One thing I’m eternally mesmerized by with Austrian singer Conchita Wurst is how her facial features sometimes flash between male and female. Even with the beard. One minute she’s all girl. The next, her male counterpart is peering through. It’s to a point where I can look at a set of photographs of Conchita Wurst and go down the line instantly naming them ‘female’, ‘male’, ‘female’, ‘female’, ‘female’, ‘male’.
And it’s difficult to even be able to pinpoint how I can tell which photograph looks slightly more male than female and, of course, vice versa, but I can. As can quite a few of Conchita Wurst’s fans. I know because I’ve had conversations with them about it on Facebook’s private messaging system.
It’s something in the way the camera catches her face, or how a fleeting expression sometimes causes that all girl to be slightly male. Just for a second or two.
But what I’m even more interested in than if a photograph or an expression on Conchita Wurst’s face is more feminine or masculine (and I’d say she’s feminine 90 percent of the time, beard and all), is if Conchita Wurst herself can look at photographs and instantly see which ones look more masculine? Or has she looked at that face for so many years, that ability no longer exists. Because, as we all know, we don’t often see things about our own faces other people see.
Now, I’m not just rambling on about Conchita Wurst and her ability to go from astoundingly beautiful woman to gorgeous boy in the flash of an eye (and wouldn’t it be fabulous to have that kind of ability but,alas, I’ve only ever seen it in her). Because, as per usual, my thought pattern is going somewhere.
And that somewhere is the question I’ve had in my head since I first discovered Conchita Wurst, and started to look at things like the covers she chooses for her singles and now, of course, the one for her first book, “Ich, Conchita“.
Because on just about every one of them, even though Conchita Wurst is the girliest looking girl on the planet the vast majority of the time, when it comes to singles covers, book covers and, I’m guessing the upcoming album cover, every photo she chooses is more male than female.
Which leads me to wonder, is it deliberate? Does Conchita Wurst choose photographs that have a slightly more masculine feel to them when it comes to something that’s a bit more permanent — the cover of a single, a promotion photo for an upcoming album, or the cover of a book? Or is it just one big coincidence that almost every ‘official’ photograph looks slightly more like boy in a dress than girl?
And do not get me wrong. I am not complaining, judging or being otherwise obnoxious, or saying it’s something that is ‘wrong’. It’s not wrong, or weird, and certainly not something that makes me uncomfortable. It just is. And it just is one of the myriad of things I am fascinated about when it comes to Conchita Wurst.
If you haven’t noticed, though, do go and check out Conchita Wurst’s single covers and specifically the cover of her new book “I, Conchita“. Because the Conchita looking out of that cover has a darker and thicker looking beard than the Conchita we know usually does, and a more obvious ‘male’ look to her.
Which, if you think about it, is kind of sweet. As, from what I already know about her book, (released yesterday in German, but English version not for a couple more months) a chunk of it covers her childhood growing up as Tom Neuwirth in a small village in the Styrian countryside. A childhood during which he was bullied and made fun of for no other reason than he was gay. A childhood that caused him to eventually create Conchita Wurst, in part as armour against the things he didn’t feel he could deal with.
And so, if the cover of Conchita Wurst’s first book, ‘Ich, Conchita‘ and all the other more masculine covers, were chosen (consciously or unconsciously) because she wants him to share in her glory, and to know he is as much deserving of being a star and of being adored as she is, even if he doesn’t want to be, then I think that’s lovely.
Because, let’s face it. He is. Even without the spotlight, the glamour and the attention. As without him, we would never have been given her. And my life, and I’m guessing yours, would now be so much lesser than.