Pose, Realness, and Fashion
by Katie Coss
Inspired by the vibrant ballroom scene of New York City, FX’s Pose has become a looking glass into the dynamic lives of the LGBTQ community during the 1980s. Unlike any other television drama, director Ryan Murphy depicted the fantasy of walking a ball while staying true to the hardships of life as a member of the LGBTQ community. Historically, the ballroom scene of New York City in the 70s and 80s were an underground haven for black queers to compete in transforming themselves into the realest replication of any given category, such as girl next door or renaissance inspired. Fueled by the dangerous realities of their lives, especially during the AIDS epidemic, the LGBTQ community of color used the ballroom scene as an escape to fantasize about life outside of their harsh world. As the series continues, the emotional trauma of ‘coming out’ and the romantic relationship of a sex worker become relatable but trigger ideas on how heteronormative people view gender and sexuality. Pose is an empowering experience for any member of the community, with true queer actors finally at the forefront of this conversation. We cannot help but be thrilled about this new era of television. I mean who wouldn't want to see black queens voguing?
If the storyline does not grab your attention, the fashion on the show will truly have any fashionista in awe. In relation to the narrative of the show, the fashion is also a reflection of how LGBTQ members look and feel inside and outside of the ballroom; living a dream vs reality. From full out Queen Elizabeth I vibes to faux furs and neon tube tops, the costume director, Lou Eyrich, went to great lengths to keep the ‘realness’ alive and well. Like any true judge at a ball, we had to choose just a handful of our favorite looks of the season thus far that have us ohhing, ahhing, and screaming yass queen!