture, which may be a little foreign to process at first. If there is snark, it's higher level thinking snark embedded in understatements and absurdities in the content, of which there are many.
Reading between the lines, however, there's also an unexpectedly sweet cheerleader message buried in there that you can just imagine T-Lo saying, right before you sashay out the door for the night - it is that you are your own cheerleading and PR machine and, in small, appropriately portioned doses, that reckless, relentless, narcissistic confidence of the stars might just be what you need.
It's just lovely to see T-Lo keep on succeeding. You go, gay uncles!
(I hope I'll get my magnet soon :c)