Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Dark Lady Turns Back Time

Probably no one reading this will find this shocking, but I have a few strange fixations. Some of them, I flaunt constantly (trashy TV.) Some, I eventually talk about to some degree on the blog here (Azzurri.) Some, I sort of gloss over without admitting how deep the fixation goes, though the references pop up occassionally (Batman.) And some, I keep rather well hidden until something newsworthy provokes me to speak. Today, I'd like to talk about Cher.

So, there, it's out there now. I love Cher. (First, go ahead, have a giggle. Second, for any regular readers out there, can you really believe at this point that I am actually a straight female instead of a gay man? I have trouble understanding it sometimes, too.) Anyway...

I seriously love Cher. Have for, well, ever. I think it's basically an imprinting thing, as I watched her on TV before I could even talk, and this continued well after I was a toddler and into early childhood. At that time, I certainly couldn't understand why she was making such an impression, but I think it's a fairly easy and rational guess now to say that I was responding and attaching to her because she was different from the vast majority of perky blondes who were dominating the airwaves in the early '70s. And the reason I probably connected to her isn't just because she was different from them. Finally, I found someone who was a little bit like me.

To this day, I sometimes have people comment that I have "Cher hair." We're talking the classic Cher, long dark version of hair, not the blonde-Believe era or current phase of wavy red. I didn't intentionally grow it to look like hers, but I do take it as a compliment when people say it. (Unfortunately, it's the only physical attribute the adult me has in common with her.)

Now, snicker all you like, but as role models go, especially in the impressionable years, you could do a lot worse than Cher. On The Sonny and Cher Show, Sonny was relegated to the role of straight man to Cher's witty, wisecracking dame. She wasn't just flaunting her bod in Bob Mackie; on that stage, she was the alpha dog. And in life, when people weren't laughing at her jokes, they were often laughing -- derisively, or dismissively -- at her. Oh, her gaudy/glam costumes! Yeah, yeah, the beat goes on and her body and those gowns become iconic. But now she wants be a serious actress? Tee hee! That's so funny, but film-by-film and one by one she turned the critics into fans and she pranced off with an Oscar -- while wearing one of her gaudy/glam costumes. Smirk at how old she is -- only cockroaches will outlive Cher. Keep smirking and Believe it as she dances off with a Grammy, becomes the oldest woman to ever score a number 1, and sells millions.

But the best part of Cher? When people laugh? She really just doesn't seem to give a shit. She kinda gives off the vibe of "Laugh, bitches, I don't care" and then she never backs down and does whatever she wants to do. She's as outspoken and outrageous as she wants, and she doesn't mind being the butt of jokes. How do you get cooler than that?

Also noteworthy? In her music choices? She's got a few sappy love songs. But most of them are a different kind of love song. She mostly sings about shooting cheating lovers, stomping over would-be heartbreakers, or surviving happily after a break-up. I love it.

Now, at 62, with her hit gig at Caesars Palace, Cher pulls off the coup-de-grace of Vegas weddings and May-December romances as she plans to marry a 36 year-old.

Aging singletons no longer need a song for the lonely from you, Cher. If our hope flags as we get older, we can save up all our tears, because if we need inspiration, we've got you, babe. We can still get the prime young tail. (Well, if we can still fill out a Mackie, sell out Caesars and remain a sassy siren, maybe we can.) You've just made us believe.


Moon said...

Haha! Did I ever tell you how much I love your blog? Oh yeah and: Yay for Cher!

citizen jane said...

Cher is beyond fabulous. I've loved her not only since the Sonny and Cher Show, but since I watched her own self-titled variety show -- which featured a young Teri Garr as a cast member.

Oh -- here's to us straight chicas who are going through life with our inner gay men riding side saddle ;-)

tangodiva said...

Cher, like Dolly Parton, will always have the last laugh. There can be no other.

I swan, I used to do her workout tape, and I am so not ashamed to admit I did step aerobics with Cher in the weidest leotard/lace nightie combo eveh!

Cher, not me.