Originally posted October 16, 2012 on elephant journal (dot com).
She’s the California dream, wrapped in a ribbon of sunshine, served up on a bed of pot leaves and granola on a Hollywood afternoon.
Free-spirited, gorgeous, legs as long as palm trees….The foxiest girls in the US of A are in Los Angeles, where there’s a wealth of beauty so insane it’s like a sweet misstep of geography and evolution. It must be the sun, and all that sticky homemade kombucha tea.
Exactly who is the quintessential LA chick? Do all those earthquakes generate a higher vibration of some sort, elevating these girls to serious levels of hotness while they ease on down the road in life?
Some people call it plastic, even soul-less (and maybe it is, considering its watered-down, hang loose, I-pretend-for-a-living so-called “culture”). But it’s far from being just a breeding ground for vapid, unwordly bottled blondes. LA seems to produce some dazzling beings that are just softer, easier on the eyes. They’re earthy, and they have sweet, girly names like Rayne, and Rhiannon. and Chastity. True story: my parents almost named me Cherry.
They wear dresses together with motorcycle boots. And put daisies in their hair. What’s not to love?
Not that I’m suggesting it, but I admit dieting, fasting and extreme exercise, like incessantly running up and down the Santa Monica stairs, have turned some into über-skinny cranky bitches. (By the way, I used to live right next to those stairs. They might as well have wine and cheese out—it’s like a happy hour singles scene for workout junkies.)
The competition is ruthless, and you know what? I hate green tea, rice cakes, The Master Cleanse, all of it. It’s not the 90’s anymore, when it was all about heroin chic and the drug-addicted looking waif, thanks to the androgynous, topless hotties in perfume ads and music videos. Some chicks around here still look awfully sickly.
That’s definitely one thing that’s lacking in Los Angeles—body fat. Also weather, brick houses, a decent cheesesteak spot and fresh, oxygenated air. Between the atmosphere and the mind-numbing effects of shows like “The Hills,” we should all be brain dead. When I arrive at that inevitability please kill me, put me on a shaky raft and send me out to sea.
East coast women, let’s talk about you. We all know how sophisticated and bright you all are, but I’m afraid you’ve taken the whole “gender equality” thing a little far. Lighten up (and don’t give me shit—just go with it). Ever since Annie Hall put on a frumpy man’s outfit and Rhoda got divorced, I’m just feeling a little confusion and anger from over there…and the noise doesn’t help. Taxis are honking like crazy, you people are constantly screaming at each other and sometimes your accent makes me feel like someone threw up in my ear. New Yorkers, I love ya, but you gotta simmer down a little.
Luckily for LA, the resounding death rattle of femininity hasn’t rung out over the west coast quite yet. The women want beauty, not power. They are all business in New York; it’s all about pleasure in La La Land. While east coast women enjoy a hard whiskey, the girls in LA love a peachy Sex on the Beach. (The real thing ain’t so bad either, except for the sand up your ass.) They have a certain allure, a winsome, sparkling physicality, like spun cotton candy and gold.
Aesthetically speaking, there’s a reason why a New York 9 is an LA 6.
(My readers, you may disagree with me so far, like one precious commenter who called my writing “sexist claptrap,” which I now know is some kind of antiquated slang for “insecure nonsense.” For example, “your writing positively reeks of claptrap.” Thanks for reading, and bite me.)
But this isn’t an east coast/west coast thing. It’s about the chick who is naturally a product of a climate we can call eternal spring.
To be honest, part of me always wanted to be tougher, like a New Yorker. Not that I would begin to know how; I didn’t even have my first bagel and cream cheese until I was 20 (without the lox, which looked disgusting and to this day reminds me of a skin graft). It must be all that concrete that makes a person feel impenetrable, plus the fact that you can drink almost around the clock.
But as romantic as it sounds to stay out all night at jazz clubs and spoken word gatherings, drink Manhattans and hole up at The Chelsea Hotel to write my novel, I just know that city would eat me alive. I’m way too LA.
Growing up in the shadow of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the famous Chateau Marmont, my days were spent doing fuck-all at the beach, pimping beer outside the market and riding on the back of (insert some guy’s name here)’s motorcycle, before we used helmets or any reasonable amount of caution in life. I had guts.
I used to go everywhere barefoot; bars, restaurants, the market, and no one ever said a word. If there’s anything interesting between here and New York City, I wouldn’t know. I didn’t touch snow until I was in my 30’s. I can rig a sail boat and make a fierce Long Beach Iced Tea. I live within walking distance of the Hollywood sign; after all this time, I still think it’s fantastic.
My best friend Laura, on the other hand, grew up in Laurel Canyon with hippie parents who never married, who would cook vegetarian lunches and pack them in brown paper bags for school. (By extension, she was also acutely embarrassed every day in front of the cool kids with their metal Starsky and Hutch lunch boxes.) Her parents were musicians, and we called them by their first names. And I wanted to be just like Laura, have that life, the bohemian life of an artist.
I ended up a writer and a yoga teacher. I’m guessing Laura rebelled against her parents, like we all did, and maybe became a high-priced entertainment lawyer in Beverly Hills.
Which brings me to my friend Doug, writer and inspirational human being. I decided I needed a man’s perspective on LA women, and he threw it down, all the way to Chinatown:
LA girls, they aren’t afraid of motorcycles, mountains, dirt, snakes, spiders, nighttime, sand, cold ocean water, bisexual boyfriends or bad poetry. It’s no problem looking stupid for six hours to look cool for twelve. What they don’t like is boredom, looking conventional, religion, fluorescent lights, colonics and cold winter days.
Way to go, my friend. Allow me to bring it on home:
They’re super health conscious, they compost and they rescue dogs. They know how to handle a vehicle—they’ve been driving around windy canyons and on Sunset Blvd and Mulholland Drive their whole life. They’re also nimble and athletic, having grown up skateboarding in empty pools, thanks to water shortages and droughts. It is a desert.
They’re no stranger to food and culture. I used to live on the Venice boardwalk, where the winos would sing all night and play guitar outside my window. I pelted them with eggs.
They’re laid back. They wear jeans and flip flops to every occasion, including weddings. They’re healthy, thanks to the sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan craze, and because you can’t smoke anywhere anyway. And drugs are, like, so 80’s.
Dig it while you can, boys. ‘Cuz they say the city’s about to fall into the ocean.
One Saturday afternoon not long ago, my husband and I were sitting poolside with friends in Hollywood at The Roosevelt Hotel. It was unbelievably hot that day. Everywhere you looked you could see tan, tattoo’d bodies in bikinis and belly button jewels. There was a DJ, and people were dancing, like a summer daytime nightclub. I had on a white dress that day, and my favorite old, worn pair of motorcycle boots.
I found myself warmly, deliciously trapped in a dreamy vortex of pleasure-soaked vibes and beautiful people, while we all sipped sexy pink drinks with murmurs of peaches and a strawberry garnish.
It was so LA.
And the hottest chicks will be here, laying out by aqua-toned pools and driving down Sunset, desired, desirable, waiting for the boys to be boys, chillin’ like Bob Dylan on a breeze that disappears at day’s end into the west.