As a woman admittedly preoccupied with fashion for as long as I can remember, surrendering a week of outfits to my husband’s whims for a styling experiment sounded like torture.
On the sidewalks during Fashion Week, lewk-wearers will attempt some styling tricks that might look incredible in a picture, but don’t necessarily work for the real world. Take that whole thing about throwing your jacket over your shoulders — at this point, it’s a street style cliché. But leave it to fashion people to
turn toward something even more challenging as trends start to tire…
We call it the forced shoulder exposure. Whether you’re wearing your jackets around your elbows or pulling a wide neckline down and around a shoulder, manipulating your clothes to look like they’re already halfway off has made its way from a runway styling trend to a Fashion Week attendee trend. If we read the patterns, that means you’ll probably be seeing a real-life version on the street in just a few months…or maybe in the mirror?
I can see why she wouldn’t be into talking to me, another nosy reporter. So, I’m pleasantly surprised when she arrives and greets me with a warm hug that lasts longer than I expect it to. Her raven hair and impossibly long eyelashes are every bit as dazzling in person as they are in her glamorous Instagram selfies. Save for a bit of sparkle shadow on her lids, she appears to be makeup-free. She is only 5-foot-5, but she seems statuesque in her cropped sweater, high-waisted leggings, and heels. The outfit gives the illusion that she is nearly all legs.
After the hug, Gomez sits down, tucks her hair behind her ear, folds her hands — nails painted a deep, slate gray and carefully filed into pointy talons — and waits for the first question. She’s all business. After spending years being judged in the press and media-trained by the Disney machine, she has built up a protective wall that can seem impenetrable. Finding out who she really is — beyond the gossip — is like digging for fossils with a Q-tip.
HOW TO CONTROL YOUR DREAMS
But by 20 minutes in, we’re getting somewhere. We talk about the complexities of female self-confidence — at best, it’s schizophrenic — and we laugh about an Amy Schumer joke that she roughly translates as, “Some mornings you wake up and you’re like, ‘Everything about me is amazing!’ And the next morning you’re like, ‘How did anybody ever sleep with me?’”
After an hour, Selena Gomez is giving me a tour of her tattoos. There are six in all: a tiny music note on her right wrist was her first. “I wanted something small to test the waters,” she says. “Now I’m addicted.” There’s the initial “G” behind her left ear for her 2-year-old sister, Gracie; her mother’s birthday in Roman numerals on the back of her neck; a Bible verse on her right hip that reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The date on her left hip represents when she met one of her best friends eight years ago, and the phrase in Arabic on her back means, “Love yourself first.” She’s contemplating getting a seventh tattoo to celebrate her own revival — the album and the personal reinvention.
For all her supposed skittishness, Gomez actually wants to show the world who she is — and, in the coming months, she’ll have plenty of opportunity to do that. Besides the new album, she’s joining The Voice as an advisor, handpicked by Gwen Stefani for her “confidence and creativity,” Stefani said via email, adding, “Selena is incredibly passionate about her craft, and her talent far exceeds what one would expect from a woman her age.” Gomez will also appear in four upcoming movies, including a hush-hush part in December’s financial-crisis drama The Big Short, starring Brad Pitt and Christian Bale.
And, in a role that seems to be the definition of “giant leap,” she portrays a Depression-era young mother in the onscreen adaptation of John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle, a performance her director (and Spring Breakers co-star) James Franco promises will reveal the depth of her acting talent.
“If she were allowed to play [more] roles beyond just teenagers with teen interests, she would show her innate maturity and strength,” Franco said via email. “She has had to face pressures and scrutiny at a young age that most never face in a lifetime. So when she is able to display the strength and leadership she has developed, she shines.”
So yes, you might say this is a big moment for Selena Gomez. After a rough 12 months, she’s picking herself back up and taking control of her career.
Not bad for a 23-year-old who got her big break dancing with a plushy.
It’s all over Revival. Before “Good for You” was released
The video to that song features her rolling around on a couch, the floor, and in the shower. The artwork for the album’s cover is a black-and-white portrait of her sitting cross-legged and topless, staring into the camera. It’s not a come-hither stare. The expression seems to say, with self-assured attitude, “Yeah…what?”
“It’s not something where I’m like, let me glorify what I do in the bedroom,” she says. “But I think I have a very healthy perspective on my sexuality. It’s part of being an adult, and I’m still figuring out how to be one of those, too.” (A happily single one, at the moment. She issues this PSA to potential suitors: “Do not try to date me right now.”)
And as for those who, previously hearing of the White Whale, by chance caught sight of him; in the beginning of the thing they had every one of them, almost, as boldly and fearlessly lowered for him, as for any other whale of that species. But at length, such calamities did ensue in these assaults—not restricted to sprained wrists and ankles, broken limbs, or devouring amputations—but fatal to the last degree of fatality; those repeated disastrous repulses, all accumulating and piling their terrors upon Moby Dick; those things had gone far to shake the fortitude of many brave hunters, to whom the story of the White Whale had eventually come.
Nor did wild rumors of all sorts fail to exaggerate, and still the more horrify the true histories of these deadly encounters. For not only do fabulous rumors naturally grow out of the very body of all surprising terrible events,—as the smitten tree gives birth to its fungi; but, in maritime life, far more than in that of terra firma, wild rumors abound, wherever there is any adequate reality for them to cling to. And as the sea surpasses the land in this matter, so the whale fishery surpasses every other sort of maritime life, in the wonderfulness and fearfulness of the rumors which sometimes circulate there. For not only are whalemen as a body unexempt from that ignorance and superstitiousness hereditary to all sailors; but of all sailors, they are by all odds the most directly brought into contact with whatever is appallingly astonishing in the sea; face to face they not only eye its greatest marvels, but, hand to jaw, give battle to them. Alone, in such remotest waters, that though you sailed a thousand miles, and passed a thousand shores, you would not come to any chiseled hearth-stone, or aught hospitable beneath that part of the sun; in such latitudes and longitudes, pursuing too such a calling as he does, the whaleman is wrapped by influences all tending to make his fancy pregnant with many a mighty birth.
One psychologist says she can basically
make herself orgasm in her sleep.
No wonder, then, that ever gathering volume from the mere transit over the widest watery spaces, the outblown rumors of the White Whale did in the end incorporate with themselves all manner of morbid hints, and half-formed foetal suggestions of supernatural agencies, which eventually invested Moby Dick with new terrors unborrowed from anything that visibly appears. So that in many cases such a panic did he finally strike, that few who by those rumors, at least, had heard of the White Whale, few of those hunters were willing to encounter the perils of his jaw.
But there were still other and more vital practical influences at work. Not even at the present day has the original prestige of the Sperm Whale, as fearfully distinguished from all other species of the leviathan, died out of the minds of the whalemen as a body. There are those this day among them, who, though intelligent and courageous enough in offering battle to the Greenland or Right whale, would perhaps—either from professional inexperience, or incompetency, or timidity, decline a contest with the Sperm Whale.