The 1980s was socially and consciously a very closed-off dark time for gay youth and for gays in general.
It was a time of pinup models and ideals of what is considered the “American Woman.” And part of those ideals were: Olivia Newton John, Bo Derek, Cherly Tiegs, Cheryl Ladd…lots of Cheryls. Heather Locklear, Christie Brinkley, Farrah Fawcett and the like.
These ideal American beauty icons on television and movies were made for the average straight dude. And this made gays that were in the closet very sad if not depressed.
Young dykes, lesbians and bisexual girls didn’t have role models. They had no one. And because the lack of aesthetics to feed their sense of self, many were suicidal for various reasons, such as religious oppression and bullying, but on a deeper level, they did not have an ideal that spoke to them, that made them feel worthy and beautiful and that not only the jock gets the hot chick. This is sort of where June or Nune Lusparian comes into the picture in my stories and why the cheerleader concept is not just a sensational device in my work—but is instead a restructuring of the past—to heal it.
So the iconography for the ideal female became a very important thing for me because I have lived in the darkness. I understood what it’s like to not have a star you can reach out to.
So when I can make an ideal manifest, it is an offering of hope. This hope has more to do with conquering self-limitations than is about perfect beauty. Perfect beauty is one of the most awesome goals that humans want because it is a mirror of one’s own inner beauty.
This is why in my short, NUNE, Nune Lusparian is reminiscent of the dark “Ugly Duckling” and why I needed someone physical beautiful to play that part. She has to be physically beautiful because she’s so ugly inside, she can’t see that she’s physically beautiful.
This an example of how the Ugly Duckling concept works:
From my childhood up to the age of 18 years old I lived in a community that hated Asians. I was called ugly all the way up through high school. I know what it’s like to go to a school that feels like a “prison” and so I wrote that reality into NUNE. The perception when people call you ugly everyday is that you start to believe that you are. But once I got out of high school and moved to the East Coast—everyone thought I was beautiful and they loved Asians. I had “become” a swan. The trick is, I always was one, but society damned me by forcing me into a state of self-hatred when I had none. I came into this world pretty balanced until that happened.
That’s why when I cast the actress for Nune, I wanted her to be beautiful—because it has to be a contradiction. There is no contradiction of casting an unattractive girl to play an ugly person everyone hates. I am not trying to show that the ugly girl has inner beauty. I’m trying to show how beauty is used as a weapon by society.
In the story about The Ugly Duckling: the “duck” was considered ugly because of the wrong society it was born into. Finally a bunch of the swans recognized the “duck” and brought it over to the right side of the pond. So the Ugly Duckling is a powerful parable on social conditioning…it shows you how much your head can be messed with and how having an “ideal” can transform you.
The “ugly duck” surpassed the other ducks in beauty. So it is, Lusparian is beautiful.