Posts Categorized: ap contributors

Emulate or Date – Queer Girl Conundrums

If you’re attracted to the opposite sex, the matter of style icons is relatively simple – there are celebrities you want to emulate, and you admire them because they have qualities you want. Sexual attraction doesn’t really come into it, apart from your icon’s ability to attract the gender you want to attract.

But if you’re same-sex attracted, sometimes celebrities that you consider style icons also give you funny feelings in your tummy. Which can be, honestly, pretty confusing. I’m not talking about the Cosmo style “girl crush” here, where you admire women in a platonic way. There’s very little that’s platonic about my feelings for say, Monica Belluci. It’s possible for me to both want to emulate a woman, and well…want them in equal measure.

So let’s take a look at my top three Queer Girl Conundrums, and why I both want to be AND date them all. (What can I say, I’m greedy)

Gillian Anderson


Back in the way back times, when I was watching The X-Files as a wee baby teen, the focus of my attention was admittedly David “Delicious” Duchovny. But re-watching it over the years, Mulder began to become less attractive and more annoying. Every time he talked over Scully I got increasingly annoyed, until I realised something totally unexpected as a former Mulder fangirl – I would have preferred the show if it was just about Scully. Gillian Anderson’s razor sharp suits, her delightful eye rolls, and her plush lips had completely turned me against my former favourite.

Style-wise, I’ve been trying to look as confident and competent in a pantsuit as Gillian Anderson does most of my professional life. She wore a crisp white linen shirt in a way I’ve never been able to pull off, and while aspects of Agent Scully’s style are a little dated now, I still aspire to one day look that perfectly put together.


Tilda Swinton


Oh Tilda. How to describe your ethereal and strange yet magnetic allure? Tilda is…well, Tilda. I’m frankly baffled there are movies in which they didn’t get Tilda to play the elf character, because she is honestly the embodiment of elfin to me. There’s something about her long limbs and translucent skin that makes me weak at the knees. Honestly, I watched the appalling movie adaptation of the Hellblazer comic, Constantine, JUST because Tilda Swinton was in it. And it was worth it.


Her style is just as ineffable and strange as her face, but that’s what I love about it. While I’d never wear half the things she wears out in public, I desperately admire the courage it takes to be so completely disinterested in trends or even what’s particularly flattering to her form. She just wears what she feels, and I think that’s fantastic.

Hayley Atwell


There’s something wonderfully accessible about Hayley Atwell, and not just because she’s utterly adorable on Twitter. She looks like the most beautiful girl you’ve ever met in real life, if you know what I mean, and I find that accessibility just CRIPPLING in terms of my blooming crush. Her hourglass figure, stunning grin, and vintage style make her my absolutely ideal girlfriend.

If you’re at all interested in vintage fashion and you’re not watching Atwell’s current show Marvel’s Agent Carter, you NEED to get on that. Practically every scene adds another item to my already exploding imaginary wish wardrobe.

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Do beautiful women give you funny feelings in the tummy? How do you untangle whether you want to emulate them, date them, or both?


Image Credits

First Gillian Anderson image courtesy of

Second Gillian Anderson image courtesy of

Tilda Swinton collage courtesy of

Tilda Swinton media image courtesy of NohWay

Hayley Atwell media image of

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The author of Reluctant Femme, Cassie is a queer thirty-something Australian who thinks too much, reads too much, and has way too many pretty things. Her writing revolves around exploring concepts of femme and femininity, feminism, and just how much glitter you really can fit into a polish before it’s unusable. You can catch up with her in shorter bursts on Twitter , look at pictures of her favourite pretty things on her Tumblr, and browse her handmade accessories at her Etsy store

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This Cuban Loves her Hips!

Recently I was on Instagram looking through my newsfeed of photos as I spotted a jumper that I absolutely loved! Now, although I don’t identify as someone who is all that into fashion, I certainly have moments when I see an article of clothing that I cannot stop thinking about. This was one of those moments.

This black jumper with full, billowy sleeves and a low cut back stole my heart the moment I scrolled down to see it. I commented on the photo asking what sizes and colors it came in. They quickly replied and I decided that I had to have this jumper. I replied to let them know I was headed there.

Now, mind you, this ‘local’ boutique isn’t quite close. Thirty-five minutes and some traffic later, I arrived at the boutique so excited to try it on and purchase for my 30th birthday celebration. The young lady had it in hand ready for me as I walked in. It looked as lovely on the hanger as it did on the model in the photo.

I grabbed two other options to try on as I walked through the boutique to the dressing room. Once I slipped into the dressing room, my heart began to quicken with excitement and I began to try it on. Goodness gracious, I had to strategically shimmy and shake my hips past the waistline seam to get all the way into the jumper. Of course, at this point, I began sweating which only made matters increasingly tricky.

I finally got into the jumper, but still needed the assistance of the young lady to get it zipped over my hips. I stood in front of the mirror and played around with the sleeves, pant legs, and the hanging scarf which was meant for the plunging neckline. I loved it and yet something was…off. I continued to turn and pose, pull and tug, tying the scarf in different ways and still couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then, as I stood in front of the large mirror, it dawned on me – the jumper was extremely slimming. It slimmed in all the ‘right’ areas.  It slimmed my thighs, rump, and even my hips. I thought to myself, “If anyone who knew me saw this on my body and my head was covered up, they would never know it was me.” This realization saddened me. I have certainly had a difficult relationship with my body, especially with my hips as a young teen and yet, I was shocked to feel sad about being slimmed.

I decided to try on the other two options I had brought into the dressing room. Both underwhelmed me. I never purchase clothing I don’t love, so I decided to skip all three items. I stepped out of the dressing room and explained to the young lady that I was going to pass on the jumper. I told her, “I don’t like that it slims me and my hips so much – it doesn’t look or feel like me.” She looked at me perplexed and said, “Really? It looked incredible.”

I felt her response was genuine, not sales-y. It made sense why she couldn’t quite understand why I was forgoing on this must-have jumper. I mean, how many of her work days did she help women shrink in size by visually dressing them with all of the ‘tricks’? How many times had she heard a woman say she loved a particular item or outfit based on it making her feel or look skinny? And here I was rejecting that exact desired effect.

I thanked her and walked out to my car. I sat for a moment in the car in a sort of disbelief. I couldn’t believe what had just transpired. I had NEVER not bought something because it made me feel or look skinny.

When I got home, my twin came running out demanding me to put on the must-have jumper for her to see. I explained to her I didn’t purchase it because it made my hips slim and she reacted as everyone else had. “You mean you didn’t buy it because it made you look skinny? What?!”

This was confusing to her because in our very size-conscious culture we are always looking for ways to shrink and shove ourselves into the box of “skinny.” Plus, she understood that I have gone to extreme lengths to be skinny which certainly included wearing slimming clothing. Except…this time I didn’t. I chose authenticity. I chose to be me which meant not purchasing an outfit that would downsize my beauty or my true self.

So, what did I decide to wear to bring in my 30th year (which happens to be on Valentine’s Day)? This fabulously simple piece that highlighted my body in all of its natural glory, gold wedge heels, and the sweet necklace my husband purchased for my birthday!


Dress by Forever 21, find it here

Necklace by Dogeared, find it here

Shoes by Charlotte Russe, find similar here

Until next time,

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Lily A. Zehner is a sex therapist, blogger, and doctoral student at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. Her private practice, The Center for Authentic Intimacy, is located in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

She is passionate about living authentically and helping clients do the same. She believes that letting our real selves shine is the key to self-love and finding true intimacy with others. She believes all bodies are good, beautiful, and perfectly imperfect. At times she struggles with this about her own body, but self acceptance can be a challenging road and it’s one she’s willingly chosen.

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Fuzzy Detail

Missguided Plus size grid top and midi skirt, New Look faux fur clutchPink faux fur clutch bag

Top- Missguided

Skirt- Missguided

Clutch- New Look

Shoes- River Island (old)

I get heckled for carrying around this furry clutch, my boyfriend calls it a dead muppet haha! But I like to think I’m fearless when it comes to trends and fashion, even if nobody else gets it.

More importantly, let’s talk about the clothes! This was my first time shopping at Misguided, they launched their plus size range a while ago and I was so relieved to see such a vast range of fashionable options. Their clothing runs true to size, if not a little generous, the waist band of this skirt was really loose. I upsized for the crop top because I didn’t want to show too much skin, it fits perfectly. I only wished they had a larger size range, they only offer clothing unto a size US 22.

Have you shopped at Missguided before? What do you think of their plus size line?

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