I think the first time I “got” femme was when I saw Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Looking drop-dead gorgeous in her clingy slip, Maggie fights with Brick about their living arrangements and hisses, “I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage that’s all!” Me-YOW! La Liz could deliver a line like nobody’s business.
When I was in my twenties I couldn’t imagine ever being as sexy and femme as Elizabeth Taylor–or even on the same planet as her. (If Kitty Kelley is right that ET is “the last star,” then actually no one is on the same planet as Elizabeth.) Watching her old films, I was intrigued by her seductive combination of vulnerability and strength–and those legendary violet eyes. (I want violet eyes!!!) Taylor is iconic for me not only because of her beauty and style, but also because of her resilience and willingness to admit her imperfections. My favorite Elizabeth Taylor quote? “The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” 😉
Who are your femme style icons, past or present? Bettie Page? Beyonce? Beth Ditto? Also, I’d love to hear about butch/genderqueer/tomboy style icons, so feel to share those too!