“Life is Nothing if You’re Not Obsessed”

“Wait, wait, wait. So you’ve never seen any of his movies? Not even Cry Baby? “

It is the fall of 2010, and I have just finished reading Role Models, John Waters’s literary tribute to those who have inspired him. This book was the first of Waters’s work that I have ever consumed, a fact that WORN’s Editor-in-Pants Serah-Marie can’t believe.

“Oh God, don’t tell me you’ve watched that Zac Efron remake of Hairspray without seeing the original. Do you even care about our friendship?”

I am quick to defend myself. I just haven’t had the chance to watch any of his stuff. Pink Flamingos isn’t exactly available at the neighbourhood Blockbuster. Besides, I’ve seen the Simpsons episode where he guest stars like, seventeen times. (“It’s camp! The tragically ludicrous? The ludicrously tragic?” “Oh, yeah. Like when a clown dies.”)

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Jenna Wornette

I’m in my last semester of my degree at Ryerson University in Toronto, majoring in Culture Studies and minoring in English. It took me a brief interlude as a sorter in a thrift store and having an existential crisis to get here, but I somehow made it through. This fall, I’ll be attending York University to complete my Master’s Degree in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies. Not only will I be a Master in all things feminist-y, but also the world’s leading expert in GB Jonesian aesthetics. Aside from being a critical thinking, jargon slinging academic in training, I make a nice espresso and buy too many tschockhes, which makes for a deadly combination.

My best pieces of clothing were thrown out by my mother. This list includes my ratty Sailor Moon night gown that I cut into a muscle tee and a pair of boy short underwear with an anatomical drawing of the female sexual organs on the back. Now that I’m an adult, I can pick things out of the garbage for my wardrobe and get away with it. My life long goal is to recover that muscle tee from the Windsor, Ontario dump, but I think I’m dreaming. I’m really excited to be working with WORN. Fashionable friends and a magazine with a high word count? What more could a gal ask for? Also, working on my writing and researching skills and considering the political implications of my wardrobe sounds pretty fun, too.

Current Inspirations:

Second Hand Smut
My Retro Porno Tumblr. I “curate” (does that make it sound more professional?) a tumblr page full of retro pornography images. Yes, I said porn three ways. You have been warned.

Ken Russell’s “The Last of the Teddy Girls” photos
These photos by the late and great director Ken Russell document working class girls in neo-Edwardian dress, and an important and early part of British youth culture. The teddy girls were rebellious before there were rebel grrrls.

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives
I started volunteering at the “CLGA” almost two years ago, and it was love from the start. The CLGA collects and preserves LGBTQ historical materials from Canada and around the world, and their treasure chest is always growing. My favourites? Queer zines, the amazing vinyl collection, and matchbooks from gay bars and elsewhere. They inspire my perspective on style and design, as well as my personal politics.

Cathy of California
Cathy of California is who I want to be when I grow up. She draws inspiration for her craft projects directly from vintage craft documents, and has even written a fantastic book on the topic, Vintage Craft Workshop. She’s a feminist historian in my eyes.

John Waters (on fashion and in general)
I am a loyal snub-ject of the king of trash. Words to live by.

photography by Brittany Lucas

Movember Madness

Does anyone look good in a moustache? A survey (consisting entirely of myself) says: no. I can’t think of any specific reasons why I don’t like moustaches—I just never have. I especially don’t like them on my boyfriend, Daniel Wornette.

For one whole month, Daniel and thousands of other men grow mouth eyebrows in support of Movember, an initiative that began in Australia to support prostate cancer research. “Mo Bros,” as they are called, raise money and awareness by growing a lip caterpillar. Since 2003, $174-million has been raised worldwide. I actually offered to donate $500 to Movember Canada if he shaved it off but, alas, the soup strainer remained.

In all seriousness, one mildly annoyed girlfriend is nothing compared to all the good work that Movember does. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there were 25,500 cases of prostate cancer in 2011. As you can see on the official Movember website, examples of Movember-funded research programs include “mapping out the genes that lead to prostate cancer, investigating the effect of combining drug and dietary elements on the progression and prevention of prostate cancer, and understanding the survival mechanisms of prostate cancer,” among others. So now I must say to myself: suck it up! For the last thirty days, moustaches were saving lives.

If you’re in Toronto, the Ground Level Cafe is hosting a Movember Fundraiser December 2nd (that’s tomorrow night) at 8 p.m. People with lip ticklers get in for free, and it’s a $5 donation for those without moustaches.

text by Haley Mlotek
photo by Branislava Pavlovic