otp: confidence cohen


This has got to be one of the most touching moments on the O.C. season 1.  

It always makes me sad how perfectly lovely women think they’re less than Hollywood celebrities; honestly, if you had money falling from the sky you would rock those designer outfits too; if you had a team of make-up artists and hair stylists messing with your shit all day every day, you could be ‘flawless’ too.

But you don’t. And you’re fucking hot anyway.
At least half of Hollywood hottest women look like barf when they’re au naturelle, while all the girls I hear being self-critical are incredible beautiful with or without make-up and pricey clothes.

Don’t sell yourself short cause you are all goddamn diamonds and it’s about time you realize it.

Confidence, Cohen: The Lifespan of Teenage Kicks

In a nostalgic mode recently, a friend and I found ourselves discussing the pop culture that had meant the world to us as teenagers.

I always find it faintly cringe-inducing to look back on some of the ludicrous nonsense that can impress one so deeply at that age: for every youthful passion which successfully transitions into one’s more jaded adult affections (in my case, the oeuvre of Jeff Buckley, the novels of Louisa May Alcott, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and the face of Claire Danes), there is a former flame best extinguished from memory (Fallen, Let Go200 KM/H in the Wrong Lane: none of you are early 21st C masterpieces and I want my pink shirt back). 

Jeff Buckley walks through walls.

I still can’t watch this film without hyperventilating.

My friend and I are each of a textbook The OC vintage, and we agreed this particular televisual phenomenon lies somewhere between the two categories above. On the one hand, the trials of clans Cooper, Cohen and Atwood strike us now as rather less spellbinding than they first appeared in 2003: for all its achingly hip indie soundtracks and the oft-touted panache of its dialogue, hindsight makes it easy for us to see that The OC was at its core little more than the latest in a long line of trope-stuffed teen dramas assembled from flatpack by the cynical committees who brought us 90210 and Dawson’s Creek in yesteryears and One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and um, well, 90210 in latter days. 

Yet true love, they say, is as much a matter of timing as of other particularities. And thus it is that it doesn’t matter that this show boasted no real originality, subversion or depth: so fecund were our minds in those halcyon days that no acerbic-tongued, all-brunette couplings will ever again warm the cockles of our hearts quite like Seth and Summer. No knuckle-dragging James Dean-lite will ever stir our nascent maternal instincts like Ryan. No MILFs will we ever debate the relative merits of so fiercely as Julie and Kirsten. And no crescent-eyed, pixie-haired, beguiling blonde will ever inject two-word parting aphorisms into our hearts like Anna (honestly, Season 1 was the ne plus ultra, mostly due to her being so wise in all her sage wisdom.) 

Right back where we started from.

And now I come to think of it, no pointy-elbowed, colt-ish beauty who shares acting genes with a plank of fine-grained balsa wood will ever make us sigh the way the youthful Mischa Barton did. 


Truth be told Barton has always been a slightly perplexing actress. For years she seemed always on the cusp of something bigger, yet that highly palpable awkwardness both onscreen and off (itself the root of so much of her sweet beanpole-ish charm) was always going to stand in the way of more mature acting challenges. Sadly, after some bizarre post-OC career choices (google “You and I” for a real curveball) teamed with some rather more grave personal issues, she’s currently characterised in the public eye as little more than another casualty on the bloodied wayward-starlet stretcher. 

This is all rather tragic. After all, when one looks back on those (often highly quirky) roles she took on pre-2003  (Lawn Dogs, The Sixth Sense, Lost and DeliriousJulie Johnson, Tart),it’s clear that if she never was a prodigy, she was nevertheless capable of bringing a good deal more interest to the screen than playing the perpetually joyless Marissa ever allowed her to demonstrate.  

Regardless of all this: to me, she will always be inextricably linked to her all-but-forgotten turn as Katie in all-but-forgotten family drama Once and Again. This show had much more going for it than its profound obscurity and truncated-run suggests- not least of all a tender and intelligent lesbian story arc between Barton’s character and the then-equally fledgling Rachel Evan Wood’s Jessie.

Both actresses here had some sort of earnest, unspoiled quality that ensured their chemistry was as unforced as it was charming. It wasn’t Chekhov, and yet the whole thing was simply too lovely to put into words- and rendered all the more personally affecting in my case as one of the slender instances of lesbian visibility that, as an unhappy closeted 15 year old, I looked to time and time again.

For the uninitiated, the 40-minute saga in its entirety.

All this to say that Katie and Jessie remain in my ventricles like a knot in an oak tree, tucked alongside Mystery White Boy and the My So-Called Life DVDs.

So This has been a big week.

People have been calling me inspiring for quite a while. While I haven’t really been doing anything inspiring.

So, I was thinking about that a lot on Saturday, and me and my best friend Rosie went shopping. I quickly bought some cute heels, a skirt, some capris, and a few cute shirts. Along with makeup, perfume, and cute jewelery.  Then, I let Rosie bleach my hair, and dye cotton candy pink. After a night at her place, I put on my new cute yellow top and my jeans with my pink shoes, and my new “slut” braclett and “bitch” necklace, and walked right in to the all male Christian homless shelter where I reside. I got nasty cmments, but I shrugged them off. and Every morning since then, I have been doing my makeup and dressing like myself, no matter who is around. I also went to Youthbuild (where I work) and debuted my new hair and my cute clothes on the same day, and everybody there was super accepting.

So, followers, I partly wanted to thank you for telling me i’m inspiring, it gave me courage t actually be so! 

I’m excited to see where things go from here!