I know a boy who dresses aggressively heterosexually and who made it onto the blog, “White Boys in Salmon Shorts.” He’s from the East Coast and I’m not sure he’s aware of this fact he’s on the site. I probably will not tell him. I attend school on the East Coast but I spent my formative years on the West Coast, in Seattle and in San Diego, where it’s bright all day and clear at night and people pretend to be more liberal than they actually are. I don’t like being controlled, I despise the cold, and I think the salmon shorts are definitely pink and not Nantucket red. But, at the same time, there’s a part to me that’s quintessentially East Coast, the part where I’m permanently on edge, constantly constructing alternative identities of myself to protect my soft underbelly and that is what Lana del Rey and I have in common.

What is the significance of the epitome of the East Coast girl, Lizzie Grant, appropriating west coast cool, all casual smoking clove cigarettes and drinking gross slightly earthy beer and swaying, as if she’s a native? It’s almost aspirational as if she wants to be as cool and carefree as the girl in the video. I have a theory Lana isn’t nearly as hazy or drug addled or mysterious as she pretends to be, because that identity takes a lot of control to maintain and it’s impossible to do so if one is not meticulous about the practice. She has based her whole life around a character she is not, that she cannot be because nobody is the image they have constructed for themselves, especially when it’s so extreme and that’s why I believe Lana del Rey is secretly as much of a control freak as I am. It is fundamentally impossible that a woman who constructs such a specific identity of submissiveness is truly not in control because the totality of Lana del Rey is an act, but that doesn’t mean the act is not real.

I’m the last person to scream about her lack of authenticity but the intentional construction of identity means it’s as mutable as changing clothes. As her next album comes out, I wonder what her identity will be this time, not the West Coast girl next door or the spoiled trap queen of “Born to Die” but something new, something we haven’t seen before. Perhaps she’s going to moonlight as a satisfied wife, akin to a cat licking the cream. What it is, I’m looking forward to it.


Colors in Men’s Clothing, Ranked

Objectively correct rankings for 2015.

1. Indigo blue–The king. Flattering on everyone. Deep heritage across many cultures. The color of blue jeans, big sky, the Pacific ocean, Robert Redford’s eyes. Name an item of clothing that doesn’t look good in indigo.

2. Olive drab–Cork Grips knows.

3. Mid gray

4. Navy blue–Two blues in the top 5. Wow. What a run.

5. Tobacco brown

6. Khaki

7. Black–Fast riser. Good for: knit ties, formal shoes, band shirts, leather jackets. Bad for: most suits, leather sportcoats.

8. White

9. Ivory–Could ivory overtake white? Maybe next year.

10. Charcoal gray–Lost a lot of ground to younger, hipper, lighter grays.

11. Bottle green–Ties and socks, primarily.

12. Pink

13. Stone

14. Turqoise

15. Gold

16. Red–Real, true red? Your sports car should be red, your clothes need not be. Maybe your selvage seam.

17. Nantucket red–had a nice few years but it’s over.

18. Orange

19. Coral

20. Purple