Yesterday was Cher’s 67th birthday. Sixty-fucking-seven.
Jslow and I love her.
We both paid our homage on separate Halloweens. Jslow dressed as Cher at 4, clomping from door to door in patent leather boots, asking for candy from under a long, straight, shiny black wig, plastic pumpkin in one hand, Cher Barbie doll in the other.
My turn was much later at age 29, donning an equally long, straight, shiny black wig, a tight black tank with a big triangle cut out at the navel, and a black guitar slung over my shoulder. I’m not sure I ever felt cooler. Back then, I even referred to my dating antics as “Cher-like”, going out with much younger guys just as Cher did (remember the Bagel-guy?) I also tending to dress in very short skirts for long client meetings, smoked in my office, broke rules. She oozed rebellion, and I wanted to try.
It was my very uncool parents who introduced me to Cher back in the 70s, as they not only loved her records, but also the wonderful “Sonny and Cher” show where Cher’s wit, spirit and style were on full display every Wednesday night, and where I fell in love with her. I’m not sure I appreciated how truly original and unconventional she was back then: all deep voice, long face, big nose, no boobs, sexy and strong, daring to tower over her shorter husband. She was a feminist in every sense of the word.
She was perfect.
Throughout the years, she has always dared to go her own way, whether it was electrifying the otherwise static Oscars in outlandish Bob Mackie designs, or publicly supporting her daughter when she came out as a lesbian and continued on her transgender journey. I also think she was the first to forgo the last name. Cher was more than enough.
In an era when every singer wants to act and design clothes just because they have a marketing machine and money behind them but no real passion or talent, it’s refreshing to note that Cher has been one of the few who did it all so authentic and well, and is the only artist ever to win an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, three Golden Globes, have #1 singles in each of the past six decades, and be named best actress at the Cannes Film Festival.
Next month, Cher is releasing a single, “Woman’s World.” Her MOM, at age 86, just released an album.
That, ladies, is called keeping it real in later life.
Sixty-fucking-seven. Happy Birthday, Cher. Love Blank Stare, Blink.