Underside - LA Woman
Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light… – Jim Morrison
You can’t quantify Steve Aoki’s life in terms of record releases or DJ gigs. His story is more one of happenings, of quiet, infinitesimal shifts in the celebri-art-fashion paradigm. Steve Aoki isn’t as much a person these days as the epicentre of Los Angeles’ sense of personality. He’s like the dimensionless point around which the strange geometry that defines everything from nightclub décor to heroin chic T-shirt designs revolves.
Like a twin sun, the pair revolving around each other endlessly, vicariously, Mark Hunter absorbs much of Aoki’s light, and broadcasts considerable shadows himself.
Within this solar system of nuance a new mythology is being born. Kid Millionaire and the Cobrasnake colluded, in a way, to breath life into the clay that was Cory Kennedy – to make the ethereal immortal.
Cory Kennedy was a 15 year-old upper middle class Jewish girl with gaunt cheeks, dark-rimmed doe eyes, a petulant, writhing mouth and bare, pubescent legs. The Kate Moss of MySpace, she represents everything that is either very right, or very wrong about the West.
When Mark Hunter photographed her at a concert, he was smitten, and soon asked her to be his intern (mental note: another chapter in a future book about how all interns are cute, tousle-haired trust fund kids). He kept photographing her, realised eventually that her picture caused massive spikes in his website’s hits – and had an epiphany.
Never mind that the epiphany involved Mark sleeping with her (statutory rape in America, believe it or not), taking her to clubs and effectively turning her into an underground superstar without her parents realising. Apparently, on her first trip to New York, people were running up to her saying how much they loved her, and even Mark wondered how she had so many friends on the other side of the country.
Fashion fags across the country started watching this ‘oracle’ of style, hoping that she would be the next Sienna Miller, someone they could mindlessly ape and cash in on as every bored widow in the country tried to dress like a mass-produced simulacrum of a kind of soft-core Shirley Temple.
Mark Hunter created the perfect American myth – touting Cory Kennedy as a uniquely youthful (albeit ostensibly legal) nightclub goer by photographing her in clubs you have to be 21 to get into. She represents America’s impossible ideal: the 22 year-old debutant who looks like she is 15 years old. What we want, apparently, is to be able to screw girls, legally, who look like they are 15. Maybe this isn’t a new idea at all. The push to legitimise sexualising 15 year-olds may not run counter to our basic instincts.
At the same time, there’s a whole school of thought (The Gay Mafia, Jim Goad) that purports the fashion industry is controlled by homos who want models to look like 14 year-old choirboys, i.e. no hips, no tits, just pigeon chests and hairless upper lips. Ask any straight guy who is sexier, some Brazilian catwalk model who just died from malnutrition or Angelina Jolie, and he’ll always be wanking in his darkest, loneliest moments to the latter.
That’s because men, straight men, want women who are capable (and this precedes the intellectualism of waiting until you can afford them, or deciding you don’t want them) of producing offspring.
Simply put, if a girl is so thin that she isn’t having her period, she isn’t capable of procreation, and there are inbuilt filters in the oldest fabric of the male reptilian mind designed to obscure those females from the mix.
So where am I going with all of this- If Cory Kennedy were a healthy 22 year-old (the assumption that was initially fair to make) getting her picture taken out nightclubbing with people like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins, then she wouldn’t be sexually attractive to the majority of American men. She would be another underdeveloped overhyped hype addict.
If you hold her up, instead, as nothing more than a sacrificial lamb upon the altar of endless youth, as a sprite that cannot and will not age, an innocent Peter Pan in tights with perky tits, a kind of Statue of Puberty, with the inscription reading:
Give me your wired, your bored,
Your huddled breasts yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming generation,
Send these, the aged, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my ageless breasts above the honey mound,
then somehow it all seems alright for half of America to be staring, gull-eyed, at lo-res images of Cory Kennedy kissing Kings of Leon singers online while they sit, pale-thighed and sticky with sweat, in front of a humming finger-smeared computer monitor.
After all, you're only as old as you feel.