My Billboard-watching friend Christopher sent me a batch of articles this month. One was on actress Jennifer Lawrence in Los Angeles Magazine (Feb 2014 issue) by Anne Taylor Fleming. Interestingly my parents love Jennifer Lawrence and they are always telling me that she reminds them of Cher, especially in interviews. They talk about her take-no-guff irreverence. So I thought I'd see if I could find any similarities in the article. I definitely could.
Fleming calls Lawrence "the little toughie" and likes her because she's "frisky and unguarded...She seems to be centered in her own skin, not preening and posing and flirting and giggling."
Also Lawrence, "isn’t threatening to women. To them she’s cool, in a down-to-earth way that’s never self-conscious." There's "a freedom about her, a zest, a willingness to be goofy and unself-censored. None of that canned, feminine stuff."
She says, "For me, Lawrence has that something extra, the ineffable quality that bubbles up from inside. Even as she goes quiet on the screen, you can’t look away. When she’s being strong, it’s not in a cartoonish Lara Croft way but in an assertive, convincing manner. She can turn on a dime, cry and kick butt, empathize and rage from one frame to the next."
We've heard a lot of those same things said about Cher.
Other Cher Bric-a-Brac
Cher scholar Robrt found this crazy video for "Sunny" complete with a circle of crazy little girls.
Christopher also sent me the article "Gay Men and Their Divas" by Michael Musto from the Feb/Mar 2014 issue of The Advocate. Musto talks about all the divas who have let gay men down and why.
He credits divas for being "muses and champions." He talks about how Judy Garland was knocked around by horrible men, but could still stand up and belt it out, “getting more riveting with wear and tear.” Plus she sang that iconic rainbow song and died right before the Stonewall riots so is the patron saint of equal rights. Bette Midler sang at the Continental Baths and was campy, raunchy, weepy, and hilarious (but she "turned her back on us" for mainstream fame). Donna Summer sang pure LGBT hedonism but then got religious and said some gay slurs allegedly although she denied it. Madonna drew on bold designs and gay culture and hung out with Sandra Bernhard, but she defended Eminem in 2001 when he was being homophobic but now she's back in good graces donning Boy Scout outfits and kissing Britney and Christina. Lady Gaga provides positive messages about and for the oppressed. But "Born this Way" was way too spelling it out and heavy-handed.
“It might just be Cher who’s the post-Judy high priestess of the LGBT. After all, she’s ageless, she’s fabulous, and she’s even let us down—twice [bristling at Chas’ coming out and transitioning]. These were icky moments, and yet, Cher’s honesty in admitting her feelings resonated with many of her fans who were going through similar situations. Cher revels her foibles and takes us with her as she goes to the other side, where she achieves grace and acceptance [in other words, with Cher there’s a real life narrative not just a PR pose]. And that’s what the best gay diva should always do. Brava, diva.”
He skips telling us why Cher appealed as a Gay Diva in the first place.
Last week on The Stephanie Miller show, their phone screener insisted Frenso was famous for birthing Cher. Producer Chris LaVoie then said he thought Cher was from Glendale (because all the Armenian’s live there, I guess). I did an Internet search to find out if there was any Fresno/Cher misprinted information foating around out there. There is not. Cher is firmly from El Centro. Although her father’s relatives lived in Fresno and she went to Frenso High School.
I'm beginning to wonder if this is like east-coast/west-coast rap. Cher is so west-coast. Sarandon is so New England. I've been talking to Cher scholar Michael about Susan Sarandon and Cher, making comparisons. Is Sarandon too serious? Interestingly she admits in AARP Magazine that she was so immersed with the idea of justice as a child that she would rotate outfits on all her dolls so no one doll had all the best outfits.
However, I think Cher is getting more serious and socially-committed as she ages. As Sarandon says, “With age, you gain maybe not wisdom, but at least a bigger picture.”
Christopher sent me this AARP article on Sarandon and reading it I still find many things they have in common:
- Both will appear in public without makeup. Unlike Dolly.
- Both date younger men. Sarandon was with Tim Robbins many years and now is dating Jonathan Bricklin, a tender 36 years old!
- Both were first borns.
- Both were very shy as little girls.
- Both speak out, damn the consequences to their careers.
- Both are described as sexy older stars. Mark Harris says about Sarandon (and it could be said about Cher), “Even when she was young, her sexuality seemed mature. There’s a self-confidence to her. She knows who her characters are, and her characters know who they are.”
By the way, I am missing Cher News news. I was hoping Mr. Cher News was away on vacation, like some kind of European, two-month vacation. I hope all is okay over there!