The palest of the pale

celebrities in vintage, emma peel, marisa tomei, pale skin, shirley manson, toby stephens

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Shirley Manson? It’s been a long-running affair (I dislike the term ‘girl crush’ so I’m not going to apply it here) based on first seeing her in the Stupid Girl video and realising that she was some kind of flawed, modern day Diana Rigg for me to admire. I could identify with the unusual facial features, the pale skin, the flat chested-ness…her general dissatisfaction with the world. It encapsulated how I, as a grumpy teenager, wanted to take the Emma Peel look and make it more my grungey own. I also loved the music. Still do in fact.

Time went on, we became more sophisticated (well, she did anyway….) and I still adore her. The most beautiful hair, the most inspiring make-up, the most interesting clothes and the fact that she’s still the palest of the pale. The queerest of the queer. Definitely something to admire in a modern world of orange-ness. She also looks half her 43 years of age, yes I do mean 21 and a half, which says something about the importance of sunscreen I’m sure.

Anyway, I was reminded of all this when I saw some photos of Ms Manson from some art event in LA (I’m afraid I was snoozing through the photos and description of Brad and Angelina at the eve….zzzzzzzz [whoops, did it again!] so I missed what it was precisely all about). Check out the sultry make-up. And the flaming hair and freckled arms (which in turn reminds me that I had a rather lovely dream about Toby Stephens last night. He was sat by a fireside reading his lines for some play or other to me, and I couldn’t stop staring at his freckles. Because of course that’s the kind of thing you would be doing if you had Toby Stephens sitting in front of you. Pfffft. I’m a lousy dreamer…).

I could do without the gown being Marchesa, but that’s only a brand issue rather than a style issue. And check out the gorgeous [and also very non-orange] Marisa Tomei wearing a vintage Dessès frock. Both flying the flag for natural skin tone and one flying the flag for vintage. It’s a good day.

11 thoughts on “The palest of the pale

  1. Never thought of how Emma Peel she is. Makes it a shame that Uma got to play Ms. P in the Avengers film remake–though the whole remake was basically a shame. Always thought Shirley should have ditched her band and made even more of a pop go of it. Clinging to plodding musicians was is so 90's of her when she has the alien grace to be a lone ranger Bowie. Well whatever, it's just that Butch Vig is sort of embarrassing. Yay for pale swans!

  2. I was fascinated with red hair in my late teens and early 20's. So suffice to say that I would take pics of Shirley to my hairdresser and ask him to match my hair to hers. I completely adore Garbage and she so rocks…..love the fact that she's pale too. I'm sick and tired of people criticizing others for wanting to remain well…pale. I mean let's face it, how ridiculous would Shirley Manson look with a tan?

  3. I saw these photos yesterday and I was immediately awed by how great both of them looked. I adore super pale skin and red hair- why couldn't I have been born looking that striking? And Marisa- perfection!

  4. She does look amazing, not even near 43. I too have very pale skin and am surrounded by orange oompa loompas. You will never see me giving in to the tanning beds. Ewe.

  5. Also a longtime Garbage/Shirley M fan. She’s almost exactly one year younger than I, which I think is cool and the flat chested ness you mention? Angular to me, perfect.

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