In response to Lady Gaga’s drag performance on the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, drag king comedian Murray Hill stated, “There is barely any visibility for FTM, drag kings and lesbians on television. There is a huge imbalance. For Lady Gaga, the biggest pop star in the world, to go on TV with millions of people watching in drag as a man and then to actually say ‘lesbian and transgender’ live is undeniably powerful and creates change. She ups the visibility big time and gets the language into the mainstream.” But, Lady Gaga, as her alter ego Jo Calderone, wasn’t the first or the last femme star to blur the gender boundaries in mainstream media. Here are some of dapperQ’s favorite images of gender-bending femme stars:
Michelle PfeifferChloe Sevingny
Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista
Sara Quin, Tegan Quin, Amanda Palmer, Amy Cook
Hmmmmm… not crazy about seeing the term “femme” appropriated on a queer site. Couldn’t you just say “drag….?”
Let me explain further — these stars don’t identify openly as Femmes, nor does Lady Gaga, (as far as I know), and as a queer Femme, I would prefer that the term not be appropriated, especially on a queer site, especially given the low visibility of Femmes. Sure, these women/stars are doing drag and gender-bending, and that’s cool and hot, but that does not make them Femmes.
Btw, Femmes are gender warriors too!
As a femme of color myself (I wrote this), I totally understand and agree with us not having much visibility. I often find myself frustrated having to explain to many of my peers that “femmes” in the “queer” sense of the word face many obstacles too. (BTW, I think you might like a discussion going on right now on Autostraddle).
The word femme translates to “woman.” From that perspective, this term can be applied to anyone who identifies as such regardless of where they are on the spectrum. Thus, the meaning is contextual. There is evidence that mainstream society uses the term femme to mean feminine, as in femme fatale.
The word femme as slang for feminine is not unique to our community, just as the word butch can be used to describe a straight woman or gay man. In fact, we wrote a quirky piece on a business called Butch Bakery, owned by a straight man, that offers “masculine” cupcakes. And, on a popular t.v. show last week, three of the straight female characters called themselves “fierce, fab, and femme.”
My intent was not to decrease the visibility of “queer” femmes, and, as such, did not use the word “queer femme” to describe them. As a lesbian identified femme, I feel quite comfortable using the term in many contexts and do not feel that it steals from my own identity or takes away from the fact that we need more positive “queer femme” role-models.
Great collection of photo shoots, whatever term ya’ll feel comfortable using to depict these actresses, looking damn sexy is always a universal language.
WHERE IS TILDA SWINTONNNN
Ask and you shall receive!
…no Emma Watson? 😉
Emma Watson, you ask? Add, I shall! Keep em’ coming!
Glenn close and Janet mcteer from Albert nobbs
Can I just say Yum. Yum. Yum. Yummy. OMG. YUM!!
Thanks for putting all those pics together. Yum!!
Free Winona!!! http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_le2w0w2Vvu1qz9qooo1_r1_500.jpg
Everybody’s talking about Gaga breaking ground. Annie Lennox was doing it in 1984 at the Grammy’s
Thanks to my friend StephS for the link!
I love all of these. So many gorgeous, gorgeous ladies. I wish I knew why I find women in menswear so… sexy, for lack of a better term.
But I must ask: where is Annie Lennox? No one wears a suit better than Annie Lennox. She’s perfection.
What about Julie Andrews?
More women in suits, god I love a girl in a suit!
agree, what about Victor Victoria (Julie Andrews) in a tuxedo smokin’ a cigar !?
agree, what about Victor Victoria (played by JA, mentioned Sep 19?) in a tuxedo smokin’ a cigar !?
Yes, what about Julie Andrews in “Victor/Victoria”
The absence of Annie Lennox is a huge omission. http://cdn.trendhunterstatic.com/thumbs/annie-lennox.jpeg
So incredibly sexy though.
I appreciate having female gender bends, but perhaps the word "feminine" isn't what you're looking for.
someone in makeup and dresses is better fitted to the word feminine.
someone in a suit and facial hair is better fitted to the word masculine.
Know that I adore Annie. 😉 That said, she never struck me as anything approaching masculine. In fact, I've *always* perceived her as hyper-femme. (I know the same is true for many/most of the BUTCH lovers I know.) In truth, few if any in this series of pics read as masculine to me. Putting a female in a suit, trimming hair, et al. does not (for me and many I know) a GENDER-BENDER (or butch or Gender Rebel) make. Now then, these supermodels in drag— I expect appeal to a good chunk of the male demographic— and some lesbians. But…. not this one. They're all real PURDY though. 😀
Elizabeth Parker Gender Bending is in the eye of the beholder….
Agreed. It would be really special, though, if BULLDAGGER, UBER-BUTCH lesbians could get even a modicum of "air time." While I suppose it's fun to look at supermodels dressed up as men, the relative invisibility of BUTCH LESBIANS is, by comparison, *not* "fun."
Elizabeth Parker I see your point.
Its an amazing transformation into the opisite sex its sexy and excitinh
Have to agree that Annie Lennox belongs here, moreso than Sigourney Weaver, Lady Gaga (don't get me started) or any of those younger actresses who owe their entire look to Marlene Dietrich.
Isabella R. ????
Hardly. Even in these clothes, most of the women still exude femininity. Makeup? Dresses? Those things don't make a person female.
So cool… some more than others, but so cool….
Belinda Short you don't have to be female to be feminine.
Umm, Grace Jones?
Missing some fantastic examples from Western films. Suzy Amis in “Ballad of Little Jo,” Mercedes McCambridge in “Giant,” for example. Jenny Shimizu? And the famous Cindy Crawford and k.d. lang Vanity Fair pic? Catherine Opie’s photos? And I’m with others, some great images but we still have a big field of cultural lack where images of butch women are concerned.
Anne Hathaway in Twelfth night! http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/06/25/theater/Night600.jpg
TODOS POSEEMOS ALGO FEMENINO Y VICEVERSA…
Cher in Walking in Memphis https://vimeo.com/22901859
To be in a suit is extremely feminine!!
does anyone know if the katherine hepburn photo is real, or photoshopped? hard to imagine the studio would have allowed a female star to have their hair chopped off so short, back in the day.