Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

An Ode To Three Icons

(My earlier chat with Corporate Closet after he watched Kylie’s “All The Lovers” music video led me to make this episode of The McVie Show.)

* * * * *

Every generation has its icons, especially for gay folks. Then there are those icons whose career spans a couple of generations. Here are two plus one of the current generation.

Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone 16 August 16 1958). The oldest of the three, she started her climb to the top with her debut album Madonna in 1983. Also known as the Queen of Re-Invention, Madonna elevated self-marketing into an art form. True to the meaning of her Italian name, Madonna went through the different images of woman—rebel, boy toy, sweet girl-next-door, power woman, mother, bitch, and spiritual leader—but always, she was a provocateur. Her image may change, but her feisty personality remained constant. No matter what color her hair or wig was, she was always in-your-face. These days she’s more about pushing her message, whether in her songs or videos as well as in her forays in the public forum. Now her onstage and onscreen image is often a variation of a powerful woman, staring directly at the audience as they hail their Madonna who’s full of grace.

Kylie Minogue (born 28 May 1968). Although the world discovered her with “I Should Be So Lucky” from her debut album Kylie in 1988, she was already performing much earlier as a child actress before entering the music world. Initially packaged as a girl-next-door, she turned to a more mature image, especially when she went full-tilt into dance-oriented albums in 2000. Unlike Madonna, she didn’t go through many incarnations; her current image, even after a battle with cancer, is still that of a sexy woman, in touch with her body (and often touching her body!) and sexuality. And unlike Madonna, Kylie never uses sex as a weapon; in fact, her come-hither is always a call to have fun.

Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta 28 March 1986). She started as a songwriter before she hit it big with her debut album The Fame in 2008. (In fact, she wrote a song for Michael Bolton before her career took off; he will be releasing that song soon along with his new studio album.) True to this generation’s short-attention span, she changes her look faster than downloading on broadband. Notice that it’s her look and clothes that change—but her image remains the same, that of a woman who’s in control of her sexuality and her life, and an edgy artist who tinkers with fashion as well as piano keys. What does it all mean? We don’t know, but we watch her just the same, fascinated.

What draws gay men to these women? What makes them gay icons? What’s common to these three is their sense of power in their songs and in their projected images, be it blatant like Madonna or seductive like Kylie. For a population used to being told to hide inside their closets, these women are attractive because they had the balls to blast out of those closet doors—wearing clothes that are fantastic, fabulous and fierce.


Yj said...

Madonna.... the queen of all queens... yaiy

Felipe said...

I scream BRAVO to this post.

* sabay tapon ng glitters

Ronnie said...

Team Kylie here. (:

I loved her long jumpsuit with hoodie she wore in the "Can't get you out of my head" video. And yeah, dun ko siya unang nagustuhan.

Lady Gaga - Sa Miss Universe 2008 ko siya unang nakita. Medyo 'behave' pa suot niya dun. LOL

Guyrony said...

WEIRD! This morning I was thinking of the same thing!

Well not really. More of who is the ultimate gay icon.

And these three are what I had in mind.

Serendipity, is datchu?

closet case said...

i luv the fact that they have their own niches now, sometimes overlapping but still distinct. and not just in their imagery, even their music.

and they all love their gay fanbase. as in love.

Nimmy said...

alam ko pagsasabihan ako ni philip sa comment ko na 'to.

hindi ko type si Madonna. hahaha. Ako ay isang bading na hindi gusto si material girl. Si Mariah betchay ko. :)

~Carrie~ said...


ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

never could relate to madonna or kylie. di ko lang siguro panahon. and much as i would like to deny i like lady gaga, i have a few gigs of her songs, demos and remixes in my hard drive.

Johnny Cursive said...


Team kylie din ako. She's super sexy. Tama ang sabi nila na she turns gay guys straight. Well, not entirely. Enough lang para pagpawisan sa kaseksihan nya. And that video where she's frolicking with a hundred hot guys in their speedos?

The Constant Bonsaist said...

how about Britney?

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