Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Clothes MakeThe Man

 "You're born naked and the rest is drag," says RuPaul. That's a succinct way of putting it.

I love stories where a character changes the way they're percieved by changing their clothes. Thomas Carlyle wrote a whole book of cod philosophy on the subject. It's called Sartor Resartus- and It's largely unread now, but still lively. According to legend, Peter Sellers- when in the army as a private soldier- used to dress up as an officer and review the grunts in other units- a prank that would have earned him time in the glass house if he'd ever been rumbled. In the 19th century James Barry reached the top of his profession as a military doctor while physically being female; People remarked on the shortness and the high-pitched voice but the manner was so convincing they allowed themselves to be fooled. Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can- in which a teenager cons his way through life pretending to be an airline pilot- among other things- would be one of my favourite movies if it's ending- full of glutinous daddy-love, didn't betray its joyous amorality.

All it takes is the right outfit and a degree of chutzpah and you can be anything you want- and yet so few of us ever try it on.
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