Sublimefemme Tells All, No. 34

Have a wonderful day unless you’ve made other plans.  Or don’t have these shoes.

I swear I used to have a pair just like them!

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Hats Off

“I may have to confiscate that brim,” said the stud airport security guard to Van as we traversed the Houston airport.  We were on our way to our vacation spot on the west coast and Van was wearing a very sharp Panama hat that always attracts the attention of hat lovers.  Van is never afraid to wear a hat, a quality I think she gets from her mother, who’s a true hat aficionado.

While I have appreciated Van’s hats (not all of them, I admit), I’ve never been a hat person myself.  That is, until I fell head over heals in love with a large black and white sun hat that I bought on vacation, simply because I could not resist its movie star glamour.  I wore the hat on the beach, where it looked great with my black and white bikini, and out to a very fancy dinner Van planned to celebrate our 15th anniversary. Truthfully, I’ve never felt so transformed by an accessory before.  It was, in a word, sublime!

Femme at the Grill

Don’t try this at home, darlings.  I really am roasting a whole chicken on the grill tonight, but I will not be topless!

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Summer, a Toast

Summer is coming to an end, my lovelies, so I’m raising my glass in appreciation. (For inquiring minds, I’m drinking Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel.) Van is mowing the lawn now but afterwards she’ll get the grill started for dinner. (Ours is charcoal, not gas, because I love the smokey taste and smell of the real thing.) I made a few simple dishes earlier in the day so all that’s left for me to do is find a cute outfit and put the finishing touches on dinner. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday!

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Labor Day Challenge

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Femmes for worker justice!  This Labor Day, Wake Up Walmart, along with a large coalition of labor, environmental, and community groups, is challenging Walmart to live up to its PR promises and join concerned citizens in supporting the American Values Agenda for Change at Walmart.

Here’s one of Wake Up Wal-Mart’s new TV ads. Check it out!

A Sublime Blogiversary

Hello darlings, I’m back from my vacay just in time for my one-year blogiversary!   Van and I had a great time on our cruise and also enjoyed ourselves at the gorgeous Mayfair Hotel in Miami, which was wonderful despite the heat.  

Just how much fun did we have?  On the cruise I discovered that minibar bottles of Absolut are an excellent remedy for puffy eyes.  Chilled bottles should be applied directly to the eyelid for maximum benefit.   Unfortunately, Van snapped several incriminating photos of me while I was testing my new beauty treatment.  Note to self:  destroy evidence of debauchery tout suite.

Perhaps it was all the fabulous mojitos, but I seem to have left my brain somewhere in the Bahamas.   So in honor of my blogiversary (and, let’s face it, because I am incapable of composing something new), I’m sharing with you my inaugural post.   Kisses to you, my sublime readers!   

“What Does a Lesbian Look Like?” by Sublimefemme, August 17, 2008

I’ve always loved discovering that beautiful, glamorous women are queer because it’s such a delightful surprise.  I certainly think that femmes are “real” lesbians, but even I find that my gaydar is based on stereotypes most of the time.  In an effort to challenge these stereotypes, I offer up this iconic image of Greta Garbo, which asks (but does not answer) the question, “what does a lesbian look like?”  

In this photograph, Garbo’s face might be described as “a pool to swim in” (to borrow from the critic David Thompson).  Although part of me just wants to swoon over this sculptural face, what especially interests me is how it highlights some of the embodied contradictions of femme identity.  There is certainly something overly precious about this image–if we are to appreciate its aesthetic we must surrender to Garbo’s cool and androgynous eroticism, which is dependent upon being idealized, deified and mystified.   And yet, although she was called the Divine Garbo, her beauty is distinctly human in its fragility.  Her persona is so seductive and haunting because it is both fragile and strong, veiled and expressive, distant and intimate, masculine and feminine. 

These contradictions are what I love about Garbo.  Parker Tyler famously reminds us that “Garbo ‘got into drag’ whenever she took some heavy glamour part, whenever she melted in or out of a man’s arms, whenever she simply let that heavenly-flexed neck…bear the weight of her thrown back head…   How resplendent seems the art of acting!  It is all impersonation, whether the sex underneath is true or not.” In short, Garbo performs queer femininity as drag, and in so doing calls into question what we thought we knew about the look (and act) of lesbian gender.

Setting Sail

Van and I are packing our bags and setting sail for the Caribbean.  Yes, my lovelies, it’s cruise time!  I picked up an adorable new bikini and a nautical striped sweater for chilly evenings on the ship, so I’m ready to go.  Reading for lounging by the pool in my beachy splendor?  Mae West’s autobiography, Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It, of course.  See you in 2 weeks!  xoxo SF elvgren-nautical-pinup